John Force Racing
January 11, 2012 by staff
John Force Racing, Funny Car legend John Force is the first to admit he’s not too in touch with what’s going on with his daughters these days. “They are on computers and Twitter and do apps and that stuff,” Force said. “I can’t even figure out my telephone. Racing is something I know. This is something I can teach because I understand it. It gives me a chance to do something for my kids.”
He’ll have a chance to play teacher again as his youngest daughter Courtney announced on Tuesday that she will race this season in the NHRA Funny Car class alongside her father. Courtney Force, 23, will drive the Traxxas-sponsored Ford Mustang, making her debut Feb. 9 at the O’Reilly Auto Parts Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway in Pomona, Calif.
Courtney Force spent all of last season testing for the jump to the Funny Car class. Now she’ll do so as a member of John Force Racing.
“I’m a little nervous but if you’re nervous, you’re not ready to reach when you need to,” Courtney Force said Tuesday. “You need to be confident when you drive the race car. That definitely helps a lot. Stepping up into the professional ranks is exciting. It’s something I wanted ever since I was a little kid.”
John Force likes to joke that if he had sons, the racing path would have been a lot easier for them. His daughters are showing that talent knows no gender.
Ashley Force Hood was a star in the Funny Car class before taking off the 2011 season to have a baby. She won’t race this year, either, but Courtney will fill that Force void in the Funny Cars. Brittany Force, another of John Force’s four daughters, will test-drive a Top Fuel dragster this year.
However Courtney Force fares this year, she knows she’ll have the support of her family. Her father knew she was ready for the jump, but finding a sponsor was the chief concern. Now the team has one in the Dallas-based remote-controlled car company.
And now she’s ready for the next phase of her career.
“It’s all been a little bit overwhelming,” said Courtney Force, who will have Ashley’s former crew chief in Ron Douglas. “To be in the Funny Car, I really can’t believe it. To be able to compete with my father is very exciting. I thrilled and everything. I’m ready to make the transition.”
Courtney Force isn’t ready to make any predictions about what 2012 will bring. First, she wants to be competitive with a brand-new team.
Her father has no idea what to expect out of her on the track, either. But the teacher did stress several points to her.
“I gave her like five things,” said the always-talkative 15-time Funny Car champ. “Love her sponsor. Love the NHRA. Love the fans. Love driving these hot rods. But at the end of the day, be safe. That’s all I can give you. If you think you can drive over your head because you’ve got magic, I don’t know what’s going to happen. I don’t know what to expect out of her. I’ve seen guys that were good in testing, good in qualifying and freeze up when it counted. I’m not going to do that to my kid.”
As for the expectations that come with being a Force, Courtney isn’t racing on name only. She won in top alcohol dragsters at the Northwest Nationals in Seattle in 2009. She also has the backing of one of the best teams in the sport in JFR.
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