YORBA LINDA, CA (August 31, 2009) --- Brittany and Courtney Force used their powers of persuasion on their father and team owner John Force to attend this past weekend’s Lucas Oil Divisional event at Heartland Park Topeka. The pair used the event as a tune up race for the 55th annual Mac Tools U.S. Nationals. Courtney qualified her Sanyo Supercharged HD dragster No. 3, with a 5.362 second pass and Brittany in her Brandsource A Fuel dragster was right behind her in the No.4 spot with a 5.271 second pass.
Courtney dropped her first round match-up against Winnipeg’s Scott Murray, 5.609 to a 5.485, but she gained valuable experience as she wound up pedaling her Sanyo Supercharged HD A Fuel dragster to strong finish. She also had a stellar best of the round .029 reaction time.
“I started losing traction I got off the throttle and then got right back into it when my dragster settled down. I got it back under control and almost caught up to him at the finish line. My dad was pretty proud of how well I handled my dragster which made me feel a little better,” said Courtney Force. “Our team did a really good job getting back into the groove at the track. I know my crew chief, Jerry Darien, and the guys were ready to get back to racing. All my crew guys worked extremely hard all weekend, I wish I could have gotten that first round win for them but we did our best. Just being in Topeka just gave us more time to prepare for Indy.”
Brittany won her first round match up with Chase Copeland of Walters, Oklahoma, but fell to No. 1 qualifier Monroe Guest, of Mannford, Oklahoma, in the semis. Against Guest Force’s Brandsource A Fuel dragster smoked the tires at the hit of the throttle ending her day before the final.
“Truthfully because it was my first time I think I will be better able to explain it when it happens again. It happened so quickly it was the first time I ever felt that and I really couldn’t tell you what I felt,” said Brittany. “At the top end I thought maybe I did something weird or that I did some double step thing.”
“We weren’t planning on running the Topeka divisional but at the last minute Courtney and I decided to go. I got some runs on my Brandsource A Fuel dragster and I got more experience since I haven’t been in the car in a while. Just being able to be in the car at Topeka and then to go the next week to Indy will make me more comfortable. It also helps out the team because it gives us a better tune-up for (crew chief) Jerry Darien to use going into Indy.”
The pair has been racing consistently all summer at divisional and national events with Courtney picking up her first career win in Seattle at the NHRA Northwest Nationals. In an odd turn of events Brittany had a chance to pick up the pairs first Wally at Englishtown when one of the semi-finalist winners broke and would not be able to return for the final. Brittany’s semi-final race became the de facto final with the semi-final winner of her race being named the event Top Alcohol Dragster winner.
Heading into the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals Courtney Force is excited about racing on the NHRA’s biggest stage.
“I’ve been thinking a lot about the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals lately. Ashley won this race her rookie year in Alcohol Dragster, my dad has won this race, Robert Hight, my brother-in-law, has won it twice including last year in funny car. It would be the most amazing thing ever to win Indy,” said the youngest Force. “It is the biggest race of the year and it is such a big accomplishment. It would be awesome for me or Brittany to get a win there. Just being at the event and racing at that track is pretty awesome by itself. If we were lucky enough to get a “Wally” that would just be icing on the cake. I am going to try and go into it thinking it is just another race. I don’t want to change my mind set at all.”
Brittany Force is still looking for her first win and racing into the winner’s circle at the biggest race of the year has crossed her mind. She can pull from her sister Ashley experience to focus on making a big impression.
“Winning at Indy would be an amazing feeling. You never know what is going to happen. I am waiting for my first win and I am hoping it is going to come this year. I know it takes time but I couldn’t imagine winning Indy,” said Brittany. “I know it was so exciting for Ashley when she won her first race in her A Fuel dragster to be at Indy. There is so much more added pressure because it is Indy. Just being able to race in the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals is enough excitement right there.”
The youngest Forces will begin their quest for Indy success on Friday, September 4th with the first qualifying sessions at noon and 3:30 p.m. at O’Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis.