This Week in Ford Racing July 29, 2010 John Force's daughters, Brittany and Courtney Force, have grown-up at the race track. Now in their 20s, the youngest Force drivers are making names for themselves in NHRA's Top Alcohol Fuel Dragster class.
This Week in Ford Racing
July 29, 2010
John Force's daughters, Brittany and Courtney Force, have grown-up at the race track. Now in their 20s, the youngest Force drivers are making names for themselves in NHRA's Top Alcohol Fuel Dragster class. Both Brittany and Courtney talked about the time they spent as children at the track and their futures in the sport.
Brittany Force, driver of the BrandSource A Fuel dragster
WHY DID YOU DECIDE YOU WANTED TO RACE? WAS IT BECAUSE YOU GREW UP AT THE RACE TRACK? "Its home to us; the race track is our second home. We're used to it and we've grown up out here. We know everybody and we love being out here with the race cars, the race track. Ashley got into racing and Courtney and I watched her and followed her footsteps and now we're all out here."
YOU'RE WORKING ON A DEGREE IN EDUCATION. CAN YOU TALK ABOUT YOUR SCHOOLING? "Yes, I just got my BA in English and now I'm doing a year of credential work, which I'm half way through, to get my teaching license."
ARE YOU LOOKING AT TEACHING AS A CAREER INSTEAD OF RACING OR IN ADDITION TO RACING? "I'm thinking I can maybe manage both somewhere in there, somehow. I don't know, but I'm keeping my options open."
HOW DO TEACHING AND DRAG RACING GO TOGETHER? "They are completely different, but they do have things that are the same. You have to have patience. I just started student teaching, so I'm still learning a lot about it. Out at the race track, you're always learning something new and it's the same thing in the classroom."
WHAT AGE CHILDREN ARE YOU STUDENT TEACHING? "Seventh and eighth graders."
DO THEY KNOW WHO YOU ARE? THAT YOU ARE PART OF THE FORCE FAMILY, OR DO THEY NOT GET IT? "They didn't have a clue until my sisters and I did an appearance at an elementary school. We handed out awards to kids that tested really high, so those kids have brothers and sisters at my school and brought home papers with my name on it, and they were like, 'That's my student teacher,' so towards the very last week of school they all figured it out and went to the computer lab and looked up my name on the internet. So, they know."
DO YOU EVER HAVE TO SAY, 'I WANT TO BE INCOGNITO, SO MAYBE I'M GOING TO CHANGE MY NAME THIS WEEK AND NOT TELL ANYBODY WHO I AM'? "It was good all year up until that very last week, so hopefully the new kids coming in after summer, hopefully, they won't know about what I do out here on the weekends."
WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR GOING PRO? "I love my A-Fuel car. I'm not sure. Funny Car is an option for me, but I love my A Fuel car right now and I just want to stay with my car."
DO YOU SEE THE DAY WHERE ALL THREE FORCE GIRLS RACING AGAINST EACH OTHER IN THE FUNNY CAR? "I don't know. Maybe I'll be in the BrandSource A Fuel still and she'll [Courtney] move over."
THAT WOULD BE INTERESTING TO HAVE ALL THREE OF YOU RACING IN THE PRO RANKS. IT WOULD PROBABLY DRAW A LOT OF ATTENTION TO THE SPORT. "Yeah, it could. Courtney definitely wants to move up into Funny Car. She's still kind of undecided, but she wants to do that. We'll have to see what happens. I love what I'm doing right now, so I'll just stick with it."
Courtney Force, driver of the BrandSource/Ford Drive One A Fuel Dragster
TALK ABOUT COMING FROM A RACING FAMILY. HOW LONG HAVE YOU HAD THE RACING BUG? "I think I've had it for a little while now. Ever since I grew up, I would be drawing pictures of me racing my dad in a Funny Car. Now that I'm racing Top Alcohol Dragster in my Ford and BrandSource car, it's a lot different because it's reality and I actually get to live the dream. My dad and all my sponsors are helping me do that. I've got a little bit more time left in college, I graduate in December. Hopefully after that I can go pro, but we'll see."
TALK ABOUT WHAT YOU'VE BEEN DOING GETTING READY FOR YOUR NEXT STEP IN RACING. "He's [John Force] has been towing me around in Robert's Funny Car at our shop. There's nothing really in the seat that's right. The clutch pedal is not there, a lot of things are missing, but he just wanted me to get the feel of it because a Funny Car is completely different than a dragster. He just wants me to get a feel of both right now until we make a final decision on what we are doing and see where it goes."
