Courtney Force said she was thrilled with her best run in NHRA Spring Training after topping the Funny Car times at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park.
Force’s top time, set on the second of three days of testing at the track just outside Phoenix, was a 3.839 on Friday night in the Advance Auto Parts Chevrolet Camaro.
The NHRA season begins at Auto Club Raceway in Pomona, CA, next weekend with the Lucas Oil Winternationals.
Courtney, youngest daughter of 16-time Funny Car champion John Force, endured a peculiar 2017 season. She qualified No. 1 seven times and reached five finals but failed to win an event – yet finished third in the points race, her best ever position in the end-of-year standings.
“We had a great test session,” said Force on Saturday night. “We were really consistent and made some clean passes with a couple of planned early shutoffs.
“We had one that went straight down there, ran a 3.83. Those are the kinds of runs we were looking for coming out here, especially after pulling out a brand-new chassis. We were kind of starting from square one and I think we learned a lot.”
Teammate and brother-in-law, Robert Hight, the two-time and reigning Funny Car champion, ran 3.8 passes on Thursday and Saturday, and had several early shutoffs in the 3.9s.
“We didn’t make a lot of runs to the finish line because we were trying a lot of new things so we were taking baby steps,” said Hight. “We’re definitely ready for Pomona. Looking long term, a few races down the road, I think we’re going to have more of our new stuff in and I think it shows a lot of promise and we’re going to be better.”
Brittany Force, who scored John Force Racing’s first ever Top Fuel championship last year, ran two sub-3.7sec passes
“We’re very happy with how testing went. We came out here and made 10 passes and pretty much accomplished what we wanted to, especially on that last run,” Force said. “It was a pretty successful test session.
“It’s not just about getting the car down the track and making those runs but I’ve been out of the seat, the whole team has been away from the race track, so it really was also pulling together and finding our routine again and getting us ready to jump right into Pomona.”
John Force appeared encouraged with his team's performance, but not fully content with his own runs, despite a 3.894 pass.
“Everything is showing a lot of potential,” he commented. “Expected Alan Johnson and Brian Husen with Brittany with Monster Energy to be fast and they were. Robert Hight and Jimmy Prock with Auto Club were right on track. Brian Corradi and Daniel Hood running good numbers, good as anybody out here on that Advance Auto Parts car with Courtney.
“Looks like everyone is running pretty good. Me, I made one good run, ran an .89 but I gotta get that motor right. Jon Schaffer, Jason McCulloch and the whole team are working on it.”