Dad Beats Daughter for First Win in 2016

Stan Creekmore

What can be said when a father beats his youngest daughter?

In the case of 16-time Funny Car champion John Force the answer is simple – congratulations. 

Force became the last of the John Force Racing drivers to pick up an NHRA Wally in 2016 as he "beat" Courtney Force in the final round of the Funny Car eliminations in the Mopar Mile High NHRA Naationals at Mile High Raceway just outside of Denver, Colorado.

Force, at 68 years of age, didn't outrun Courtney, his time from the starting line to the finish line being .002 seconds slower. Force's asvantage came in reaction time, .038 to .056 was more than enough to put his Reaktree PEAK AntiFreeze & Cooloant Chevrolet across the finish line .0016 secobds ahead of Courtney's Traxxas Chevrolet.

“It feels real good. All those records you set in the past….I was runner-up here the past two years to (Jack) Beckman and Robert Hight. At the end of the day, I am young.  I will fight this thing until I drop. But I have got new sponsors like PEAK and with Realtree camouflage and Chevrolet. We went and tested and Courtney (Force) was there helping me, Robert (Hight) was there helping me. We got through it, we came on this hill and we found a little bit of magic. If you go look at the whippings we have been taking from Schumacher (Racing) and Kalitta (Racing) all year. Everyone on the team has been winning except me. I needed this real bad and I told Courtney, ‘Hey, you are my baby, I love you and I know you want to do good for Traxxas, but I am giving this everything I got,’” said Force.

“I give credit to Mike Neff, who heads my program in Funny Car and Jon Schaffer that runs my Funny Car with a bunch of kids. Have to thank Daniel Hood that runs Courtney’s car too. I brought on Alan Johnson, Jason McCullough and Brian Husen and I turned it all over to them. We got to get out of the dragster business, get back into the Funny Car business.

“John Force Racing is back in business,” added Force.

The win, his dirst since last season at the New England NHRA Nationals in Epping, New Hampshire is his 144th career Funny Car victory, far more than any other driver in the NHRA.

Courtney Force qualified in the No. 1 position, advanced to her 16th final round in Funny Car and moved up to the No. 2 position in the NHRA Mello Yello point standings this weekend at Bandimere Speedway. She dismissed Jim Campbell, Tommy Johnson Jr. and Robert Hight before losing a blower belt and ultimately losing one of the closest side-by-side three-second races all weekend.

“We had a great weekend out here starting off the Western Swing at the Mile High NHRA Nationals in Denver. This is one of the most challenging race tracks and I’m so proud of my team because I definitely think that we turned things around in a huge way coming to this track. We did quite a bit better than we have in the past and it definitely goes to show the type of team that I have working on my car. My crew chiefs, Danny Hood and Ronnie Thompson, they’ve given me a consistent race car round by round,” said Force.

“I’m proud of my dad for getting that win. We were right there. He was right out my window the whole way down. I actually thought we had him. We had a little bit of trouble with the belt on the car. It kind of shredded up right at the finish line and he went by me for the win. He’s done a great job all weekend in his Realtree PEAK Camaro and he definitely snuck up on me with that camo, so great job to him and his team, but our Traxxas team is going to be ready for Sonoma,” said Force.