LAS VEGAS (March 27, 2012) – Following an unexpected weekend in Gainesville, Fla. for Courtney Force and her recently assembled Traxxas Ford Mustang team, all are looking to regroup and make a strong comeback in Las Vegas for the 13th annual SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals.
Two weeks ago, the Tire Kingdom NHRA Gatornationals didn’t exactly go as Courtney force and her Traxxas Ford Mustang team had planned. The 23-year-old rookie Funny Car driver and youngest daughter of drag racing legend, John Force, smacked the guard wall during her 3rd qualifying attempt and suffered minor bruising from the car.
“Every time I’m in the seat of my Traxxas Ford Mustang Funny Car, I’m learning something new. When I hit the guardrail in Gainesville it was just another lesson learned. As a rookie driver I’m figuring out each racetrack and the different things that come with it. Obviously every racetrack and lane is different, although NHRA does a great job prepping it for each race. With my particular run it pulled me a little to the outside, which was immediately when I should have just stepped off. However, I stayed in it just a little too long which caused my car to shoot me over to the wall.
“The best thing I learned from that run is timing and that I needed to get right back in the car after hitting the wall on a run like that. My team hustled to be ready for the next qualifying pass and I was ready to jump right back in it. Dad made it clear that it was crucial to ‘jump back on the horse’ after a hit to the wall like that, and I’m glad I did. I was ready to get my car qualified and was able to run my best E.T. of qualifying on that final pass which is exactly the boost of confidence me and my team needed!” Force added.
The weekend had its ups and downs, giving Force a firsthand experience in overcoming a Funny Car crash, essentially building awareness in herself and a stronger sense of dependence in her brand new crew. Through it all, Force and the Traxxas team led by Ron Douglas still managed to qualify in the No. 12 qualifying position.
“After having some trouble on one of my runs where I hit the wall, it made it a challenge for my team to be ready for the next session that same day. All four JFR teams came together to put together our spare Traxxas car and have it ready to run in that next session,” said Force. “I was so proud in this moment to be a part of a team that came together so quickly to help each other out. I was so thankful we were able to get it done and we were able to pull it up for the next qualifying session. On that pass we ran the quickest E.T. throughout all of qualifying and it definitely made all of the hard work pay off. I think it made us stronger as a team and made everyone realize that we could pull it off under a time constraint and even under all that pressure while getting the work done efficiently.”
Force suffered her first opening round loss since her Funny Car debut during Sunday’s eliminations, but managed to keep from slipping too many spots in the points. She was holding onto the No. 6 spot going into Gainesville and left 7th in points. She will now attend her 4th race of her career hanging on to a top ten position even after her collision and first round loss in Gainesville.
“It’s so unreal to think that our Traxxas team is 7th in the points being that this team was built from scratch while having a rookie driver in the seat. It proves that we have accomplished so much already and we will strive to work harder and do better at every event. I’m so proud to have them as my team and to have Ron Douglas as crew chief. It gives me confidence as a driver this early on in the season, which makes me excited to see where it will take us!”
“I’m very excited going into the 4th race of the season in Las Vegas. Being that I’ve been through some ups and downs already makes me that much more excited to get out there and drive this Traxxas Ford Mustang down The Strip with a little more confidence. Our team has built confidence thus far and I know we learned a lot from our runs in Gainesville so I’m feeling more comfortable in the car and excited to see how we do going into the event,” said Force