YOU WERE DRAWING THESE PICTURES OF YOU AND YOUR DAD RACING WHEN YOU WERE FIVE. "Yeah, that's probably about right. Ever since I was little we came out to the track with my dad and my whole family. I just loved being here, walking around with my headphones on trying to keep the noise out, but I always knew of all my sisters, I always told my dad that I would be the one to race with him. I was, 'I can't wait. I'm gonna drive a Funny Car with you. Then we could race together.' Now it's 15 years later and I'm here at the track racing with all of them. It's great."
HAVE YOU EVER WONDERED WHY YOU HAD SUCH A PASSION FOR RACING? IS IT FROM BEING AT THE RACE TRACK OR IS THERE SOMETHING IN THE GENES? "I don't know; it might be something in the genes. We've all kind of been addicted to this sport for a really long time. I don't know why, for some reason I knew I wanted to do it before anyone else in my family. Once Ashley got in the car, I knew it was actually something that I could possibly do in the future. It's just something I've loved being around. Maybe because I kind of grew up as a tomboy hanging out with guys all the time when I was little and they all liked cars and I just kind of loved being around it. And talking about it with my dad and watching him do interviews and race his car."
YOU ARE THE SOCIAL MEDIA PERSON IN THE FAMILY BECAUSE YOU DID THE FORD FIESTA MOVEMENT. YOU'RE REALLY INTO THAT KIND OF STUFF. "Yeah, it was a lot of fun. It's always fun filming and telling people about all the Ford cars are their new products. It was a lot of fun for me. I got to drive the car for seven months and create videos and put it on the website. It was fun because it gave another way, besides the race track, to interact with fans and get feedback from them. I have a niche for doing that kind of stuff. I don't know if it is because I'm the youngest in my family. Ashley and Brittany don't really understand all the social networking stuff as much as I do, which probably makes me a dork, but whatever."
HOW OFTEN DO YOU THINK ABOUT RACING? IS IT A WEEKEND THING OR ARE YOU IN THE SHOP WHEN YOU'RE NOT AT THE TRACK? "I love being around the cars. I love being at the shop, but I try to keep some sanity. I've seen how my dad gets and he's a workaholic and I'm trying to differentiate between having a social life and having a race car career. Even though it's been leaning more towards racing, I don't get to see my friends as much. But that was my whole plan; I know what I'm getting myself into. I plan on dedicating myself to the sport. I'm not around the cars as much at the shop probably because I can't do as much on the race cars."
ON COLLEGE. "I supposed to graduate in December, and then I'll be finishing with my bachelors in communications and entertainment studies."
WHAT DOES DAD SAY ABOUT GRADUATING FROM COLLEGE? DOES HE SAY, 'GET THE DEGREE, THEN WE'LL GET REALLY SERIOUS ABOUT RACING?' "Yeah, we don't really know. He won't even give me an answer and I don't know either. With my family, school has always been more important and we need to get that done first. And then we'll take it from there because I will have a lot more free time to put all my efforts into it."
YOU KNOW WHAT IT'S GOING TO TAKE BECAUSE YOU'VE LIVED IT BEING AROUND YOUR FATHER. "Ever since I was little, I pretty much traveled the circuit with my dad as much as I could. I would always hope my mom would let us out of school early and let us miss a day so we could go to the race track. It's going to be a lot more events if I went pro than what I'm obviously racing now. It's a lot harder to lug my homework around to different race tracks which is what I've been doing for a while. Racing got a lot harder in college. I had to bring a stack of books to the track and work on it. Now that it's kind of easing up, it's going to be a lot better to come out to the tracks with just one focus."
DOES THE DECISION FOR YOU TO GO PRO NEED TO COME THIS FALL SINCE THE SEASON STARTS IN FEBRUARY? "I'm not sure. I think I plan to get a lot of seat time. I don't want to rush into going pro and go and win a championship. I know it's not that easy. It's going to take a lot of work and I know I've got to get my dad and sister to train me in any way possible, even if it takes a few months or two years. It doesn't really matter to me. I would rather go out and compete knowing that I know what I'm doing and confident about my driving and being comfortable in the race car. Instead of just going out trying to wing it and make people think I don't know what I'm doing. I want people to see that I'm trying and not just act like it's no big deal. It's definitely going to be a big deal."
YOU HAVE A GREAT SUPPORT SYSTEM AND EXPERTS AROUND YOU. "There's a lot of people and friends we have in Fuel Funny Car and the guys my dad has raced with. We kind of grew up around them and we're friends with them - Capps, Densham and the Pedregon brothers, all of them; we're used to hanging around them all the time. Even in Top Fuel Dragster, we'll be up there in the staging lanes with Schumacher. It's a lot of fun. There are a lot people that have been really nice and just asked me about it and talked about it. It's going to be very intimidating, but I'm excited."
-source: ford racing