Story By: SARA SLAUGHTER / JOHN FORCE RACING – READING, PA – Brittany Force and her Monster Energy / Flav-R-Pac Chevrolet dragster team aren’t letting their No. 5 points position put a damper on their shot at a second consecutive Top Fuel world championship as they kick off the NHRA Countdown to the Championship at this weekend’s Pep Boys NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway.
Force won her first championship starting the Countdown from the No. 6 position in 2017. In that same year, she picked up the victory at Maple Grove Raceway. The Monster Energy team will be looking for their third consecutive No. 1 qualifying position at the facility. Force was also No. 1 in 2015 and 2019, when she set the current NHRA Top Fuel elapsed time national record at 3.623 seconds.
“After a day of testing in Indy following the U.S. Nationals, our Monster Energy / Flav-R-Pac team is ready to head to the first race of Countdown at Maple Grove Raceway. We figured out some of our issues and it was a very successful test session. Our goals haven’t changed heading into Reading and the Countdown; we want to make four solid runs to qualify in the top 5 and go some rounds on race day. We’re ready to start chasing down that No. 1 points spot. Going in No. 5 wasn’t our plan but we’re up for the challenge.”
Force, who is one of only three women to win multiple Countdown to the Championship races, and the Monster Energy team are starting the Countdown on the hunt for their first win of the 2023 season. They earned their No. 5 starting spot with four No.1. qualifying positions, a runner-up finish at Heartland Motorsports Park in Topeka, Kansas and four semifinal finishes.
Competition at the Pep Boys NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway begins with qualifying Friday at 3 and 6 p.m. and Saturday at 1:30 and 4:30 p.m. Eliminations will be run Sunday at 10:30 a.m. Television coverage of the first of six NHRA Countdown to the Championship events begins with qualifying shows Friday at 10:30 p.m. ET and Sunday at 12:30 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1 (FS1). Eliminations will be covered by FOX Broadcasting Network with shows Sunday at either 4:30 p.m. or 2:00 p.m. ET, check your local listings.