In this age of uncertainty, when few people know what they want to do with their lives and fewer still seem happy with their choices, 24-year-old Courtney Force is a welcome anomaly. When she first realized what she wanted to do for a living, the graduate of Cal State-Fullerton couldn’t even spell “race car driver.” Now, 19 years later, she is one – and a very good one.
The 2012 recipient of the Automobile Club of Southern California’s Road to the Future Award as the NHRA Rookie of the Year, the driver of the Traxxas Ford Mustang approaches her second season with the same enthusiasm she did her first. “I learned a lot in my rookie season and I know I have a strong team behind me especially with my crew chiefs Ron Douglas and Dan Hood. Plus, I have great teammates to lean on and provide insight so I’m just going to keep learning all I can and see where it takes me.”
A national spokesperson for Ford Motor Company’s Driving Skills for Life initiative, the youngest of drag racing icon John Force’s four daughters wasted little time last year showing off her competitive skills. “I always dreamed of racing against my dad,” she said, “and it’s just awesome to finally be out here and be part of the JFR team. I'm so thankful for the opportunity and the support of Traxxas and all my other sponsors."
A semifinalist in just her second race, the former high school cheerleader started from the front of the Funny Car field two times, took her black-and-red Mustang to four final rounds and claimed a breakthrough victory in the O’Reilly Northwest Nationals at Seattle, Wash., beating 2011 series champ Matt Hagan in the final. Ultimately, she finished fifth in the driver standings, equaling the best ever showing for a Funny Car rookie.
Courtney Force Traxxas Ford Mustang