In the lane beside the 16-time Funny Car champion was 2013 Auto Club Rookie of the Year and Top Fuel driver Brittany Force.
JUPITER, FL --- John Force and the Castrol GTX High Mileage Ford Mustang Funny Car made the last run of the 4th annual PRO Winter Warm-Up posting the quickest elapsed time of the day for the Funny Cars, a 4.013 second blast but for a couple hundred feet it looked like he might not be the first to the finish line.
In the lane beside the 16-time Funny Car champion was 2013 Auto Club Rookie of the Year and Top Fuel driver Brittany Force. It was the first time these Forces have clashed and a quirk in the ladder provided the opportunity for Force to complete the trifecta and race his second youngest daughter. Previously Force had raced daughter Ashley Force Hood and Courtney Force.
We both flickered the bottom light trying to get shallow. I knew if she went (down the track under power) she would beat me. Even with that 4.01 or if I ran 3.98 if she ran a 3.80 she would have me. I tried to get after her on the light but she actually left on me. It was fun for the crowd. We had great racing all weekend.”
For the soon to be sophomore driver racing her legendary dad came with its own pitfalls and challenges even before they took to the Palm Beach International Raceway track.
“That 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.
“It was definitely fun and I want to do it again. I have to beat him. He beat me down there and it was pretty cool for the fans. I didn’t see him until we did our burnouts and then I saw him again when I shook and he shot past me. I was fun to be able to say I raced my dad.”
The Castrol EDGE Top Fuel dragster shook the Goodyears loose at about 200 feet as the Castrol GTX High Mileage Ford Mustang Funny Car raced away to the finish line.
Force was the quickest on Saturday but he had to run quicker than teammate Robert Hight in the Auto Club Ford Mustang, 4.019 at 316.97mph and Del Worsham, 4.014 at 318.17 mph. Force’s first run of the day at the PRO Winter Warm-Ups was an impressive 4.036 seconds which was quickest of the first session. In the first session Courtney Force was second quickest with a strong 4.077 second pass in her Traxxas Ford Mustang.
Photos courtesy of Richard Shute/Auto Imagery and Gary Nastase Photography for media use only.