Top Fuel driver Brittany Force talks about her sophomore season with an eye on her third year racing in the NHRA’s quickest and fastest pro category. In 2014 Force raced to four final rounds and three No. 1 qualifiers on the way to reaching the Countdown for the first time in her young professional career.
What was the biggest highlight for you last season?
Brittany Force: The biggest highlight of my 2014 season was locking into the NHRA Mello Yello Countdown in the No. 7 position in Brainerd. That was a proud moment for me knowing regardless of the final races I would be standing on stage at our awards banquet next to the best Top Fuel drivers!
Can you talk about your growth as a driver in your second season?
BF: I've definitely come a long way and believe I have improved as a driver since my rookie season. I feel I'm more of a competitor on the track now that I've gained some experience and seat time. Everything from reaction off the starting line to pedaling the car are things I feel more confident about, especially on Sunday. I also have noticed I feel much more comfortable in the seat which plays a big part in performance on the track. Like I've always said I still have so much to learn ahead of me but I feel like I'm off to a pretty good start.
You reached some personal goals in 2014 but what are you looking forward to in 2015?
BF: In 2015 my main goal will be earning my first win and locking into a proud position in the Countdown when our season concludes. I want to go beyond what our team did last year by winning some races, locking into the Traxxas Shootout, qualifying at all 24 events and moving up the ladder from our number 10 finishing position.
Many called 2014 the year of the woman, what do you think about that?
BF: I'm proud of all the ladies in our sport and I'm glad the 100th win was achieved during our 2014 season. Woman are definitely moving into this sport and I think that could be inspiring for our female fans in their own personal achievements at home, in work or even in life. With 100 wins set, I know that's not the end and woman in the sport will advance beyond that much quicker than the first time around.
What do you think will motivate you the most heading into 2015?
BF: Being able to start the season with a clean slate is what really motivates me going into the 2015 season. Rolling into Pomona where everyone will have the same point standings means anything is possible in my third season! Also, I already have a list of goals for this season which will also be personally motivating throughout the entire season in itself.
When you look at the competitiveness of your respective classes what excites you the most about being a Top Fuel driver?
BF: The thing that most excites me about being a Top Fuel driver is knowing I'm in the same playing field as drivers I grew up watching and drivers I look up to today. The even better thing is pulling up next to those drivers on race day and turning on the win light. There is no better feeling than going rounds on race day with your team. The other great thing about driving is the teamwork that goes into this sport. I'm proud to know I have a supportive team behind me regardless of the day’s events. We are all one team and we keep each other motivated and fighting for what we want.
Where do you think you improved the most this past season?
BF: I feel I improved the most this past season in my comfort level in the seat. I feel much more confident about doing my job as a driver, making sure to keep the car in the groove, having a decent reaction time, and pedaling the car on a run if needed. During my first season I was still learning so much, but now I feel I have just as good a chance winning a race because I'm doing my job as a driver.