Advance Auto Parts driver Courtney Force notches No. 6 qualifying position in Dallas

Courtney Force knows the difference between two days of qualifying and Sunday’s AAA Texas FallNationals at Texas Motorplex will be about as different as day and night.
After two days of qualifying in ambient temperatures in excess of 90 degrees – with track conditions exceeding 119 degrees – race day conditions are expected to be considerably cooler, with first-round eliminations expected in the mid-60s.
That means there’s no clear favorite to win the 22nd Funny Car race of the 2017 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season and fourth of the annual Countdown to the Championship.
Which may be perfect for Force, driver of the Advance Auto Parts Chevrolet Camaro SS Funny Car. She’s been strong in the heat and good in cooler conditions as well this season, and with her new pink livery, hopes to put the car into winner’s circle for the first time this season.
She’ll try to do it from the No. 6 qualifying position. Her best run came Friday afternoon, when she notched two bonus points with a pass of 3.928 seconds at 331.94 mph. After two subsequent runs in which she slowed once, then smoked the tires on another, Force was on a good final run before the pan pressure shut the car off before she coasting to the top end. Still, she managed the third-quickest run of the session – 3.957 seconds at 308.64 mph.
Force will face off against No. 11 Daniel Wilkerson, whose best run was 3.987 seconds at 311.13 mph.
“We’re excited going into race day,” said Force, the 2014 race winner. “We didn’t have the consistency we were looking for through qualifying, but the conditions are going to change tomorrow; it’s going to be a lot cooler than what we qualified. It’s going to be a whole new game plan, and we’re going to see where the Advance Auto Parts team is going to go.
“We’re in the middle of the Countdown to the Championship, so we’re going to have to give it all we got. We hope for a long race day. I’m also excited to see my teammate (Robert Hight) go to the No. 1 spot in the AAA Texas car,” added Force, referring to Hight’s late-pass that netted him the top position by one thousandth of a second.
Eliminations for the 32nd annual AAA Texas FallNationals begins at 11 a.m. Central. Three hours of live television coverage begins at 1 p.m. Central on Fox Sports 1.
4-Second Reads:
  • Qualifying Round 1 (Right Lane): 3.928 seconds/331.94 mph; strong run right down the middle for second best of session (No. 2 of session and No. 2 overall; two bonus points in session)
  • Qualifying Round 2 (Left Lane): 5.292 seconds/134.19 mph; slows just after the 300-foot mark (No. 13 of session and No. 5 overall; no bonus points in session and two bonus points overall)
  • Qualifying Round 3 (Left Lane): 7.302 seconds/85.88 mph; goes into smoke around the 300-foot mark (No. 17 of session and No. 5 overall; no bonus points in session and two bonus points overall)
  • Qualifying Round 4 (Left Lane): 3.957 seconds/308.64 mph; strong run but pan pressure shut the car off prematurely (No. 3 of session and No. 6 overall; one bonus point in session and three bonus points overall)
  • This is the first time this season and 12th time in her career Force has qualified No. 6 for a race. The last time she qualified No. 6 was at Gateway Motorsports Park in 2016.
  • This is the first time Force has qualified No. 6 at Dallas. Her best qualifying position is No. 1 – in 2012 and 2014.
  • Force is looking for her first victory from the No. 6 position. She has two semifinals appearances as best performances.
  • Force’s first-round matchup against Daniel Wilkerson marks the first time the two will compete against each other.

John Force Racing PR

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