Skip to content

After three-year layoff, Ashley Force Hood may be eyeing NHRA comeback

Apr 2, 2014, 7:41 PM EDT

Ashley Force Hood showed she still has it after renewing her NHRA drag racing license behind the wheel of younger sister Courtney's Funny Car. (Photo courtesy Gary Nastase Photography) Ashley Force Hood showed she still has it after renewing her NHRA drag racing license behind the wheel of younger sister Courtney's Funny Car. (Photo courtesy Gary Nastase Photography)

Former NHRA Funny Car driver Ashley Force may be on the verge of reigniting her drag racing career.

Force last raced in the 2010 World Finals, essentially retiring at the height of her career and popularity to start a family with husband Danny. Now known as Ashley Force Hood, she has watched as younger sisters Brittany and Courtney have begun carving out their own respective niches in the drag racing world.

Could it be Ashley didn’t want her little sisters to have all the fun? Or could she be mounting a comeback to potentially take over the legendary Funny Car of equally legendary father and a record 16-time NHRA champ John Force, who turns 65 next month (and is rumored to possibly be switching to Top Fuel in 2015)?

Force Hood spent Monday at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway renewing her NHRA license.

And by the looks of things, it’s pretty clear the two-time U.S. Nationals Funny Car winner hasn’t lost anything in her three-year layoff from the quartermile wars.

Borrowing Courtney’s Traxxas Ford Mustang, Force Hood came close to sub-four second territory, clicking off four excellent runs of (in order) 4.11, 4.04, 4.01 and 4.05 seconds.

“Everything went better than I was expecting actually,” Force Hood said after her first run in a media release from John Force Racing. “It was nice, but it was nerve-racking. I feel like I have added five years to my life. I am glad the first one is out of the way.

“For the most part it is not that much different from when I drove. I know when I got done with the burnout I went over all my routine about three times because the reverse and the fuel are close together and I was just so scared I was going to grab the wrong one. You just don’t want to make one little mistake that will ruin the whole run.

“I just wanted to do everything right and not mess them up or mess the car up. It was weird to be in Courtney’s seat and get tips from her.”

But from Courtney’s perspective, there were very few tips she could give to her big sis.

“It was a little crazy,” Courtney Force told NHRA.com. “(Ashley) obviously knows what she is doing out there. She has more experience than me, but it has been a few years since she was in the car.

“She ran a 4.11 on the first pass, and she clicked it a little early. That run was a little unexpected for everybody. She still has it.”

Now the question is what did Monday’s licensing renewal mean in the long run?

“There is no timetable or schedule for Force Hood to return to full-time or part-time racing,” a statement put out by John Force Racing read. “The goal of the test session was not just to renew Force Hood’s license but to also provide the 18-time Funny Car championship team with an in-house experienced driver in the event a current driver was unable to participate in an NHRA national event.”

Follow me @JerryBonkowski

 

Latest Posts
  1. Ricciardo’s first podium in ages comes, like Bourdais’ at Toronto, with a trophy drop

    Jul 27, 2015, 4:51 PM EDT

    RIChunpodium Getty Images

    Good news, Ricciardo made the podium. Bad news, his trophy didn’t survive it.

  2. INDYCAR rescinds minor penalty against Jakes issued at Iowa

    Jul 27, 2015, 4:09 PM EDT

    JakesIowa Getty Images

    Jakes kept his visor down after all on a pit stop in Iowa.

  3. Gabby Chaves’ Honda/HPD Midget adventure (VIDEO)

    Jul 27, 2015, 3:13 PM EDT

    GabbyHeadshot Getty Images

    A quick look back at Chaves’ short track debut.

  4. Fiancee battle: Graham Rahal vs. Courtney Force in a Sonoma skills challenge (VIDEO)

    Jul 27, 2015, 12:00 PM EDT

    GRcf Getty Images

    Rahal and Force compete against each other in a series of fun challenges at Sonoma.

  5. For Dixon, it’s likely Mid-Ohio or bust in terms of 2015 IndyCar title hopes

    Jul 27, 2015, 11:00 AM EDT

    Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio - Day 3 Getty Images

    If another Dixon Mid-Ohio win happens, it will save his championship chances.

  6. After blowing his chance to cut the gap to Hamilton, Rosberg must now avoid the mistakes of last summer

    Jul 27, 2015, 10:00 AM EDT

    Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team's German driver Nico Rosberg walks down the pits during the third practice session at the Hungaroring circuit near Budapest on July 25, 2015, ahead of the  Hungarian Formula One Grand Prix. AFP PHOTO / ANDREJ ISAKOVIC        (Photo credit should read ANDREJ ISAKOVIC/AFP/Getty Images) Getty Images

    Luke Smith considers the fall-out of a dramatic Hungarian Grand Prix that saw both Mercedes drivers miss an opportunity to seize control of the drivers’ championship.

  7. Booth proud of Manor for honoring Bianchi in Hungary

    Jul 27, 2015, 9:00 AM EDT

    Manor Marussia F1 team driver Great Britain's Will Stevens has "#JB17" written on his car in tribute to late French Formula One driver Jules Bianchi who died nine months after his crash in the Japan Grand Prix, as he competes during the Hungarian Formula One Grand Prix at the Hungaroring circuit  near Budapest on July 26, 2015. AFP PHOTO / ANDREJ ISAKOVIC        (Photo credit should read ANDREJ ISAKOVIC/AFP/Getty Images) Getty Images

    Manor makes it through a difficult weekend by getting both of its cars to the finish in Hungary.

