Brittany Force ready to start sophomore Top Fuel season

A new season starts at Pomona.

POMONA, Calif. – When the 10,000 horsepower BOSS 500 engine of the Castrol EDGE Dragster fires up at the 2014 Circle K NHRA Winternationals, February 7-9, it will not be soon enough for driver Brittany Force, who is pumped and ready to climb back into the cockpit. There is also a renewed focus for the 2013 NHRA Rookie of the Year as she will be a serious player going into her sophomore season in the highly competitive Top Fuel class. She will be rolling into Auto Club Raceway with a newly canopied Top Fuel Dragster and a new crew chief Todd Smith.

Brittany Force
Brittany Force

Photo by: Todd Steitle

“I am looking forward to racing with Todd Smith as my crew chief. Guido (Dean Antonelli) is still working on my car and I they will work really well together. We made some good laps during testing and I am ready to get the season started,” said Force who narrowly missed the Countdown last season.

Looking back, the 2013 NHRA Mello Yello season was a steep learning curve for the newest racing Force. “It was really great to be at the NHRA banquet and take home the Auto Club Road to the Future Award as NHRA’s top rookie, not just for Castrol, but for all of John Force Racing. It really proved all our hard work paid off in the end,” explained Brittany Force. Her consistent driving skills in handling one of the fastest accelerating vehicles on the planet proved to her competitors in the next lane that she meant business.

During the offseason, many drivers are restless and can’t wait for the NHRA season opener in Pomona. All they do is count down the days until they’re back in the seat, strapped in, throw the ignition switch and fire up their supercharged race cars ready to assault the drag strip like a guided missile. Force is just like the drivers she races against, with a competitive spirit deep within their soul that’s adrenalin fueled. “It was nice to get some down time once the season ended and hang out with my family and friends. But after a while, you start to get bored and want to get back on the track. I’m so ready and even anxious to get out to Pomona and get this season started, driving the Castrol EDGE Dragster,” commented Force.

Force, along with her fellow John Force Racing teammates, headed to Palm Beach International Raceway for the PRO Winter Warm Up last month. “It felt great to come down to Florida and test because I haven’t been in the dragster for over two months. Being out of the driver’s seat for that length of time, it feels like taking a step back,” voiced Brittany Force. “I was nervous at first but then I went back into my routine, got focused and then the nerves immediately went away.”

During testing, Brittany also had the opportunity to race her father the first time to the delight of the crowd. “It was very cool to race my dad, I wish the outcome would’ve been different. It was pretty crazy. Just running him that one time makes me think I could never be in Funny Car. We had about 100 pep talks. I was fine going up there. I don’t ever worry or try and think about who I am running. He had me so worked up about him being in the other lane. He was just trying to help me but it was a little too much,” said Brittany Force.

On the eve of heading into Pomona, Brittany is more determined and focused despite the challenges of Top Fuel racing. “I’m still learning something every time I get in the car, but our goal for 2014 is to qualify in the top half of the field at every event and get a few wins for the Castrol EDGE team,” concluded Force.

Pomona is considered a home track for Force. It’s filled with childhood memories of watching her legendary father drive his Funny Cars down the sacred grounds of Auto Club Raceway to numerous wins and championships. With some luck, she will make her own history at this year’s Circle K NHRA Winternationals and pilot her Castrol EDGE Dragster to a victory.

John Force Racing

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers John Force , Brittany Force , Todd Smith
Article type Preview
Tags brittany force, jfr, nhra, pomona, winternationals