John Force knocked his daughter, Courtney, out of second-round eliminations last week at Atlanta.
Courtney Force exacted a measure of revenge Saturday during the third round of Funny Car qualifying for the NHRA Kansas Nationals.
Courtney set a national speed record, topping out at 325.06 mph in her Traxxas Chevrolet Camaro SS Funny Car.
“Once you are going faster than 300 mph you just get into a zone and you can feel when the clutch engages and the car starts pulling you to the finish line,” Courtney said. “You can tell when your car is pulling hard and making a fast run, but once you get past 320 mph the runs all feel the same.”
Courtney broke her own track record from Friday (324.20) and, with two runs within 1 percent of each other, erased John’s all-time Funny Car top-speed record of 324.12 from the 2014 Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway in Pomona, Calif.
“My dad was picking on me a little bit because I didn’t realize he held the old record,” said Courtney, whose win at Heartland Park last spring was the 100th professional win by a female driver in NHRA history.
Courtney Force boasts the fastest top speed in NHRA history at 325.37 mph last season at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, but she wasn’t able to back up that pass so it wasn’t certified as the national record.
When the record is certified after the event, it will mark the first time Chevy has owned the Funny Car top-speed record.
Brown claims fourth Heartland Park pole
Top Fuel points leader Antron Brown blew a piston on the burnout before his third-round pass, but his time from Friday, a track-record 3.727-second pass, stood up through round three.
Brown, who won last week in Atlanta, will start on the pole for the 39th time in his career, the second time this season and the fourth time at Heartland Park.
“We’re glad that it happened today and we got to make a run, because that could have been our first-round eliminations (Sunday) … and ol’ baby girl was hurt,” Brown said.
Brown will face Luigi Novelli in the opening round of eliminations at 11 a.m. Sunday provided the weather cooperates.
“We have a lot of confidence, but we know we still have to go out and execute our jobs,” said Brown, who is seeking his third Top Fuel win of the season and the 50th of his career in the Mello Yello Drag Racing Series. “That’s the hard part, because with a nitro car anything can happen on any given Sunday. You go from hero to zero.”
Brown has never won at Heartland Park.
Enders enjoys Heartland Park
Nine years ago, Erica Enders made history at Heartland Park, and those memories flooded back Saturday as she claimed her second career Pro Stock pole at the track.
Enders set new track records for elapsed time (6.515) and top speed (211.43) during qualifying Friday, a mark that was good enough for the No. 1 qualifying spot.
She claimed her first career pole at Heartland Park in 2006.
“I thought of that coming in on Thursday,” said Enders, who had the fastest elapsed time in all three sessions. “That definitely was a fun memory here, becoming the first female No. 1 qualifier in Pro Stock ever. We’ve gone on to some really great things together.”
Of course, as the defending Pro Stock champion, Enders, who currently is second in points, has bigger fish to fry this weekend.
“Being low for every session is pretty exciting,” Enders said. “We were able to do that a lot last year and accumulate those three bonus points per round that you’re low. Coming to the final race of last year, every point mattered, so we’ll take them when we can get them.”