Courtney Force took home the Wally from the No. 1 spot Sunday at the NHRA Sonoma Nationals when she dismissed competitors Peter Russo, Bob Tasca III, Matt Hagan and 16-time Champion John Force to score her fifth career win.
She became the winningest female driver in Funny Car history with the victory. She took that title from her sister Ashley Force Hood, who had four career Funny Car wins.
“I’ve just had my eyes set on Ashley for a while,” Courtney said. “There was a big cluster of people who had four wins and I kind of became obsessed with going for No. 5. You always want to do well and I know that once Ashley stepped out of the seat and started a family she had totally made herself.”
This is the third time she has won from the No. 1 spot and the sixth time she has qualified No. 1 in her three year Funny Car career. It is her first time winning at Sonoma, the 234th win for John Force Racing. Coming into Sonoma, she was 5-5 against her father, John Force.
Courtney took her Traxxas Ford Mustang straight down the race track to get her sixth win over her father. She is now vying with Alexis DeJoria to become the first woman Funny Car driver to win as many as three races in a single season.
“The pressure was actually off because I was already celebrating after I won the semis. I watched my dad win and I knew if I won the semis I was going to have him in the final and no matter what, one of us was going to be in the winner’s circle. One of us was going to win and at the end of the day it doesn’t really matter who it is. But dad has 140 win right now, I’d really like to just get five,” Force said.
Courtney currently owns the fastest speed in the history of 1,000 foot racing at 325.37 mph and has posted top speed in seven of 15 races this year. She also won the 100th pro tour event by a woman when she prevailed May 25th at Topeka, Kan. this year.
John Force was looking for his eighth win at Sonoma Raceway but the 16-time NHRA Mello Yello World Champion came up on the losing end of this epic family match-up.
“I was outrunning her at half-track by a car and then it rattled. It drove through that little bit of rattle and then it blew the tires off. I still thought I had her but she went by me right at the finish line. We were fast all day and they were a little slower,” John Force said.
* * * *
MELLO YELLO POINT STANDINGS
FUNNY CAR — 1. Robert Hight, Auto Club Ford Mustang, 1216; 2. John Force, Castrol GTX High Mileage Ford Mustang, 1097; 3. Ron Capps, 957; 4. Courtney Force, Traxxas Ford Mustang, 941; 5. Tommy Johnson Jr., 938; 6. Alexis DeJoria, 883; 7. Matt Hagan, 868; 8. Cruz Pedregon, 840; 9. Del Worsham, 816; 10. Tim Wilkerson, 762
TOP FUEL — 1. Doug Kalitta, 1223; 2. Antron Brown, 1177; 3. Shawn Langdon, 1065; 4. Tony Schumacher, 911; 5. Steve Torrence, 867; 6. Spencer Massey, 862; 7. Brittany Force, Castrol EDGE dragster, 824; 8. Khalid alBalooshi, 801; 9. Richie Crampton, 752; 10. JR Todd, 741
PRO STOCK — 1. Erica Enders Stevens, 1229; 2. Allen Johnson, 1107; 3. Jason Line, 1074; 4. Jeg Coughlin, 1073; 5. Dave Connolly, 1023; 6. Shane Gray, 931; 7. Vincent Nobile, 926; 8. V Gaines, 688; 9. Chris McGaha, 686; 10. Jonathan Gray, 568
PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE — 1. Andrew Hines, 853; 2. Eddie Krawiec, 762; 3. Hector Arana Jr, 614; 4. Hector Arana, 542; 5. John Hall, 516; 6. Matt Smith, 483; 7. Michael Ray, 462; 8. Scotty Pollacheck, 461; 9. Angie Smith, 435; 10. Steve Johnson, 430