Brittany Force takes Monster Energy Top Fuel
dragster to Sonoma Nationals semifinals
“To have a day like that and then have low ET of the session ... I thought we were going to carry it all through the day,” Force said. “But we made a semifinal appearance, which is what we did last weekend too. So that’s pretty good, but the plan for next week in Seattle is to take it off the trailer and end up in the winner’s circle.”
The NHRA Northwest Nationals, the 16th round of the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season, is scheduled for Aug. 4-6 at Pacific Raceways outside Seattle.
Best Qualifying Effort: 3.689 seconds/330.63 mph (Round 2, Qualified No. 2)
Elimination Round 1 (Right Lane): 3.705 seconds/331.61 mph, def. No. 15 Steve Chrisman, 4.220 seconds/226.66 mph; straight down the track for quickest pass of session and fastest pass of the weekend; vs. Chrisman – now 2-0 all-time; 2-0 this season; 1-0 at Sonoma
Elimination Round 2 (Quarterfinals, Right Lane): 4.071 seconds/264.75 mph, def. No. 7 Shawn Langdon, 4.110 seconds/271.46 mph; took an early lead and extended lead when Langdon smoked tires, then held on as she hazed tires at top end; vs. Langdon – now 6-6 all-time; 1-1 this season; 1-0 at Sonoma
Elimination Round 3 (Semifinals, Right Lane): 3.882 seconds/315.27 mph, lost to No. 6 Steve Torrence, 3.753 seconds/329.02 mph; a little fuel coming out of the left side of the car early and couldn’t catch Torrence at the end; vs. Torrence – now 4-6 all-time; 1-4 this season; 0-1 at Sonoma
Now 108-103 (211 rounds) all-time in elimination rounds (.512)
Now 12-4 (16 rounds) all-time in elimination rounds after qualifying No. 2 (.750)
Now 3-5 (8 rounds) all-time in elimination rounds at Sonoma Raceway (.375)
Now 21-14 (35 rounds) this season in elimination rounds (.600)
Funny Car Points Standings: 1. Steve Torrence 1,369; 2. Antron Brown 1,294; 3. Leah Pritchett 1,250; 4. Tony Schumacher 1,008; 5. Brittany Force 935.
SONOMA, Calif. (July 30) – Brittany Force advanced to the semifinals for the fifth time in the last seven NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series races, moving her inside the top five of the Top Fuel points standings following Sunday’s NHRA Sonoma Nationals at Sonoma Raceway.
Force took the Monster Energy dragster to a pair of elimination round wins before falling in the semis to points leader Steve Torrence, the eventual winner. It made up for a tough qualifying effort Saturday, in which she failed to make a full pass. Still, her No. 2 qualifying effort put her in position to vie for the victory at Sonoma, one of her favorite tracks and the second of three races on the annual Western Swing.
Force outran No. 15 Steven Chrisman in the opening round, charging down the track at a session-best 3.705 seconds at a track record 331.61 mph to set up a quarterfinals matchup against No. 7 Shawn Langdon. The two both ran into trouble, but Force pedaled the car and crossed the finish line in 4.071 seconds at 264.75 mph with Langdon trailing close behind.
That put her up against No. 6 Torrence, who had no major problems on race day. He ran 3.753 seconds at 329.02 mph in the semis, while Force ran 3.882 seconds at 315.27 mph, fuel spilling out the left side of her car.
Still, she leapfrogged veteran Doug Kalitta in the standings, moving to fifth, two points ahead of Kalitta. Ironically, Force took the track speed record away from Kalitta with her first-round pass.