Brittany Force eyeing first win at NHRA Route 66 Nationals

Daughter of 16-time champ carving her own place in drag racing.

SHARE Brittany Force eyeing first win at NHRA Route 66 Nationals
Brittany Force will be competing in the top fuel event this weekend at Route 66 Raceway.

Brittany Force will be competing in the top fuel event this weekend at Route 66 Raceway.

Brittany Force grew up on race tracks across the country. By all measures, with 16-time champion dad John Force, and a family of racers, there was little that would deter Brittany from a drag racing career of her own.

“When I was a kid, he drove a Castrol GTX car,” she said. “It was my sisters and I following my dad to races across the country. I fell in love with the sport. It became our lifestyle, different race tracks every weekend.”

Force has enough childhood memories at the track to last a lifetime. They range from days spent in the tow car with her dad’s crew chief and her sisters to superstitious finger, leg and arm crosses that sent good luck to their dad. Of course, there are also memories her family made from the winner’s circle.

“My dad won a lot back in the day,” Brittany said. “And we were part of that.”

Now, Force is writing her own championship history in drag racing.

She made her pro racing debut in 2013 and has set 16 track records, including a world-record run of 338.94 mph — the fastest in Top Fuel history. She owns 13 of the fastest runs in Top Fuel history, and last season she won five races en route to becoming the NHRA Top Fuel Champion.

It was her second title after winning it in 2017.

This weekend at Route 66 Raceway, Brittany and her father will share the same track. They, of course, will not be competing against each other, with John racing in the Funny Car class and Brittany in Top Fuel.

“On Sunday, there’s so much going on you don’t need another voice in your head,” Force said. “We pretty much just wish each other good luck, give each other high fives, a hug and hopefully we’ll see each other at the winner circle.”

Force is entering the NHRA Route 66 Nationals looking to rewrite some history. During her career, she has seen limited success at Route 66 Raceway. She has earned a handful of No. 1 qualifying times and has made it to the finals but never won an event.

It has been four years since Force and her team have raced at Route 66. This weekend, her team is tasked with essentially starting from scratch in terms of looking back at her run log. Her first qualifying run was Friday, and Force saw it as an opportunity to put herself in an optimal situation heading into Saturday’s runs.

“A lot goes into it,” Force said. “That’s where my crew chief, David Grubnic, we give him all the credit. [Adjustments] can be anything from the track temp changing to weather conditions.”

Force and Grubnic have been part of the same team since 2019. She credits a huge part of her success in the last four years to their dynamic.

“We dove in right away,” Force said. “We became really close. We’re family, hanging out on the race track and off. That closeness plays a lot into our success.”

This season, Force is trying to establish a different tone for herself with an emphasis on steadiness. Last year, Force said her team was rolling until the Countdown. The last six races, the most critical time in a season, was when Force said she began to struggle.

Force’s goal once again is to earn another title with her team, but do it in a stronger way. She is fifth in the Top Fuel standings. Her team made a lot of changes to her car entering this season. It’s something that she knows could present challenges throughout but will set her up for success in the end-of-season push.

“We want to get ahead of ourselves,” Force said. “To win a championship, you have to stay in the top five through the season, but you have to crack down and be at your best for those last six races.”

The Latest
The chick, named Nagamo, was the only one of four born this year to survive, according to the Chicago Bird Alliance.
The Bears got in on Sweat at the right time, and it has been a mutually beneficial relationship.
Mitch Trubisky had to wait his turn behind Mike Glennon in 2017; Justin Fields had to wait his turn behind Andy Dalton in 2021. But the Bears aren’t playing any apprenticeship games with Williams, who figures to benefit from that approach, even with likely early missteps.
During a two-minute drill Saturday, Williams threw a pass that was batted in the air — and back into his arms.