BROWNSBURG, Ind. (August 31, 2018) – Courtney Force made quick work of her first assignment of the Labor Day weekend Friday when she drove her Advance Auto Parts Chevrolet Camaro SS Funny Car down the 1,000 foot course at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis in 4.330 seconds at a finish line speed of 214.83 mph during the first day of qualifying for the 64th annual Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals.
By simply putting a time on the board, the second generation pro secured the regular season championship for Advance Auto Parts, Chevrolet and John Force Racing and earned the coveted No. 1 starting position for the six-race Mello Yell Countdown to the Championship that begins Sept. 16 in Reading, Pa.
The 30-year-old native Californian, who has led the Funny Car points since winning the NHRA Southern Nationals at Atlanta on May 6, becomes just the second woman to win a regular season championship in one of the NHRA’s four professional categories during the Countdown Era (2007-to-the-present). Erica Enders was the regular season Pro Stock champion in 2015.
Regardless of the outcome of Monday eliminations, Courtney will start the playoffs with a 20-point lead on the field. She is the third different JFR driver to lead the points at the break. Her father, 16-time champion John Force, was the regular season champion in 2010 and 2014 and former team driver Mike Neff earned that distinction in 2011.
The winningest woman in the history of the Funny Car class with 12 tour victories and 27 No. 1 starts, Force is trying to become the first woman to win the NHRA Funny Car championship. She was third in the final standings a year ago and fourth in 2014. Her sister, Ashley Force Hood, finished second in 2009 and third in 2010.