Usually, the child borrows the car from the parent. But in this case, father borrowed the car from daughter. And it’s sitting No. 1 after one day of qualifying for the Virginia NHRA Nationals on Friday at Virginia Motorsports Park.
Driving the Chevrolet that Courtney Force used to win at this race in 2018, John Force made a track-record pass of 3.899 seconds at 321.88 mph to secure the provisional No. 1 spot in Funny Car. Courtney Force decided to step out of her Camaro after the 2018 season, with her dad taking over that car and team for this year.
“I was in the final here last year against my daughter Courtney,” Force said. “Courtney won, but I’m driving Courtney’s car. That’s her team with Daniel Hood and Brian Corradi and all those kids. That car was fast. It was heading toward the championship last year. … I’m in that car, but they’re having to transfer a lot of weight because I’m a little bit bigger that her, 50, 60 pounds.
“But it’s starting to come around and it’s a different game. She got the win there. And I got low ET so far. It won’t last tomorrow.”
John Force edged Tommy Johnson Jr. to take the provisional No. 1 in the second qualifying session Friday. Johnson made a run of 3.922 at 323.58 mph, with Don Schumacher Racing teammate Ron Capps third at 3.927 at 321.50 mph.
Shawn Langdon (3.964 at 316.45 mph) was fourth, with Force teammate Robert Hight (3.967 at 326.32 mph) fifth.
Force sits at 149 victories for his career, and he hopes to get historic win No. 150 as soon as he can.
“Hate it,” Force said of chasing the 150th win. “Every time you get something in your mind, then the media … TV’s hyping it every week, having to show reruns of me. When it happens, it just happens. But I’ve struggled the last couple years. … That’s not John Force’s style. I remember going to the winner’s circle, and told Brittany this today, I remember getting ready to go to the winner’s circle, sitting in the truck with Austin Coil, saying, ‘Oh, God, we’ve got to do this again?’ I will never say that again. It’s a real lesson for taking something for granted.
“I’d like to win 150, mainly to get it out of the way. I know it’s coming, unless I get hurt. Probably be the only reason I won’t get it because I’m going to win sooner or later.”
Richmond returned to the NHRA schedule in 2018 after the Franklin family took over the track. Force praised track owner Tommy Franklin, himself a Pro Mod racer, for making improvements to the facility.
“I want to thank them, first of all,” Force said. “My crew chiefs and a lot of crew chiefs are saying this was the smoothest track on the circuit. That’s what we live for.”
— Competition Plus (@competitionplus) January 4, 2019