Courtney Force Moves Up To Nitro Funny Car with Traxxas
Traxxas, which successfully created, manufactured and marketed the first RTR (Ready-to-Run) radio-controlled vehicles for the car enthusiast and which today is the world leader in the category, has entered into a marketing partnership with John Force Racing, Inc., that will manifest itself this year in the sponsorship of rookie Courtney Force’s Traxxas Ford Mustang Funny Car.
|Force with Traxxas President Mike Jenkins|
Founded in 1986 and headquartered in Plano, Texas, Traxxas pioneered a new breed of car; one that incorporated the hobby-class benefits of replaceable parts, performance enhancements and a high-quality component radio system; with the convenience of a beautifully painted, professional built Ready-To-Race®performance product that could be driven and enjoyed immediately.
“Traxxas is a company that can easily align with John Force Racing; the overall energy of the team; the brutal, fire breathing horsepower that they make; and the sheer dominance they have had amongst their competition. As a company, we at Traxxas are Performance First in everything we do; from our newest 100mph supercar, to how we support our customers. It’s all about performing at our best and exceeding the expectation of our customers and race fans. We are proud to have Courtney piloting the Traxxas funny car and we are excited to see that Force DNA come to life at over 300mph. Prepare yourselves for the next generation of Force, with an injection of Traxxas adrenaline.” said Mike Jenkins, Traxxas president.
Traxxas’ newest product, the electric-powered XO-1, defines the pinnacle of a whole new segment as the world’s fastest Supercar, a radio controlled vehicle capable of reaching 60 mph in 2.3 seconds and 100 mph in 4.92 seconds. It’s this level of Extreme performance that has served to reinforce Traxxas’ continued dominance of the radio control marketplace.
While Traxxas will serve as primary sponsor of Courtney’s 8,000 horsepower Ford, the Traxxas name also will appear on the other three Ford, Mustangs in the John Force Racing stable, the Castrol GTX HIGH MILEAGE Ford of John Force himself, the Castrol GTX Ford tuned and driven by Mike Neff and the Automobile Club of Southern California Ford driven by 2009 NHRA Funny Car champion Robert Hight.
Courtney Force, who for the last four seasons learned how to deal with all of the off-track aspects of professional racing, finally will get a chance to show what she can do on-the-track as driver of an 8,000 horsepower Ford Mustang sponsored by Traxxas, the world leader in ready-to-run Radio Controlled vehicles.
Already a skilled interviewee, a reality TV star, a spokesperson for Ford Motor Company’s Driving Skills for Life program, a national marketing contest winner and a fan favorite, the 23-year-old daughter of 15-time NHRA champion John Force will make her professional driving debut Feb. 9-12 in the 52nd annual Kragen O’Reilly Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona.
“For Traxxas, Courtney represents more than just a female driver on the track. The family that she comes from has been racing and she’s been a part of racing all of her life. She’s not just another girl at the racetrack, she’s a girl that has John Force DNA embedded in her and it shows,” said Mike Jenkins Traxxas president. “Take a couple of minutes and talk with Courtney; you’ll see the competitiveness that comes out in that girl. She’s going to represent our company and our brand. She’s been a top pick for us for a very long time- we’re proud to have her on.”
After winning an NHRA national event in the Top Alcohol Dragster class and earning “Top Agent” honors in the marketing contest that fueled Ford’s Fiesta Movement introduction in 2010, the statuesque blonde spent last season testing in a Ford Funny Car after selected Full Throttle tour events.
In anticipation of her pro debut, she will continue to test this month at Palm Beach International Raceway in Florida in a Traxxas Ford Mustang prepared by veteran crew chiefs Ron Douglas and Scott Wible.
“Courtney proved she has the same competitive drive that’s made her father successful, working her way through the Super Comp and Top Alcohol Dragster ranks,” said Jamie Allison, Director of Ford Racing.
“We’ve only seen a small portion of what she’s capable of achieving,” Allison continued, “(and) we’re happy to welcome her officially as a member of the One Ford Funny Car team in 2012. It’s something we’ve all anticipated and we are very excited and happy to have her on the Ford team.”
Although their personalities are exceedingly different, Courtney followed older sister Ashley Force Hood’s lead in developing her current career path.
Like Ashley, she took auto shop as one of her high school electives, was a cheerleader at Esperanza High School, graduated from Cal State-Fullerton with a degree in Communications and was a star of the A&E real life series “Driving Force” which last aired in 2007.
Moreover, like her sister, she learned drag racing basics in a Super Comp dragster, honed her skills in a Top Alcohol Dragster and then tested for a full year in a BrandSource Ford Mustang Funny Car.
That training complete, she now is focused on making her own way to the top of her chosen sport, especially after being identified as one of the “most promising newcomers” in professional sports by ESPN The Magazine’s NEXT poll.
“I’m excited to finally be getting ready for my first professional race,” said the woman who hopes to compete for the Automobile Club of Southern California Road to the Future Award which identifies the “Rookie-of-the-Year” on the NHRA’s 23-race Full Throttle tour. “This is what I’ve always wanted to do and to have had my sister Ashley, my dad, brother-in-law Robert Hight and Mike Neff teach me makes it that much better. I have had the best teachers. I’m just going to learn all I can and see where it takes me.”
Although she was successful in the NHRA’s Lucas Oil Sportsman Series, winning the Northwest Nationals at Seattle, Wash., on July 19, 2009, she admitted to some trepidation after her initial laps in her BrandSource Funny Car.
“Steering the car was one of the biggest changes for me,” she said of the differences between a 270 mph dragster and a 315 mph Funny Car. “You don’t want to over-steer in a dragster (but) then you get in a Funny Car and you almost have to over-steer to keep the car going straight. There’s just a lot more manhandling of the Funny Car than there used to be in the dragster, but it’s definitely been fun.”
Courtney acknowledged that she is excited not only about competing against her father and other teammates but also against Alexis DeJoria, another woman driver who made her pro debut late last season.
“Watching Alexis last year just made me that much more eager to get out there with her because she’s having fun with it and she’s done really well. I can’t wait to get out on the track and start making laps and promoting my great sponsors Traxxas, Ford Racing, Castrol, Auto Club, Mac Tools and BrandSource.”