Brittany Force Set For Top Fuel Debut
John Force Racing has long been synonymous with NHRA Funny Cars, the home of 17 championships including 15 belonging to team patriarch John Force. In 2013, JFR ventures into new territory: the Top Fuel division.
|David Berlin (left), U.S. Marketing Director for Castrol, joined Brittany Force (center) and John Force for Thursday’s announcement that Brittany Force would enter the NHRA Top Fuel ranks in 2013|
|John Force Racing|
Brittany Force, the third of four Force daughters, will make her debut in the Top Fuel division in the 2013 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series. She’ll compete for the Auto Club Road to the Future Award as Rookie of the Year, an award previously won by her brother-in-law Robert Hight, older sister Ashley Force Hood and younger sister Courtney Force, who won the award in 2012.
26-year-old Force, a graduate of California State University – Fullerton, will drive a dragster powered by the Ford BOSS 500 nitro engine developed by JFR in collaboration with Ford Racing and sponsored by Castrol Edge; the dragster will be maintained by long-time JFR crew chief Dean “Guido” Antonelli and assistant crew chief Eric Lane.
“It really is a big honor to be the first to drive a Top Fuel dragster at John Force Racing,” said Force on NHRA.com. “This team has done so much over the years to evolve, and adding a Top Fuel car into the mix I believe will help us continue to grow as a team.”
“Being able to drive the first JFR Top Fuel dragster with my dad’s support and with Castrol Edge as my sponsor is still very surreal to me, but I think it’s something we’re all excited about, and I’m going to do the best job that I can.”
In another move at JFR, Mike Neff will once again step out from behind the wheel and move into his preferred job as tuner – once again partnering with John Force. “It was just such a long weekend (doing both jobs),” said Neff. “Not only were you focusing on tuning, but you had to do the driving part and the media and you had to run here and there for sponsor appearances. There was no downtime. After a while, it got to be too much. It just wore me down. You could never seem to take five and focus. I just got pulled in a lot of different directions.”
“Force was really good about it,” said Neff. “When I first brought it up (in the middle of last season), he wanted me to really think about it. He didn’t want me to make any quick decisions. He basically said I could drive as long as I wanted to. He left it up to me, (and) I just felt that it was time.”
Neff has two championships as a tuner – 2005 with Gary Scelzi and 2010 with John Force. He finished third in points behind Jack Beckman and Ron Capps in 2012.