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Feb 19, 2014 - 06:10 AM
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2014 NHRA: Courtney Force Ready For Break-Through Success In Phoenix
Posted by: newsla on Feb 19, 2014 - 06:09 AM
2014 NHRA: Courtney Force Ready For Break-Through Success In Phoenix

Courtney Force, pilot of the Traxxas Ford Mustang Funny Car, is heading to the newly re-named and re-vamped Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park (formerly Firebird Raceway) for the 30th annual CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Nationals this week.


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"Our Traxxas Ford Mustang team is looking forward to going out to Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park this year. We've been hearing about the track's improvements all throughout the off season and it sounds like it is going to be a great track to race on. We're really looking forward to it and we're definitely excited to get back out there,” said Force.

At the season-opening NHRA Winternationals, the Traxxas Ford Mustang team qualified in the No. 7 spot, made a clean, straight pass and posted a 4.083 ET, but fell victim to Funny Car driver Matt Hagan.

“I'm looking forward to this weekend and see it as a chance to redeem ourselves from the Winternationals. I've got a hard working crew and great crew chiefs with Ron Douglas and Dan Hood and I'm ready to get back out there and make use of the qualifying runs to learn more about this car and hopefully go more rounds on Sunday,” said Force.

At the 2012 NHRA Arizona Nationals, Force’s rookie season, she lined up beside her father, 16-time World Funny Car Champion John Force, in the opening round of eliminations and won. That day, Force appeared in her first semi-final round, ironically against teammate and brother-in-law Robert Hight.

“I've had some memorable rounds in Phoenix and have done well at this track in the past. Racing my dad for the first time ever was definitely a career highlight for me so this track holds a special place in my heart. Having these memories here get me even more excited to head into the race. Knowing we have done well in the past makes me eager to try and do even better this year in my Traxxas Ford Mustang,” said Force.

Also in 2012, Force qualified 12th with a 4.180 at 297.75. Today, Funny Cars are running in or near the 3-second mark, motivating NHRA teams and taking the level of competition to new heights.

“It's so cool to see it become so much more common for the Funny Car class to be breaking into the 3's more frequently. I have yet to make that kind of a pass in my Traxxas Ford Mustang Funny Car, but have the confidence in my team that it's only a matter of time, especially since both of my JFR teammates have done it. I'm proud to be a part of this team and it makes me eager to push my car harder in Phoenix and join that club of drivers who have made a 3-second pass,” said Force.

The 25-year-old driver set the track speed record at Phoenix during her rookie year with a 315.71, but John Force topped the speed in February 2013 with a 316.82 mph pass.

“Being that my Traxxas team had the track speed record here before my dad took it from us with a 316 mph pass gives me the confidence that we could possibly take that back this year. My car usually has pretty good speed and has more consistency on runs so I think it's definitely a possibility in Phoenix,” said Force.

This race track has hosted this particular race since 1985, three years before Force was born. Recently, improvements have been made to the race track including a new timing and scoring system for the drag strip, and the replacement of 700 grandstand seats that had previously been removed.

"This race has been around a long time so I hope we can make some great runs and put on a show for all the fans. It will be a great kick-off to the 2014 NHRA Mello Yello race season, being only the second race on tour, so I hope we can give everyone a great show," said Force.

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