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Brittany Force stormed to the provisional pole of the NHRA Virginia Nationals. (JFR photo)

Brittany Force Aims To Finish Western Swing Strong

KENT, Wash. — Brittany Force knocked one item off her bucket list just days ago when the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series star driver won in Sonoma.

Now, the Top Fuel points leader will try to add another win to the list — this time at Pacific Raceways for this weekend’s 33rd annual Flav-R-Pac NHRA Northwest Nationals.

It’s her sponsor’s race and it closes out the famed three-race NHRA Western Swing. Force would like nothing more than to win for the first time in Seattle as the NHRA returns to the facility for the first time since 2019.

Force is riding high in her 11,000-horsepower Flav-R-Pac/Monster Energy dragster heading to the race, obliterating the track record books in Sonoma and moving back into the points lead.

She’s collected four wins thus far during a championship-worthy season and Force is eager to keep rolling and come through for the first time in Seattle, at a track and a race that means a great deal to the Top Fuel standout.

“It is exciting and it’s great to return to Seattle,” Force said. “It’s been a while, but that’s another racetrack where I grew up racing in Super Comp, Top Alcohol Dragster and going there as a kid. [Teammate] Austin [Prock] got his first win there [in 2019] and there are just a lot of great memories there. It’s exciting that it’s our sponsor’s race and we’re coming out of Sonoma strong, and we plan to have the same success this weekend in Seattle.”

Austin Prock (Top Fuel), John Force (Funny Car) and Matt Hartford (Pro Stock) won the race in 2019. This year’s race is the 13th of 22 races during the season and the anticipation is high.

That includes Force, who is chasing her second world championship.

To get in a position for that, she knows the importance of running well this time of year. Of course, so does her competition — a list that includes Mike Salinas, Denver winner Leah Pruett, Justin Ashley, four-time Seattle winner Antron Brown, Tony Schumacher, Doug Kalitta, four-time defending world champ Steve Torrence and Josh Hart.

But Force has the ultimate confidence in her team, which is led by crew chief David Grubnic, and her goal is to put on a show in Seattle.

“I’m always betting on us, and I feel that we are the team to beat,” Force said. “It’s tough weekend after weekend in this class and there’s a lot of good competition out here, but I’m always pulling for us. We have a solid race car and we’re going for a championship. It’s coming up close now.

“It’s been a long season and now we’re getting ready to finish this Western Swing. We’ve got a couple more after that and then we start the Countdown to the Championship. But we’re ready and I’m excited to see what this team can do.”

In Funny Car, John Force made history at Pacific Raceways in 2019 with his 150th career win.

The 16-time Funny Car world champ enjoyed a memorable celebration after the historic win and the legendary driver returns to Seattle looking for his second win this season and his 10th career win at the track.

John enters with momentum, too, after advancing to the final round in Sonoma in his 11,000-horsepower PEAK Chevrolet Camaro SS.

It puts John in a good place heading to Pacific Raceways where he’ll have to deal with the likes of teammate and points leader Robert Hight, Tim Wilkerson, defending world champ Ron Capps, Matt Hagan, J.R. Todd, Cruz Pedregon and Alexis DeJoria.

But there were plenty of positives last week for the Funny Car legend and he’ll look to build on that to close out the Western Swing.

“Sunday in Sonoma was a good day for this PEAK Chevy,” John said. “It would have been great to get the win, but we figured some things out, and [crew chiefs] Danny Hood and Tim Fabrisi had my hot rod running well and we were getting after it. We’re in a good place and we’ll pick up and get after it again in Seattle.

“It’s a Flav-R-Pac race and we’re looking forward to putting on a show for everyone. Brittany is going in there with a win and hopefully, she’ll do it again, too.”

Pro Stock’s Hartford had a memorable moment at the last Seattle race in 2019, knocking off Greg Anderson in the final round to keep the all-time wins leader from sweeping the Western Swing.

Hartford has current momentum, too, winning in Denver as his season continues to get on track. He’ll try for another Seattle win against a talented group that includes points leader Erica Enders, Anderson, Aaron Stanfield, local native Dallas Glenn and rookie Camrie Caruso.

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