Courtney Force continues impressive qualifying streak
BRISTOL, Tenn. (June 17) - The search for consistency continues for Courtney Force and her Advance Auto Parts Chevrolet Camaro SS team, even after another terrific qualifying effort on the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series tour.
Force qualified No. 4 for the Thunder Valley Nationals this weekend at Bristol Dragway, marking the 35th consecutive race she?s qualified in the top half of the field. Plus, she?s qualified in the top four in all 11 races this season.
?We will go into race day in the No. 4 qualifying position, which is still a great start for our Advance Auto Parts Chevy Camaro team,? Force said. ?I?m really happy that we got that one solid run down the track, but we still need to find some consistency in the heat. I was hoping we?d get that done today, and we didn?t.
?It?s going to be a little bit more nerve-wracking going into race day tomorrow than it has in the past for us. We?ve got a tough first-round matchup with J.R. Todd, but hopefully our Advance team can get it together. I have a lot of confidence in my guys that we?ll get it done and find the consistency that our race car needs.?
Force?s best pass came in the second qualifying session, when she made a run of 3.952 seconds at 324.90 mph. She?ll square off against No. 13 qualifier Todd in the first round Sunday, as Todd made a top lap of 4.067 seconds at 307.72 mph.
?We?re still looking for some consistency out there this weekend,? Force said. ?Q4, we were pushing the car hard. Our 60-foot incremental times looked pretty amazing to go for that top spot, but like my crew guy Austin Prock said, ?Low ET or no ET.? I found that kind of funny.
?We were definitely shooting for the stars on that last run, but we overpowered the track and started spinning the tires.?
Force had good early numbers in Q4, but she slowed to a run of 4.412 seconds at 197.28 mph.
Final eliminations are scheduled for noon Sunday. Fox Sports 1 plans broadcast three hours of finals coverage at 6:30 p.m. Sunday.
4-Second Reads (Courtney Force):
- Qualifying Round 1 (Left Lane): 5.251 seconds/139.82 mph; strong run until the 400-foot mark (No. 9 of session and No. 9 overall; no bonus points overall)
- Qualifying Round 2 (Right Lane): 3.952 seconds/324.90 mph; solid run down the track (No. 3 of session and No. 3 overall; one bonus point in session and one bonus point overall)
- Qualifying Round 3 (Left Lane): 5.284 seconds/130.91 mph; cylinder out at the start (No. 7 of session and No. 3 overall; no bonus points this session and one bonus point overall)
- Qualifying Round 4 (Right Lane): 4.412 seconds/197.28 mph; ran well until midway point then slowed (No. 9 of session and No. 4 overall; no bonus points this session and one bonus point overall)
- This is the second time this season and 15th time in her career Force has qualified No. 4. She also qualified No. 4 in the NHRA Gatornationals in Gainesville, Fla.
- This is the first time Force has qualified No. 4 at Bristol, and marks the highest she has ever qualified at the track.
- Force?s matchup against J.R. Todd marks the second time the two will compete against each other, with Force taking the first meeting between the two in the second round of the season-opening NHRA Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, California.