Brittany Force hopes Monster Energy team keeps rolling in St. Louis

Brittany Force and her Monster Energy Top Fuel dragster team are hitting their stride at just the right time.
Force is coming off a spectacular victory in the NHRA Nationals last weekend at Maple Grove Raceway in Reading, Pa., cementing herself as a contender for the 2017 championship. That win followed a semifinal finish in the first race of the Countdown to the Championship in Charlotte, as Force has moved to third in the Top Fuel standings.
Can Force continue to rise as the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series heads to Gateway Motorsports Park for the AAA Insurance Midwest Nationals this weekend? Gateway marks the halfway point of the Countdown, with only three races remaining to determine the 2017 champion after this event.
“In the Countdown, there are only six races, and they’re all important,” Force said. “But St. Louis is the halfway point, so you’ve got to make sure you’re still on your game, still fighting and hanging in there to the final few.
“At this point, it’s anyone’s game. Each weekend, you go up, you go down. By the end of a weekend, everyone could swap places. It’s really important to hang in there, gain as many points as you can and perform well on race day. That’s what it’s all about. That’s our plan in St. Louis.”
Force is only one point out of second and 23 points out of first. With 20 points awarded to each round winner in an NHRA race, that’s not a big margin to make up.
Force is in her fifth year in Top Fuel, and she’s improved each season. She was 13th in her rookie season, 10th in 2014, seventh in 2015 and sixth last year. Could a title be in her future?
That’s the goal of Force, tuning consultant Alan Johnson, crew chief Brian Husen and the Monster team.
“I’m so lucky to be teamed up with Alan Johnson, Brian Husen and the entire Monster Energy team.” Force said. “I have to give it up to my entire team. With Alan and Brian and our team, we’re a one-car team out here, and it’s not easy, especially when you’re going up against multiple players.”
Two qualifying sessions are slated for Friday (5 p.m. and 7:15 p.m. Central) and Saturday (2 and 4:30 p.m.), with eliminations slated for 11 a.m. Central on Sunday.
Fox Sports 1 will broadcast an hour of Friday’s qualifying live at 5 p.m. Central and will have one hour of coverage on Sunday at 1 a.m. Central. FS1 will provide three hours of live eliminations, beginning at 1 p.m.
4-Second Reads:
  • Brittany Force has competed in four races at Gateway and every race since 2013, her rookie season.
  • Force is still looking for her first victory at Gateway. Her best effort in four races was a semifinals appearance in 2015.
  • Force is 4-4 in eight elimination-round races at Gateway.
  • Force is 3-1 in four first-round matchups at Gateway.
  • Force’s best qualifying effort at Gateway came in 2015, when she earned the No. 4 position.
  • Force is currently third in the Top Fuel points standings, one point behind Doug Kalitta for the second position. She entered the Countdown to the Championship sixth in the standings.
  • In 2017, Force has two victories, a 29-18 elimination-round record, and one No. 1 qualifier. She has set the event quick elapsed time twice, and event top speed a series-high six times.
  • In her career, Force has five victories, 116 elimination-round wins and seven No. 1 qualifiers.
  • Most recent NHRA victory – 2017 NHRA Nationals in Reading, Pa.
  • Most recent No. 1 qualifying effort – 2017 NHRA Route 66 Nationals in Joliet, Ill.
  • Best time/speed at Gateway – 3.746 seconds (2015); 327.11 mph (2015)
  • Best time/speed of career – 3.674 seconds (2017 Topeka Q3); 333.66 mph (2017 Topeka E1)
  • Force will be signing autographs Thursday, Sept. 28, from 5:30-6:30 p.m. at Circle K, 1242 Thouvenot Lane, Shiloh, IL 62269.

John Force Racing PR/Photo Gary Nastase and Auto Imagery

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