Courtney Force, the winningest female Funny Car driver in NHRA history, has announced she is stepping away from competition after seven seasons.
Force, the youngest daughter of 16-time NHRA Funny Car champion John Force and wife of IndyCar racer Graham Rahal, says she took the decision to end competition to spend more time with her family, although she intends to remain an integral part of the John Force Racing organization.
“I will be stepping away from my driving duties, effective immediately. This was a personal choice as I feel I’m ready to see what the next chapter in my life has in store for me, while spending more time with family,” said Force. “I intend to remain involved in the industry I love and continue to work with a few select partners as I go forward in 2019. I am so thankful that I have had the opportunity to have such a successful career at John Force Racing and the privilege of working with so many incredible people while racing against competitors who pushed me to be a better driver.”
In 167 pro drag races, she racked up 12 victories, was runner-up 17 times and reached the semifinals on another 29 occasions. She was the No. 1 qualifier 28 times, 11 times during the 2018 season alone, just two shy of the class record of 13 her dad set in 1996. She had a career best elapsed time of 3.815 seconds and a career best speed of 338.85 mph.
“I first have to thank my dad for encouraging me to live out my dream of being a Funny Car driver while getting to compete against him and learn from the best,” Force said. “I want to thank my family and my husband, Graham, for their support through the highs and lows and to my team for their undeniable will to win and for always keeping me motivated, confident and safe in my race car.”
“Thank you to all of my sponsors from the start of my career with Traxxas and Ford to now with Advance Auto Parts, Chevrolet, Auto Club, PEAK, Monster, PPG and Mac Tools,” she continued. “I’m grateful for all of your support both on and off the track and the opportunity I had to represent your brands with pride.
“Last but not least, to my fans: thank you for all of your support throughout my career. I’m excited to see where this next chapter will take me and I hope to see you all at the track soon.”