By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
Advance Auto Parts Funny Car pilot Courtney Force had a lot of her mind on Sunday. Yet, she was able to put everything aside — including seeing her father, John Force, in a scary crash — to get the win.
Force defeated Make-A-Wish Foundation Funny Car pilot Tommy Johnson Jr. in the final around to win the NHRA Arizona Nationals at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in Chandler, Arizona. She went 3.834 at 337.16 mph, while Johnson Jr. went 6.814 at 101.57 mph.
This is Force’s first win with her new team led by Brian Corradi, her new crew chief.
“Having [crew chief] Brian Corradi on my team and working with Dan Hood has been a great connection for our entire team,” she said. “I had the utmost confidence to get in the car today because of the job my team does on it, so to get a victory at this race and take home a Wally at the end of the weekend is pretty incredible.”
Force, the No. 1 qualifier, snapped a 43-race winless streak with her win in Phoenix. Her last win came on May 1st, 2016 at the NHRA SpringNationals in Houston, Texas.
“Every single one of my guys on the Advance Auto Parts Chevy Camaro has been working so hard,” she said. “Today was a tough day. We had a 40-minute turnaround in the semifinals and didn’t have lane choice in the finals, but we were able to go down there and lay down a killer number.
“Thanks to my guys. They helped give me the confidence to get in that car today. They make me feel safe in that car, because of the amazing job they do on it. Brian Corradi and Dan Hood, they’ve been unbelievable, getting us the No. 1 qualifier hat and then to top it off get the Wally at the end of the weekend. Pretty incredible. Definitely a great start to our season. Been looking for a win for a long time now. Feels like forever. This one definitely feels good and I know it will make my dad feel better.
Force, the living legend, was involved in a scary crash in the second round that also involved Jonnie Lindberg. This is the younger Force’s sixth career win.