Advance Auto Parts driver Courtney Force still seeking title as NHRA heads to Vegas for penultimate race

It’s crunch time for Courtney Force and the Advance Auto Parts Chevrolet Camaro SS Funny Car team.
With two races remaining on the 2017 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series calendar, Force and team need a strong result in the penultimate race of the season and the Countdown to the Championship this weekend at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway if they want a shot at being crowned champions next month.
Force is currently third in Funny Car points standings, still with a realistic chance at winning the title. She sits 171 points out of the lead and 147 points behind teammate Robert Hight, second in the standings. Sixth heading into the Countdown, Force used back-to-back finals appearances in Concord, N.C., and Reading, Pa., to leapfrog into third, where she has stood after the previous three events.
But in the last race, the AAA Texas FallNationals at Texas Motorplex in Ennis, Texas, Force’s car shut off without warning in her opening-round matchup, costing her a chance to gain ground.
“We’re going to have to turn this thing around at Vegas,” Force said. “We’ve got a good race car and need to be on it when we get there. Hopefully we can continue to go rounds, because this championship isn’t over yet. We know there’s points-and-a-half when we get to Pomona, so we’ll see what we can do.”
The NHRA Nationals would be the perfect time for Force’s first victory of 2017 and first in Las Vegas. She has three runner-up finishes at the track, including last year’s race when she raced in the finals against her father, 16-time Funny Car champion John Force.
In April’s race, the first of two at Las Vegas this season, Force recorded a No. 1 qualifying effort, the first of four in succession.
Force will continue to drive the special pink livery, working with Young Survival Coalition in an effort to bring about awareness of breast cancer. She also competed in the pink car earlier this month Texas.
The NHRA Nationals begins with a pair of qualifying sessions at 2:30 and 5 p.m. Pacific on Friday, and two sessions at 2 and 4:30 p.m. Saturday. Elimination rounds begin at 11 a.m. Sunday.
Fox Sports 1 will provide live television coverage of Friday’s qualifying starting at 6 p.m. Eastern, with Saturday’s qualifying scheduled for a one-hour show at 3 p.m. Eastern on Sunday. Elimination rounds will be shown live starting at 4 p.m. Eastern on Sunday.
4-Second Reads:
  • Courtney Force has competed in 11 races at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and every race since the 2012 Spring race during her rookie season.
  • Force has three finals appearances at Las Vegas – both races in 2013, and the 2016 Fall race. Two of the three appearances came against father, John Force.
  • Force is 14-11 in 25 elimination rounds (.560) at Las Vegas.
  • Force has two No. 1s at Las Vegas – the Spring races in 2014 and 2017.
  • Force is currently third in Funny Car points standings. She started the Countdown to the Championship in sixth.
  • In 2017, Force has a 25-21 record in 46 elimination rounds and seven No. 1 qualifiers, the most she has recorded in a single season. She has been to four finals this season, including two races in the Countdown to the Championship.
  • Courtney Force has faced 17 different drivers this season in elimination rounds and has at least one win against 15 of them. She has a season-high three elimination-round wins over Jim Campbell, J.R. Todd and Jeff Diehl.
  • In her career, Force has eight victories, 156 elimination-round wins, and 17 No. 1 qualifiers.
  • Most recent NHRA victory – 2016 NHRA SpringNationals in Baytown, Texas
  • Most recent No. 1 qualifying effort – 2017 NHRA Carolina Nationals in Concord, N.C.
  • Best time/speed at Dallas – 3.867 seconds (2017 #1 Q1); 327.82 mph (2016 #2 E1)
  • Best career time/speed – 3.815 seconds (2017 Topeka Q2); 338.68 mph (2017 Topeka E1)

John Force Racing PR/Photo Gary Nastase and Auto Imagery

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