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John Force sub-4 seconds, Courtney’s 329 run changed in NHRA at Maple Grove (UPDATED)

Oct 4, 2013, 9:00 PM EDT

John Force and daughter Brittany are both chasing championships this season: John is seeking a record 17th Funny Car title, while Brittany wants her first career Top Fuel crown. AP

Friday had marked a big day for the father-and-daughter team of John and Courtney Force at the Auto-Plus NHRA Nationals in Maple Grove, Pa. in their Castrol and Traxxas Fords.

John posted the fifth-quickest run in NHRA history – no small feat given his illustrious career – at 3.987 seconds at a speed of 323.50 mph. Courtney Force ran a slower elapsed time – 4.025 – but a record speed of 329.42 mph.

Additional fastest qualifiers were Shawn Langdon (Top Fuel), Allen Johnson (Pro Stock), and Michael Ray (Pro Stock Motorcycle) were also No. 1 on the day. Final eliminations for the race are Sunday.

UPDATE, 2:10 p.m. ET, Saturday: What had been a record-setting day for Courtney Force with the 329.42 mph pass has, unfortunately, been changed.

The NHRA announced her run was not official due to a glare of sunlight into the speed trap beams, which triggered a malfunction.

“We noticed while Courtney was coming down the track, the sun was on the west side of the track behind the trees, as she come around the trees the car lit up which was not a problem,” Bob Brockmeyer, Compulink founder and a timing expert, explained to “Right as she got to the 934 (foot) speed start block, there was a mirage on the track that just lit up completely underneath the front of the car.

“Then the sun was shining on the mirage created by the VHT on the track. The best we can tell, and we’ve seen this before, the sun probably bounced underneath the front of the car and with the car bouncing quite a bit, with the one little bump in the track right there, it probably didn’t bounce over the beam but it may have put enough clearance in the front with the sun and the mirage that it confused the infrared for .003 of a second.”

  1. gotnitro - Oct 4, 2013 at 9:14 PM

    Thanks for this. I would like to see Motor sports talk cover more NHRA

  2. 50flh74hd - Oct 4, 2013 at 11:17 PM

    Courtney is John’s daughter, Tony. That is, unless she had an addadictomy operation I am unaware of (sure didn’t look like it in the ESPN Body Issue). John’s daughter Brittany also races NHRA in the Top Fuel division FYI.

    • moezilla - Oct 5, 2013 at 11:15 AM

      Ummm…..I’m confused. “Friday marked a big day for the father-and-daughter team of John and Courtney Force at the Auto-Plus NHRA Nationals in Maple Grove, Pa. in their Castrol and Traxxas Fords.” Explanation please…

    • Tony DiZinno - Oct 5, 2013 at 11:21 AM

      Bad typo on my part, 50flh74hd. It has been corrected and I apologize for the mistake. I’m on site at another race this weekend with multiple obligations.

      We don’t do a ton of NHRA coverage on the site as you’re probably aware, and will look at ways to grow that part in due time. Thanks.

  3. worknman24hours - Oct 5, 2013 at 6:10 PM

    For God sakes-Laughing Totally Out Loud-the sun was in the sensors eyes.


    Tough race when God says, ” Can’t touch this.”

    doo—doo-doo-doo—doo-doo—doo-doo “Can’t touch this.”

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