(11/06/12) The time of year that all NHRA fans, drivers and those associated with the series dislike the most has arrived; the end of the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing series season. With that comes the excitement of the 48th annual Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals, the battle for points and the competitiveness that makes NHRA what it is.
For rookie driver Courtney Force, it is a vacation, but not the way she prefers to spend her time.
“It's definitely bittersweet with my first professional season coming to an end. I loved every moment of it and really learned a lot in my Traxxas Ford Mustang. I'm excited for a little down time and being able to celebrate the holidays with my family, but I already can't stop thinking about next season and what's to come,” said Force.
Entering the Auto Club Finals this week in Pomona, Calif., rookie driver of the Traxxas Ford Mustang is sixth in the Funny Car standings. Force is only one of two members (Scotty Pollacheck, PSM) of the 2012 rookie class to earn a Top 10 finish and is itching to get out on the track for an extended racing weekend, Thursday through Sunday at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona.
“I'm so excited for Pomona and can't believe that it's already the last race of the season. It flew by! I love being back at my home track and hope to end my rookie season well,” said Force.
Last week for the 12th annual Big O Tires NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Force experienced her first redlight start of her career, something her father, 15-time World Champion John Force said contributed to a tough learning curve necessary in a rookie season.
“I learned a lot from my experience in the semifinal round in Vegas. Although I red lit, I need to put it in the past and out of my head going into the Finals at Pomona. I feel that every driver has been in a pressure situation like I was and has made the same mistake and all you can do is learn from it, say it happened and move on to the next one,” said Force.
The 24-year-old Yorba Linda, Calif. native has had an impressive season, appearing in three final rounds and scoring her first victory in only her 15th race at the O’Reilly Northwest Nationals at Seattle, Wash. They are now a finalist in the running for NHRA’s Hard Working Crew Award.
“My Traxxas team came together with all new guys at the start of the season and everyone had to learn how to work together as well as work with a driver who was a rookie still learning the ropes. I'm so fortunate to have a team of guys who are efficient, motivational, great at what they do and proud to be on a team together. They worked so hard this season through the ups and downs and I think they have proven that they deserve the Full Throttle Hard Working Crew award.
“We qualified in the 14th spot in Seattle, WA, which was the lowest we had qualified all season long, but came out on top and took out multiple champion drivers on our road to victory that day. I received my first professional Funny Car win with my Traxxas team and they deserve all of the credit; that's why I really want them to win this award so please go and vote for them!” said Force.