YORBA LINDA, CA (January 25, 2011) --- Tuesday was graduation day for Courtney Force as the youngest daughter of 15-time NHRA Funny Car champion John Force was introduced during a press conference at John Force Racing corporate headquarters as the latest member of drag racing’s first family to begin a professional career behind the wheel of a Ford Mustang Funny Car.
While she officially will not be racing this year in the Full Throttle Drag Racing Series, the 22- year old will travel to all the events, make promotional appearances for sponsor BrandSource and test on Monday after select races.
“I am really excited about this. I have been completely focused on finishing at Cal State to get to this point. I know I have a lot to learn, but I have the best teachers in the world. Between teammate Robert Hight and my dad they knows everything about racing Funny Cars add in the fact that my sister Ashley came up through the sportsman series, just like I did. Those three drivers will give me a big advantage. They will have all the answers (and) it is up to me to learn as much as I can,” said Force.
For the past three seasons, Courtney has been evolving as a driver behind the wheel of a Jerry Darien-tuned Top Alcohol Dragster. In 2009, she picked up her first national win in Seattle and closed out the season with a final round appearance at the Auto Club Finals in Pomona.
In 2010, a rigorous academic schedule at Cal State Fullerton and an untimely incident in Seattle slowed down her on-track development. In mid-season, her BrandSource Ford Racing dragster was damaged and then sent to Ford engineers for safety evaluation, leaving the 22 year-old without a ride.
Not one to stand idly by, Force threw herself into “Funny Car 101” under the tutelage of her sister Ashley, 2009 champ and brother-in-law Robert and her father. The former cheerleader began learning the Ford Mustang Funny Car from the chassis up.
“At the beginning of ‘Funny Car 101,’ I just sat in a chassis,” she said. “My dad and sister wanted to make sure I was familiar with where everything was before I even started moving. We slowly progressed from just sitting to rolling and then towing the rolling chassis around the shop in Yorba Linda. I am also getting familiar with the feel of the brake, the steering and the levers since they are all different from my dragster. Hitting the throttle in Indy was a huge and I am excited to start testing in February.”
Force will be one of the first drivers to take advantage of the revised NHRA testing policy for new drivers. Under certain conditions, testing can be conducted for the purpose of new driver training and licensing as long as the race car utilizes a supercharger air intake restriction (restrictor plate) on all training runs. In order for Force to receive this exemption, prior approval was obtained from NHRA Director of TF/FC Racing Dan Olson and NHRA Sr. Vice President Racing Operations Graham Light.
Team owner John Force also announced that daughter Brittany Force has plans to get back into the three rail Top Alcohol Dragster class mid-season in 2011 behind the wheel of a new Ford engineered three railed dragster.