John Force is a legendary Funny Car driver who has built a racing dynasty. Last year, he extended his Funny Car World Championships record to sixteen, and his daughter, Brittany Force, won the NHRA Rookie of the Year* award as a Top Fuel driver. Brittany’s younger sister, Courtney Force, won the award in 2012 as a Funny Car driver, and her older sister, Ashley Force Hood, won the award in 2007 as a Funny Car driver as well. To top it all off, Force’s eldest daughter, Adria Hight, is the CFO of John Force Racing.
The Force family has continued their winning ways this season. Courtney won the Lucas Oil Kansas Nationals in May, which was the 100th Pro Win for Women. John won the season opening event, the Circle K NHRA Winternationals, in February, and Brittany got to her first final at the CARQUEST Auto Parts Nationals in Phoenix.
Courtney spoke about what the 100th win means to her, “It’s an honor to be number 100 on that list of legends like Shirley Muldowney, Angelle Sampey, Melanie Troxel, my sister Ashley is on that list, Erica Enders-Stevens, and it’s just cool to top off the list of number 100 with my name on it. Us girls I think have a 100 more to go, and I think that’s the coolest part. It’s a big milestone.”
Brittany Force will be one of the main contributors to the next 100 wins for women. She is a couple years older than Courtney, but she came to professional racing later, “I went to school at Cal-State Fullerton to be an English teacher. So I went on and got my teaching credential, and I still planned to stay in racing. I never thought I’d be competing with the pros in a Top Fuel car. I always loved watching them. I’d go up and watch Tony Schumacher, and all those drivers, and I always thought they were crazy because I would never get in one of those things.” Brittany added, “And it’s crazy because now I’m actually driving one, but the opportunity came along, and I wasn’t about to pass it up. So I jumped in the car, and got hooked on it, and completely changed my path.”
Courtney knew she wanted to be a professional drag racer since she was in kindergarten, “I told every kid in my class, ‘I’m going to grow up, and I’m going to race against my Dad,’ and I kept telling him, ‘You can’t retire until I’m old enough to race you.’” Courtney has realized her childhood dream to compete against her Dad, and also has four Funny Car wins.
And if there was any speculation whether or not four-time Funny Car winner Ashley Force Hood can still race after retiring in 2011, John said, “We put her in [Courtney’s] Funny Car a month ago in Vegas, in case one of us got hurt, and boy, she went right down in four runs in a row. So, you know, kids are good. I’m proud of [Courtney] getting that 100th. I got a retirement sooner or later, you girls are going to take care of me.”
*The NHRA Rookie of the Year award is called the Automobile Club of Southern California Road to the Future Award.