COMMERCE, Ga. (April 30, 2012) – Coming out of the O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Spring Nationals in Houston, Texas this past week, Courtney Force accomplished one major goal by beating fellow “Rookie of the Year” candidate for Auto Club’s Road to the Future award, Alexis DeJoria. Now, she moves on to the seventh event in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing circuit, the 32nd annual Summit Southern Nationals, May 4-6 at Atlanta Dragway.
Overall, Force had a great experience at Houston’s Royal Purple Raceway, taking out the only other female competitor in the Funny Car category and snagging her very first qualifying bonus points of the season when she bolted to the no. 2 spot with a 4.15 ET in the first round of qualifying on Friday.
Force had lane choice of DeJoria in first round of eliminations and posted a 4.126 ET at 309.98 mph to DeJoria’s 4.202 ET at 294.31 mph making the margin of victory 0.0645 seconds (approximately 28 feet).
“Going up first round we knew we had a tough competitor in Alexis. We pulled it together. We ended up running a 4.12 against her and getting that win light,” said Force.
This was the quickest and fastest pass of the weekend for the Cal State-Fullerton graduate and sent Force to face-off with Ron Capps in round two of eliminations. Unfortunately, that’s where Force would fall to the numbers of Capps.
“It was a close race. It was definitely tough going up against Ron Capps. We ran a 4.17 to a 4.16. I saw him right out my window. I was really holding on and hoping for that win light,” added the 23-year-old Auto Club Road to the Future “Rookie of the Year” contender.
This weekend’s Summit Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway has significance to the Force family, especially the daughters, as Ashley Force became the first female to win an NHRA Funny Car race there in 2008.
After qualifying 11th, she beat Del Worsham, Jim Head, Ron Capps and, finally, her dad, John Force, to win the Summit Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway.
The year before, in a first round race, she became the first woman ever to beat her famous father, something Courtney Force accomplished at only her second professional race earlier this year at the NHRA Arizona Nationals. She posted a 4.146 ET at 307.30 to take the win. At that race she also advance to the semi-finals before falling to eventual winner Robert Hight.
“I’m so excited going into the Atlanta race and feel like I’m learning so much as a new driver. The racetrack in Atlanta is fairly new to me, but I feel confident having a great car, amazing team and supportive sponsors in Traxxas, Castrol, Ford, Auto Club, Mac Tools, BrandSource and Freightliner. Ashley (Force Hood) won the 2008 Summit Southern Nationals and became the first woman to win a Funny Car event, so I’m really excited to get there and try it out,” Force said.