Gearing up for a new season

Courtesy of Force Racing

Courtney Force went from drag racing to dirt tracks at the Chili Bowl Midget Nationals.

My sister, Brittany Force, made a big announcement at our John Force Racing news conference at the beginning of January. She will be piloting the Top Fuel dragster during this NHRA season. She will be entering into her rookie season, just like I did in Funny Car, last year. I’m so excited for her and looking forward to our journey together on the NHRA circuit, traveling from race to race. There aren’t very many females that do what we do, but it’s exciting to see more entering the pro classes and breaking down those walls.

During an off weekend, I headed up to Tulsa, Okla., to experience the Chili Bowl Midget Nationals! My drag racing friends and I met up in Tulsa to get a taste of the different (and dirtier) type of racing. Being used to tire rub, clutch dust, nitro fumes and billowing clouds of smoke after a burnout at the drag races, we were a little out of our element. It was us three drag racing girls spectating at a dirt track event. We even made long sleeve shirts that read “From the Drags, to the Dirt” on them! When we got there I did a few interviews before walking through the pits and seeing what it was all really about.

It was so exciting to watch, but I wasn’t used to all the fumes inside of the Expo Center. I was wrapped up in a jacket with my hood on to rid off all the dirt being sprayed at me when they made the turns. We even wore clear glasses to keep dirt out of our eyes. I now officially understand what it must feel like to attend an NHRA event for the first time and try to grasp all the action going on around you. It was an awesome experience and I can’t wait to go back next year… a little more prepared.

From Tulsa we flew to West Palm Beach, Fla., and got back to what we know best, drag racing. It was great to be back in the cockpit of my Funny Car after what felt like a long offseason. Just a few days of testing with my teammates (my dad, John Force, Robert Hight and Brittany) reminded me how great it feels to be back at the track with everyone. My Traxxas team had one of the quickest and fastest race cars during testing and I even ran a career-best elapsed time of 4.01 seconds and fastest speed of 322mph. It was a great feeling having such a consistent race car before beginning the 2013 season.

I have such a close bond with my team because they are like family to me. I’m with them more than any of my friends, or even my actual family. These are the guys I have learned to trust with my life, literally, and appreciate all of their hard work and dedication that they put into this race team. We all have to work together and I’m so proud to have every single one of them working on my race car. We are all looking forward to the start of the new season.