Drag racing's Courtney Force makes impressive first run in Pomona
Courtney Force, daughter of drag-racing icon John Force, made an impressive run in her first trip down the drag strip Thursday driving in the sport's elite funny car series.
In the first day of qualifying for the NHRA Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway in Pomona, 23-year-old Courtney Force covered the 1,000-foot run in 4.210 seconds with a top speed of 303.16 mph.
That placed her sixth fastest in the field. The fastest 16 drivers after three days of qualifying advance to the final eliminations Sunday in the National Hot Rod Assn.'s Full Throttle Series event.
Courtney's 62-year-old father, a 15-time funny car champion, ran a tick faster than Courtney and was fifth at 4.192 seconds and 302.89 mph in his 7,000-horsepower, nitro methane-fueled funny car.
Under clear skies and with temperatures in the high 70s, Jack Beckman of Norco qualified fastest at 4.139 seconds and 308.14 mph.
Defending funny car champion Matt Hagan was fourth at 4.177 seconds and 307.23 mph.
-- Jim Peltz
Photo: Drag racer Courtney Force climbs out of her funny car at her team's shop in Yorba Linda on Feb. 1. Credit: Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times