  8. Race Recap: Vettel draws level with Senna on all-time win list with victory in Hungary

    Jul 27, 2015, 8:00 AM EDT

    BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - JULY 26:  Sebastian Vettel of Germany and Ferrari celebrates with the trophy after winning the Formula One Grand Prix of Hungary at Hungaroring on July 26, 2015 in Budapest, Hungary.  (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images) Getty Images

    Vettel storms to his 41st career victory in Hungary as both Mercedes drivers hit trouble.

  9. NHRA Mile-High Nationals winners: Torrence, Beckman, Morgan, Krawiec

    Jul 26, 2015, 11:09 PM EDT

    (Photo courtesy NHRA) (Photo courtesy NHRA)

    Steve Torrence (Top Fuel), Jack Beckman (Funny Car), Larry Morgan (Pro Stock) and Eddie Krawiec (Pro Stock Motorcycle) won in Sunday’s NHRA Mopar Mile-High Nationals.

  10. F1 grid unites to pay tribute to Jules Bianchi (VIDEO)

    Jul 26, 2015, 5:00 PM EDT

    xxxx during the Formula One Grand Prix of Hungary at Hungaroring on July 26, 2015 in Budapest, Hungary. Getty Images

    The F1 grid comes together ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix to pay its respects to Jules Bianchi.

  11. WATCH LIVE: Second of two Red Bull GRC races from Detroit, 4:30 p.m. ET on NBC

    Jul 26, 2015, 4:00 PM EDT

    GRCDaytona Getty Images

    The Red Bull Global Rallycross doubleheader in Detroit concludes with today’s Round 6.

  12. F1 Paddock Pass: Hungarian GP post-race (VIDEO)

    Jul 26, 2015, 3:40 PM EDT

    xxxx during the Formula One Grand Prix of Hungary at Hungaroring on July 26, 2015 in Budapest, Hungary. Getty Images

    Ferrari caps off an emotional weekend with victory at the Hungaroring as Mercedes came unstuck.

  13. Verstappen “unbelievably happy” with fourth in Hungary

    Jul 26, 2015, 3:30 PM EDT

    xxxx during the Formula One Grand Prix of Hungary at Hungaroring on July 26, 2015 in Budapest, Hungary. Getty Images

    Verstappen claims his first top five finish in F1 in Hungary, capping off an impressive first half-season in the sport.

  14. Alonso charges to fifth in Hungary, sending McLaren into summer break on a high

    Jul 26, 2015, 3:00 PM EDT

    McLaren Honda's Spanish driver Fernando Alonso competes during the Hungarian Formula One Grand Prix at the Hungaroring circuit  near Budapest on July 26, 2015.  AFP PHOTO / ANDREJ ISAKOVIC        (Photo credit should read ANDREJ ISAKOVIC/AFP/Getty Images) Getty Images

    Alonso claims McLaren-Honda first top five finish of the season in Hungary, with Jenson Button also scoring points in P9.

  15. Williams disappointed to leave Hungary without points

    Jul 26, 2015, 2:00 PM EDT

    Technical staff prepare to change the broken wheel of the car of Williams Martini Racing's Finnish driver Valtteri Bottas  in the pit lane during the Hungarian Formula One Grand Prix at the Hungaroring circuit  near Budapest on July 26, 2015. 
 AFP PHOTO / POOL / RONALD ZAK        (Photo credit should read RONALD ZAK/AFP/Getty Images) Getty Images

    A penalty for Massa and a puncture for Bottas leaves both Williams drivers outside of the points in Hungary.

  16. Rosberg: “Awful feeling” to lose podium and chance to cut gap to Hamilton in Hungary

    Jul 26, 2015, 1:30 PM EDT

    xxxx during the Formula One Grand Prix of Hungary at Hungaroring on July 26, 2015 in Budapest, Hungary. Getty Images

    At one stage, Rosberg had been poised to take the lead of the championship into the summer break, only to lose yet more ground on Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton.

  17. Hamilton escapes one of his “worst races” to extend championship lead in Hungary

    Jul 26, 2015, 12:59 PM EDT

    xxxx during the Formula One Grand Prix of Hungary at Hungaroring on July 26, 2015 in Budapest, Hungary. Getty Images

    A poor start, off-track excursion, collision with Ricciardo and drive-through penalty can’t stop Hamilton from finishing sixth and extending his championship lead.

  18. Hamilton among five drivers handed sanctions following Hungarian GP

    Jul 26, 2015, 12:02 PM EDT

    Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team's British driver Lewis Hamilton (L) and Williams Martini Racing's Brazilian driver Felipe Massa compete during the Hungarian Formula One Grand Prix at the Hungaroring circuit  near Budapest on July 26, 2015.  AFP PHOTO / ANDREJ ISAKOVIC        (Photo credit should read ANDREJ ISAKOVIC/AFP/Getty Images) Getty Images

    The stewards were kept very busy in Hungary on Sunday.