Family support means everything

Courtesy of Courtney Force

The members of the Force family are each other's biggest cheerleaders, with dad John and his daughters Brittany, left, Courtney, center, and Ashley, right, all racing on the circuit at one time or another.

It's been a wonderful year. I'm so proud of my Traxxas team for all their hard work. We just wrapped up the Western Swing, where we raced our way to two back-to-back semifinal round appearances and moved up a spot in points!

It takes a lot of hard work, concentration and dedication when you're running three races in a row. I'm so proud of all our John Force Racing teams, and I really think we're getting back on the right track at the right time.

Being on the road with my friends and family and getting the opportunity to race a Funny Car at the same time is one of the greatest things on Earth. I'm fortunate I get to do a job that I love, and I get to compete against my dad and cheer on my sister, Brittany, in the process.

Courtesy of Courtney Force

The Force sisters continue their tradition of wine tasting, visiting wineries in Sonoma, Calif., where they can get away from their hectic lives.

The most frustrating thing as a driver is losing on a holeshot, which means your competition left the starting line before you. I won on a holeshot in Sonoma, and the following weekend I lost on one. It happens to everyone at some point, but it is the worst feeling knowing you let your team down on that run.

As a driver, you do whatever you can to be the best. I'm constantly on my practice tree -- working on my reaction times and trying to improve. Luckily, I have a great group of guys who are my support system. They cheer me up even when I know I've let them down. It's the toughest part as a driver, but I'm so thankful I have a team that will stick by my side no matter what and will always remind me that "we win as a team and lose as a team."

Now, it's crunch time, and I'm eager to get this Traxxas Ford Mustang Funny Car clinched in the NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship. I'm looking forward to Indy, and we will of course strive for our first win at "The Big Go," the biggest race on the NHRA circuit.

I'll also be cheering on Brittany, who needs to win the fan vote/lottery style drawing on Wednesday morning before the race to get the last spot in the Traxxas Top Fuel Nitro Shootout! I campaigned for the last spot in the shootout last year, and it was pretty stressful. You need to get as many votes as possible because after that your votes go into a lottery where only one person is drawn to win.

In between the Sonoma and Seattle races, I hung out with my sisters, continuing our tradition of wine tasting in beautiful Sonoma, Calif. A driver took us to local wineries, and we had a great time just being with each other, away from our crazy busy lives.

After a semifinal-round finish for our team and a runner-up finish for my dad, we headed over to Lake Tahoe for some vacation time with family and friends.

We went out on the lake for a day of boating at Emerald Bay and Sand Harbor and did some tubing and tanning. Lake Tahoe is one of our all-time favorite vacation spots, and it's awesome to be able to go there with my family between races to recharge our batteries. While in Tahoe, we hit the beach and just used the time to relax. We even visited our former race track chef, Jonny Roscher, at his newly opened restaurant called Za's in Tahoe City. The food was amazing, and I'm pretty sure our family tried everything on his menu.

I love getting to compete in my Funny Car, being out at the race track with my family and just enjoying the atmosphere that surrounds us all every weekend. It's an amazing sport, and I'm proud to be a part of it. Growing up I always knew I wanted to be a race car driver like my dad, and it's really cool to have the chance to be out here racing in the lane next to him and learning how to improve myself as a driver. I'm loving every minute of it.