POMONA, Calif. (Nov. 7, 2018) — It’s been a tough season for the 2017 NHRA Top Fuel world champion that started at the Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, but Brittany Force hasn’t let 2018 taint her fond memories of the Auto Club NHRA Finals as she heads back to her home track to close out the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season.
“We are heading into Pomona for the last race of the season, it’s the Auto Club Finals and this is where we locked in the championship last year. We made some history here last year and this is a big race for us,” Force said.
It was just one year ago that Force piloted her Monster Energy Top Fuel dragster to a three-hat weekend. Force earned a green hat when she secured the No. 1 qualifying position, then during eliminations, she became the first woman in 35 years and only the second in NHRA history to wear the white hat for the Top Fuel championship and, just to top it all off, went on to win the race and earn a yellow hat. She ended 2017 with four wins and a strong performance through the Countdown to the Championship.
“This track has a special place in my heart. It has always been my home track and I grew up at that race track. I have so many memories at this track and I honestly never thought I would be able to call myself a world champion but that is another memory to add to it,” Force continued. “Nothing can ever top what we did at the Auto Club Finals last year.”
The 2018 season wasn’t what the first-time world champion expected however, after bouncing back from a wreck to open the season, Force went on to win just four races later at the SpringNationals in Houston. Now, Force and her team find themselves fifth in the points standings, up three positions from where they began the Countdown to the Championship. In addition, with a runner-up finish just two races ago at the Carolina Nationals coupled with the No. 1 qualifying position, the Monster Energy team is confident they’ll be ready to go rounds this weekend.
“Going into this race we are currently No. 5 in the points and we are looking to move up as high as we can. We don’t have a shot at the title but we want to win this last race,” Force explained. “We got three hats last year. We were No. 1 qualifier, won the race and won the championship to get the green, yellow and white hats. This year we want to end on a great note and wind up in the winner’s circle for all our great sponsors.”
Force will begin her battle for the Auto Club NHRA Finals victory with two qualifying sessions on Friday at 1:30 and 3:45 p.m. and an additional two on Saturday at 12:30 and 3:30 p.m. Eliminations and the final race day of the season begin Sunday at 11 a.m. at Auto Club Raceway in Pomona.
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Photo Credit: Gary Nastase, Auto Imagery, driver photo: NHRA