ENNIS, Texas -- While John Force's second-youngest daughter, Brittany, will become the fourth member of the legendary family to race at Texas Motorplex, she's not exactly cut from the same cloth as the other three.
Yes, that's correct. After competing only in Funny Cars for the last 35 years, a Force finally will be in a dragster at the Sept. 19-22 AAA Texas NHRA Fall Nationals, the second race in the Countdown to the Championship.
"It really is an honor to be the first to drive a Top Fuel dragster at John Force Racing," Brittany Force said. "This team has done so much to evolve over the years and adding a Top Fuel car into the mix, I believe will help us continue to grow as a team."
Thus far, her rookie season in Top Fuel has definitely been a learning experience, but that's exactly what she expected. "I thought I was through with school when I got my bachelor's degree, but there really has been a lot to learn," said the Cal-State Fullerton graduate who raced Super Comp dragsters for seven years before this season.
"I'm excited to be out there. I'm racing against all these guys that I grew up watching. A lot of them have given me tips and advice, asking me if I had any questions. They've been great."
As she continues to learn and find her way around the world of Top Fuel racing, Brittany realizes her family's name and their success leads to high expectations for her. That's going to happen when your dad owns 15 Funny Car championships, 135 wins and is the sport's all-time winningest driver, your older sister was the first female Funny Car winner (2008) and your younger sister already has three Funny Car victories in her short career.
However, she's keeping it all in perspective.
"When Ashley came out, she had her own set of goals," she said. "Same with Courtney. Same with me. I'm going down my own path. For me, it's not about comparisons to Ashley or Courtney; it's about setting my own goals and achieving them myself in time."
The Motorplex, where her dad has more wins than any other driver with six, certainly would be a great place for Brittany to get her first win, but since this will be her debut in Ennis, she's trying to balance expectations.
"Every track I go to is a rookie track for me," she said. "This is my rookie year, so every racetrack I've been to has been new to me in my Top Fuel dragster. I'm looking forward to it (the Texas Motorplex). Unfortunately, we won't be in the
Countdown to the Championship (she's currently 13th in the points) this season, but this Castrol EDGE team is going to go after its first win."
"I'm excited to be heading back to Texas. That's one race I would always go to. It's always fun to go out there with the entire family. I have good memories there and the fans are always great. It's super-motivating to all drivers because they are always out there wanting autographs and take pictures and meet you, so that's always motivating to me as a driver." Tickets for the AAA Texas NHRA Fall Nationals are available now, ranging from just $10 to $380 for weekend packages. Youth tickets for children 12 and under start as low as $5. For tickets or more information, please call the Texas Motorplex office at (800) MOTORPLEX or visit www.texasmotorplex.com.
Gates open at 10 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 19 with sportsman qualifying runs between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. Two rounds of professional qualifying, at 2:15 and 5:15 p.m., highlight the Friday, Sept. 20 schedule, along with sportsman qualifying throughout the day. Saturday, Sept. 21 is packed with sportsman eliminations and the final two rounds of professional qualifying at 11:15 a.m. and 2:15 p.m.
Gates open at 8:30 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 22, with pre-race ceremonies at 10 a.m. and final eliminations getting under way at 11 a.m.
Texas Motorplex was the first all-concrete stadium-style drag racing facility ever constructed. Built in 1986, Texas Motorplex has been the place of many drag racing milestones and world record performances. The Billy Meyer-owned facility hosts a number of racing and car show events between March and November each year and also features the Champion's Club - an 11,000 square-foot facility - that serves fully catered events throughout the year.
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