Force Family flies in Phoenix

John Force (near) was defeated by Tim Wilkerson in the NHRA Funny Car final last weekend at the Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in Chandler, Arizona.

Richard H Shute, Gary Nastase/photo by Auto Imagery, Inc.

For some drivers and teams, last weekend’s CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Nationals in Chandler, Arizona, was a weekend to forget, most notably for Don Schumacher Racing which failed to get any of its cars beyond the second round.

However, John Force Racing had a weekend to remember for some time to come, with both John and Brittany making it through to the finals while Courtney made it to the Semis, but had to race her father, at which point one was guaranteed to be knocked out.

Their teammate Robert Hight had also made it through to the semis, meaning JFR had three of the four cars in the Funny Car semis, but he lost to Tim Wilkerson.

The only damper to John and Brittany’s weekends were that they both came up short in their finals, with John losing to Wilkerson in Funny Car and Brittany losing out to Leah Pritchett in the first all-female Top Fuel final since 1982.

“We put four cars in the semi-finals,” noted John Force. “We had Robert Hight, me, and Courtney in the Funny Car semi-finals and Brittany with the Monster Energy dragster was in the Top Fuel semi-final. We got two cars to the finals today.

“We didn’t get the wins but I congratulate Pritchett and Wilkerson for a great job. What we have to look at is we are turning the corner. Our race cars can race with any one. I am not saying we are faster than the other teams but we can hit a lick in the heat or in the cool air. Our game plan we put together of letting Alan Johnson run the Top Fuel team with his crew chief, the quarterback, Brian Husen and letting Mike Neff run the Funny Cars is already showing an improvement. I am not the smartest guy in the world but I listen to smart people.”

Brittany Force sits third in the Top Fuel points after two rounds while John Force, Robert Hight and Courtney Force sit in second, third and sixth respectively in the Funny Car points.

The stars of NHRA will be back in action at the Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway in Florida from March 18-20, with coverage at 1 p.m. ET on FS1.