2013 Auto Club Road to the Future Award winner Brittany Force is proving to herself and others that with experience comes success – in this season’s first three races, she’s posted her career-best e.t. and speed, and she made her first final-round appearance. She’ll be looking for lady luck to help her out some more when the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series visits The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals, Friday through Sunday, March 28th through 30th.
“Heading into the 2014 season the Castrol EDGE team now has a year of experience to work from,” said Force. “We are starting to come together and jell, we just need a few races to keep figuring it out. I believe we can continue to improve our starting positions and continue to go rounds. I think we’re heading in the right direction. Our car has been running extremely consistent especially with new crew chief Todd Smith on board.”
Force is no stranger to The Strip, having previously visited the track as both a spectator – to see her father John race Funny Cars – and a competitor.
“I have lots of great memories in Vegas as I remember watching my dad race here when I was younger,” said Force. “Between racing Sportsman cars and my Castrol EDGE Top Fuel Dragster, I’ve been down that drag strip so many times.”
Force made her career-best run at the season-opening NHRA Winternationals in Pomona, with a pass of 3.778 seconds at 326.24 mph. One race later at Phoenix, she took out Tony Schumacher, David Grubnic and Steve Torrence in early rounds to reach the finals, where she narrowly lost to 2012 Top Fuel champ Antron Brown.
“Reaction times are still the toughest part,” said Force. “You can practice all you want, but it's completely different when someone's in the next lane and you're strapped in with a helmet on and the engine making all that noise behind you. I'm still learning, and I'll be learning for a while."
She’ll continue the learning process at Las Vegas, which suits her just fine.
“Todd Smith and the rest of the team have been working really hard since Gainesville and have fixed the bugs that plagued our Castrol EDGE Dragster during qualifying,” said Force. “I’m pumped to be heading back (to Vegas) as I got my first round Top Fuel win against Kalitta here last year. I love the Vegas track as it’s beautiful and the Castrol EDGE team is ready to go some rounds.”
Qualifying for the SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals begins Friday, March 28th at 1:30 and 4:30 p.m. PT, followed by two more sessions on Saturday, March 29th at 1:10 and 4:50 p.m. PT. Final eliminations take place Sunday, March 30th beginning at 11 a.m. PT. Keep up with the action at www.nhra.com.
Quotes in this piece provided by the NHRA.
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