John Force Racing stayed following last weekend’s NHRA round for a day of testing at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Most notably, Ashley Force Hood renewed her NHRA Funny Car license driving Courtney Force’s Traxxas Ford Mustang Funny Car. She made four passes posting times of 4.11, 4.04, 4.01 and 4.05 seconds.
“The hardest part was when I was starting out my team was brand new so we were all kind of messing up and learning together,” said Force Hood, a two-time U.S. Nationals Funny Car winner retired from racing in 2011 after the birth of her first child. “Getting in this Funny Car, all these guys are established and have a routine with Courtney. The spotlight will be on me if I mess up. 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. My husband Dan (Hood), the last few weeks has been walking me through the routine. He was letting me know what was different. 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.”
The team said there is no timetable or schedule for Force Hood to return to full-time or part-time racing. 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.