Force had different gift in mind

Courtney Force joked about her dad, John Force, beating her in the quarterfinals last Sunday before going on to win the Funny Car class at NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals.

It was, after all, Father's Day. Was John's victory a gift from his daughter?

"That wasn't actually the gift I had in mind," Courtney said. "I was really hoping to give him the day off for Father's Day.

"It was a lot of fun. I love being able to be out there, racing my dad. He has taught me a lot about this sport. I actually thought I got the win. I think my car was ahead of him the whole way down, until the finish line and he got around me just by three-thousandths of a second."

John may have won the battle (and is 3-3 head-to-head against Courtney) but she is winning the war. Courtney is seventh in the Funny Car season standings and John ninth.

"Our Traxxas Ford Mustang has been flying, we really have a great race car," Courtney said. "We keep matching up against someone like my dad, who has just as good of a race car.

"We picked up a win early this season and made it to another final round; we were No. 1 points twice so far this year. We have slid down a bit since then but everyone is really close with the points. I know we can move towards the top if we get another win."

Beyond racing, Courtney is enjoying having another member of her family, in addition to dad, along this season. Older sister Brittany is a rookie in the Top Fuel class.

"I love having her on the road," Courtney said. "My sister is my best friend, honestly, she really is; I don't just say that. We come home from a race, flying home to California, and we are always hanging out together. She is always there for me."

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