Courtney Force

Driver of the Advance Auto Parts Chevrolet Camaro SS Funny Car

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Courtney Force, 28, has emerged as one of the most exciting young stars in the Mello Yello Series as the driver of the Traxxas Chevrolet Camaro SS Funny Car. Blessed with her father’s gift for gab, the former high school cheerleader has become one of the most popular interviewees in the series.  Always considered the daughter most likely to join her father in the family business, Courtney hasn’t disappointed. 

The professional driver is approaching her fifth season in Funny Car with a determined attitude to bounce back from a tough 2015. A true championship contender after three strong Top Ten finishes in 2012 (5th), 2013 (7th) and 2014 (4th) this season the 2012 Rookie of the Year is determined to race for the title. Courtney has qualified for every national event, started from the front of the Funny Car field ten times, taken her Traxxas Camaro SS Funny Car to seventeen final rounds and claimed eight Funny Car victories.

Most recently Force added her name to the record books as the first female to win the Traxxas Nitro Shootout the $100,000 to win specialty race held at the Chevrolet Peformance U.S. Nationals. Force became the fourth different JFR Funny Car driver to win a specialty race joining her father John Force (8 wins), Gary Densham (2004) and Tony Pedregon (2003). It was the third Traxxas Shootout win for JFR in the five years of the $100,000 to win specialty race.

Her Funny Car win in Sonoma in 2014 made Courtney the winningest female Funny Car driver and she extended that record setting performance with additional wins in Dallas and St. Louis. This season she picked up a win in Houston to move her into the points lead and position her as a threat for the championship racing into the Countdown as the No. 4 driver in the points. Racing has never been about gender but more about the excitement and competition.

Courtney has had top speed in her Traxxas Funny Car a total of 19 times throughout her career. Courtney and her sister Brittany made history at the 2014 NHRA Kansas Nationals in Topeka, Kan. when the pair qualified at the top if the respective categories. Courtney then doubled up on the history-making when she picked up the 100th professional win for women on Sunday. 

In 2012, Courtney received the Automobile Club of Southern California’s Road to the Future Award as the NHRA Rookie of the Year after finishing fifth in the driver standings, equaling the best ever showing for a Funny Car rookie.

The former high school cheerleader earned a degree in Communication from Cal State-Fullerton and is now making the most of her opportunity to compete at drag racing’s highest level. Her preparation for a pro career included a six-year apprenticeship in Super Comp and Top Alcohol dragsters. She attended Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School, where she was tutored by one of her current rivals, 2012 Funny Car Champion Jack Beckman, followed by private tutoring in sister Ashley Force Hood’s informal “Funny Car 101" class and a full season of testing in a Funny Car.

After turning pro, the graduate of Cal State-Fullerton won a race in her rookie season and two more in her second year including the prestigious NHRA Winternationals at Pomona, Calif.  Racing for crew chiefs Dan Hood and Ronnie Thompson, she has covered the 1,000 foot course in an official 3.855 seconds (Seattle 2016) at 331.45 (Topeka 2016) miles per hour.

Having the ability to drive a 10,000 hp Funny Car capable of zero-to-320 mile per hour acceleration in little more than four seconds won the attention of ESPN The Magazine, who placed Courtney on the cover of ESPN’s The Body Issue along with a piece on fitness and health in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series. In addition, Courtney has appeared on the cover of Traxxas Magazine, Speed Sport News, National Dragster, Drag Racing Action and Autoweek over her four year career.

 

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