YORBA LINDA, Calif. --
Fri, 22 Dec 2017, 18:10 PM
Brittany Force Recaps the 2017 Season
Courtesy of Sara Slaughter
Photo copyright 2017 Auto Imagery, Inc.
Brittany Force, pilot of the Monster Energy Top Fuel dragster, took some time to look back at how the whole 2017 season came together to earn her the
first Top Fuel world championship for John Force Racing and the first by a woman in 35 years. Force
ended the year with four race wins, two runner-up finishes and two No. 1 qualifiers. A strong
showing in the Countdown to the Championship secured her first Top Fuel world championship.
Q: You finished the season with a three hat Sunday. Green hat for the No. 1 qualifier, yellow
hat for the race win and white hat for the championship. Does it get any better than that?
No, it's pretty incredible to see what Alan Johnson, Brian Husen and our team pulled off that day.
Not that we just won a championship but we won at my home track and were the No. 1 qualifiers. That
just seems absolutely unreal. Its because of the group and support that I have around me that I'm
able to pull it off.
Q: At the start of the 2017 season, how confident were you in the potential of the Monster
Energy Top Fuel team?
I was confident in our team coming into our 2017 season. Especially looking at how well we did in
2016, we brought home our first win and had a handful of races we won. That was huge. Now, looking
at the championship, I didn't see that coming until later in the season. When it really came down
to things and we really started moving up the ladder is when I started focusing on that. All I had
to compare it to was last season and how well we did and we wanted to improve this year which
obviously we did.
Q: Looking back at the regular season, what was the high point before the Countdown to the
High point would have to be going right into Epping. We were struggling a lot. Couldn't figure out
our car. I mean, smoking the tires every single run. We'd get down the track maybe one out of the
four qualifying passes and then we wouldn't do well on race day. We went testing right around
Topeka time and when we went out to Topeka we qualified pretty well, had a good weekend. We didn't
win but I knew that was a huge turn around for us. I knew we were on to something. I knew we were
going to be okay. And then just two weekends later we won Epping. That was a big turning point for
all of us.
Q: Talk about the highs and lows of the Countdown to the Championship.
I want to say we won 18 out of 24 rounds in the Countdown which is just unbelievable to me that we
were able to pull that off. It proves to you that the Countdown is when it really matters, that's
what it comes down to. It is all about that Countdown, that's how you move up in the points and we
had a strong Countdown. But there are moments of highs and lows. Obviously, the highs, the wins,
going rounds but the biggest low was that red light in Vegas. Not only was it a red light but it
was a final round red-light and that was tough because we should have won that race. It was driver
error, my fault but I sucked it up. My guys patted me on the back and we left it in Vegas. We went
into Pomona trying not to think about that and I think that's how we did so well all weekend long.
Q: You and Robert Hight doubled up in Dallas and then you both went on to win championships.
You're the only JFR drivers to double up. Can you tell us about how special that feels?
It is pretty amazing. Robert and I seem to have that luck together. My first win ever was in
Gainesville was in 2016 with Robert. My first race and to have Robert there, it wasn't just my
first win but it was the first double-up for John Force Racing. So it was huge. That's something
special because Robert is family and he's helped me throughout this whole journey of mine, back in
Super Comp, A-fuel, Top Fuel, getting licensed in a Funny Car. He's been there all along the way
and really helped me out. Being able to double up and win with him is pretty incredible. But the
fact that we both got a championship, that just seems so unbelievable. It's something that I am so
proud of. John Force Racing hasn't had a championship win since 2013 so it's been a while and then
to get two in one year is pretty incredible.
Q: When you crossed the finish line in Pomona and knew you won the championship, what was the
first thing you thought?
The first thing, I said it probably a hundred times with my helmet on, still buckled in was,
'There's no way. Oh my gosh, there's no way, there's no way, there's no way.' I probably said it a
million times before I got out at the other end. Because, I mean, yeah, you're so close, all you
have to do is win the round but anything could go wrong. The driver could screw up, the car could
just not perform well, you could get out run, it could be anything. When it all came down to it, I
had all the confidence in my team. I felt good that day, jumping in the car and driving and that we
were going to be okay. To see the win light and know what you've accomplished, everything you've
ever worked for. It makes all those days where you struggled or had bad days or runs, it fixes all
of it. It really makes everything worth it. Seeing that win light, it was accomplishing something I
never imagined we could do. It was a dream come true.
Q: Have you thought about what 2018 will be like as the Top Fuel champion?
I'm ready to go into 2018 after ending our season so well. We're all on this high and I'm still
there with all this energy, this excitement. I want to get back in the car and I want to keep
driving. We did so well all countdown long and then in Pomona what we did was just unbelievable.
Its like, I don't want a break now I want to get back out here and do it again. I want to go back
and relive it all. I'm ready for 2018. There's changes, there's rumors going around, there's a lot
happening but I'm excited. I'll be ready to get back in my race car and it's going to be pretty
cool to have a No. 1 on my car.
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