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BRAINERD, MN– Courtney Force and Brittany Force led the way for John Force Racing in qualifying today at the 39th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway. Both of the Force daughters finished up the first day of qualifying as the No. 5 provisional qualifiers in their respective classes.

The Traxxas Chevrolet Camaro SS Funny Car that Courtney powered to a 3.892 second pass was a brand new race car for the fifth year pro and was sporting a new paint scheme. At the end of the day Force was glad to get two runs but a little sorry she had to wait ten days to get back into her 10,000 hp Nitro Funny Car after her crash in Seattle.

“I almost wish I could have hopped back in my car an hour after the accident in Seattle. I was happy to have the weekend off to take the time to go through physical therapy. I was in a brand new car today which was also something I was thinking about. It was exciting to make two solid passes. I am glad we are in the top half of the field and get that No. 5 spot,” said Force. “That is a great start for the weekend and I have to thank my Traxxas crew guys. They put in a lot of hard work this past week getting it built and ready for this Brainerd race. I also have to thank all the fans for their support this week and especially today at the ropes.”

The last pair of Funny Cars in the first session included Courtney Force driving the Traxxas Chevrolet Camaro SS Funny Car. Force was making her first run since she brushed the wall at Pacific Raceways two weeks ago. After the incident Force was transported to a local hospital and released later that evening. Since then the No. 2 driver in Funny Car points has been participating in daily physical therapy sessions but she was eager and a little nervous about hitting the throttle again.

When the tree flashed Force mashed the throttle and powered down the track with a respectable 3.920 second run at 317.34 mph which was the fifth quickest pass of the first session

“Thank God I feel good after that run. I was a little nervous but it felt fine. My guys have been working hard on this Traxxas Chevy. This is a brand new race car with a cool new paint scheme. That was a good run to get qualifying started,” said Force after the Q1 run.

Brittany Force and the Monster Energy Top Fuel dragster stepped up on the performance front in the second session. A thick layer of clouds rolled over the track dropping temperatures, improving track conditions and ultimately lowering the elapsed times. Crew chief Brian Husen put a strong tune up in the Monster Energy dragster but did not want to risk over-powering the track. The results were a solid 3.775 second pass at 318.62 mph that jumped Force up to the No. 5 provisional spot.

“We were definitely looking at the weather for tomorrow. We are hoping to get two runs in but if we get rain you never know. It feels good to make a decent run down the track. It wasn’t as strong as we wanted but it puts us in the show at No. 5 which is a respectable spot. We are happy with that and feel good about stepping up for race day,” said Brittany Force, the 2015 Lucas Oil Nationals runner-up.

Right behind Courtney Force were teammates John Force and Robert Hight. In the second session the 8-time Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals winner and Courtney’s father was in the lane beside the youngest Force daughter. While Courtney was running to the No. 5 spot John Force was sliding into the No. 7 spot with a 3.915 second, 328.06 mph run. The Blue DEF/PEAK Antifreeze Chevrolet Camaro SS Funny Car ran in the 3.9 second range right off the trailer and crew chief Jon Schaffer was looking to dramatically step up in the second session.

Robert Hight and the Auto Club Chevrolet Camaro SS Funny Car made a great opening session run of 3.933 seconds and in the second session his Mike Neff tuned Funny Car launched hard but lost traction and will go into Saturday as the No. 9 qualifier.

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Aug. 20, FS1 will televise two hours of qualifying coverage at 10 pm (ET).

Aug. 21, FS1 will televise three hours of live finals coverage starting at 2 pm (ET).

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JOHN FORCE, 67, BlueDEF/PEAK Antifreeze 2016 Chevrolet Camaro SS

Qualifying: 7th at 3.915, 328.06 mph

Bonus Qualifying Points: 0

ROBERT HIGHT, 46, Auto Club 2016 Chevrolet Camaro SS

Qualifying: 9th at 3.933, 318.99 mph

Bonus Qualifying Points: 0

COURTNEY FORCE, 28, Traxxas 2016 Chevrolet Camaro SS

Qualifying: 5th at 3.892, 317.34 mph

Bonus Qualifying Points: 0

BRITTANY FORCE, 30, Monster Energy Top Fuel Dragster

Qualifying: 5th at 3.775, 318.62 mph

Bonus Qualifying Points: 0

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Saturday, August 20

3rd round qualifying 1:30 PM

4th round qualifying 4:00 PM

Sunday, August 21

Final Eliminations 11:00 AM


FOLLOW JOHN FORCE RACING AT www.twitter.com/jfr_racing



Elon Werner

John Force Racing, Inc. .




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