Advance Auto Parts driver Courtney Force maintains third in points after St. Louis quarterfinal finish

Courtney Force maintained third in NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Funny Car points standings after a quarterfinal finish in Sunday’s AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals at Gateway Motorsports Park.
Force, driving the Advance Auto Parts Chevrolet Camaro SS, made two strong passes in the 3.88-second range, winning her first-round matchup against No. 10 J.R. Todd before falling to her father, No. 2 John Force, in the second round.
Her 3.884-second pass at 334.32 mph was her second-best pass of the weekend, just seven thousandths of a second off her best qualifying run of 3.877 seconds. She ran right down the middle of the track, while Todd smoked the tires early and finished without a challenge. That paired her up against John Force, who advanced to the second round despite smoking his tires midway down the track.
John Force got the jump on the Christmas tree with a .041-second reaction time, and that made a big difference. Courtney Force closed the gap at several increments but couldn’t pass her father by the finish, falling by about 14 feet.
“Came out in Round 2 and had a matchup against my dad and that PEAK car, and unfortunately he beat me on a holeshot, so it was a tough day,” Force said. “It’s a tough loss for me as a driver. My guys gave me a great race car and we’ll be ready to go again in Dallas.”
Still, Courtney Force stayed third in the standings. She recorded a pair of finals appearances leading into St. Louis, and is still within one race of the points lead with three races remaining in the season and the Countdown to the Championship.
“It was a great job by my Advance Auto Parts team,” Force said. “I’m really proud of my guys. They gave me a fast race car all day. We’re halfway through the Countdown and still in a good spot as we retained the No. 3 spot even after this weekend. We’re going to have to make things happen in Dallas.”
The next race on the NHRA circuit is the AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals at Texas Motorplex in Ennis, Texas.
4-Second Reads:
  • Best Qualifying Effort: 3.877 seconds/329.50 mph (Round 2, Qualified No. 7)
  • Elimination Round 1 (Right Lane): 3.884 seconds/334.32 mph (RT – .080 seconds), def. No. 10 J.R. Todd, 4.321 seconds/270.21 (RT – .061 seconds); right down the groove while Todd shook the tires; vs. Todd – now 3-1 all-time; 3-1 this season; 1-0 at St. Louis
  • Elimination Round 2 (Quarterfinals, Left Lane): 3.888 seconds/328.30 mph (RT – .094 seconds), lost to No. 2 John Force, 3.913 seconds/330.88 mph (RT – .041 seconds); late start but tried to reel dad in, falling short by about 14 feet; vs. John Force – now 9-15; 2-1 this season; 1-1 at St. Louis
  • Now 156-131 (287 rounds) all-time in elimination rounds (.544)
  • Now 10-12 (22 rounds) all-time in elimination rounds after qualifying No. 7 (.455)
  • Now 7-5 (12 rounds) all-time in elimination rounds at St. Louis (.583)
  • Now 25-20 (45 rounds) this season in elimination rounds (.556)
  • Funny Car Points Standings: 1. Ron Capps 2395; 2. Robert Hight 2349; 3. Courtney Force 2287; 4. Matt Hagan 2238; 5. Jack Beckman 2228; 6. John Force 2197.

John Force Racing PR/Photo Gary Nastase and Auto Imagery

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