On any race track, it is rare to see siblings competing side by side. Sure, we all have seen Michael Schumacher and his brother Ralf go at it on Formula One. Apart from those brothers though, there are not many siblings left on the track. Even fewer are sisters racing on the drag strip. This is exactly why the duo of Brittany and Courtney Force in the world of drag racing is incredible.
Older sister Brittany and her sister Courtney have been busy winning as many drag racing events as possible over the years. After all, drag racing is more than just a passion for these two women, with Brittany being reigning Top Fuel car champion and Courtney being a remarkable Funny Car driver.
Drag racing is such a competitive motorsport and staying on top is always a challenge. However, these women don’t just have each other. They also have a family that supports them constantly on and off the track. In fact, drag racing is more of a family business. That’s why you can’t expect either of them to hang up their helmets anytime soon. Not to mention, they also have a racing legend for a father that serves as both a mentor and inspiration to them. And clearly, their father’s success is rubbing off on both women.
To give you a bit more idea about what goes on in the lives of Courtney and Britney Force, here are 20 things you should know about the amazing Force sisters.
20 The Sisters Compete In The NHRA
Both Brittany and Courtney are currently competing in the NHRA, also known as the National Hot Rod Association. Founded back in 1951, it is said to be the largest auto racing organization of its kind in the world. At the heart of its sport is drag racing. And clearly, the Force sisters can’t get enough of the NHRA adrenaline rush.
Today, Brittany is a Top Fuel drag race driver. That simply means that she’s driving one of the fastest-accelerating vehicles in the world today.
After all, these machines pack as much as 10,000 horsepower, burning as much as 15 gallons of it nitromethane fuel in just a single run. They are also capable of going across a drag strip in less than 3.7 seconds while traveling a speed of more than 330 mph.
Meanwhile, Courtney is a Funny Car driver. The car she drives uses the same engines as the Top Fuel car. The only difference is that it is shorter and resembles your typical automobile more. Nonetheless, it is just as quick, capable of going over 330 mph. And as you might guess, this car can also run in the 3.8-second range almost effortlessly.
19 Their Father Is A True Drag Racing Legend
It’s safe to say that for Brittany and Courtney, drag racing is in their blood. After all, their father is none other than John Force.
Over the years, John has become one of the biggest successes in the NHRA. So far, his career spans an impressive 40 seasons. He also has no plans to hang up his racing helmet anytime soon, even if he’s already 68 years old. After all, there is no reason to retire when you’ve got 148 wins and 16 Funny Car championships to date.
John’s determination to succeed may have been motivated by the fact that he came from very humble beginnings. According to a report from USA Today, John grew up living in a camping trailer. His family would move from job to job to make some money.
Despite the rough living situation, John vowed to pursue much bigger dreams. He wanted to race and true enough, John joined the NHRA full-time in 1983. Soon, he started winning. In 1987, he got his first victory, according to NHRA records. It was at an event in Montreal and he managed to beat Ed McCulloch during the final round.
18 Their Mother Is A Driving Force Behind The Family’s Racing Glory
Without a doubt, Brittany and Courtney’s successes on the drag strip are in part, due to the support of their mother. In fact, ESPN has said that Laurie is “the secret to the Force family’s racing success.”
What’s amazing about Laurie is she does more than just provide emotional support to John and their daughters. In fact, she helped John and his team during his early racing days. “She worked on the vehicle with me, packed the parachutes, mixed the nitro and cooked for the teams. She was there through it all,” John recalled during an interview.
While John was off driving in various championships, Laurie was also the one who stayed home and looked after the girls. She tried to give them a normal life as much as possible. “My mom really ran the show when we were all growing up. We didn't get to see my dad that much. But my mom was there for every second of it,” Brittany explained.
Laurie was given the Pat Garlits Memorial Award in 2016. It is an award that is given to a woman each year for contributions to drag racing.
17 Originally, There Were Three Force Sisters On The Drag Strip
Several years ago, it wasn’t just Brittany and Courtney Force that were showing off their driving skills on the drag strip. In fact, there used to be a trio of Force sisters in the NHRA since their oldest Force sister, Ashley Force Hood, used to drag race as well.
Ashley was a Top Alcohol rookie in 2004, according to motorsport.com. That year, she won three of the five final races of the season. As a result, she joined her father in the winner’s circle. However, Ashley had her first child in 2011 and retired from competitive racing.
In 2014, there was talk that Ashley might just make a return to racing. According to a report from NBC Sports, the oldest Force sister spent some time at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway one Monday to renew her NHRA license.
Even better, Ashley hopped into a Traxxas Ford Mustang that she borrowed from Courtney and made four impressive runs. “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,” Ashley remarked.
16 The Force Sisters Have A Fourth Sister
Aside from Ashley, the Force sisters do have a fourth sister, Adria. She is the only child from John’s Force first marriage. Now married to racing driver Robert Hight, Adria is also somewhat involved in drag racing.
Instead of racing though, Adria prefers to help run the growing family business that is John Force Racing. Currently, she serves as the company’s chief financial officer (CFO) while her husband is the president.
Today, Adria and Robert have one daughter named Autumn. And according to a report from NBC Sports, she and her cousins (Ashley’s two sons) seem to be the only ones who can calm their highly competitive grandfather down. In addition, it seems that Adria’s daughter, along with Ashley’s kids, seem to bring out a whole different side of the legendary John Force.
In fact, it’s probably just in front of his grand kids that John readily admits that he is technologically challenged. “Even the little grandkids that just turned five, they show him how to work a cell phone. They can go on it, pull up games, pull up anything. John’s always stuck, always lost,” Ashley’s mom Laurie explained during the interview.
15 Racing Is A Family Affair For Them
Without a doubt, drag racing is a complete family affair for Brittany, Courtney and their father John. Their careers have been such a remarkable collective success that the family decided to put up their own racing outfit, John Force Racing Inc.
Today, John Force Racing features four active drag racing drivers. These are sisters Courtney and Brittany as well as their father John and Adria’s husband, Robert. Behind the scenes, John’s other two daughters remain active in helping run the company’s daily operations. While Adria is serving the role of CFO, Ashley is serving as vice president of the company. Meanwhile, John remains the big boss and continues to serve as chief executive officer.
Aside from being a racing outfit, the company has also expanded its business and launched John Force Entertainment in 2011. According to the company’s website, JF Entertainment was formed after Ashley decided to retire from racing.
The company produces, films and edits videos for driver appearances, social media, and sponsors. Meanwhile, JF Entertainment also own their very own Queen of Hearts Theater. With a capacity of over 50, it is an ideal venue for various screenings of their works.
14 Brittany Almost Became A Teacher
In the beginning, Brittany thought she would go on to become a successful teacher. She had graduated from Cal State Fullerton and managed to earn her secondary education teaching credential in 2010. Although she enjoys driving cars, she thought she would be teaching at some point. After all, it was possible to combine teaching and driving.
“After school I planned to jump back in my A/Fuel dragster and start competing full time. I figured after a few years I would begin looking for a teaching job but I still planned to drive during summers and at tracks close to home,” Brittany explained during an interview with Parade. Right before getting back into her A/Fuel dragster, an opportunity presented itself. Brittany said she was offered to test the Ford Boss 500 engine in a Top Fuel vehicle. According to her, this was the moment when she decided was going full-time with racing instead.
“So I hopped in the car, and after making my first full pass I was hooked! I knew I was in the right place and my career had suddenly shifted,” Brittany remarked. She hasn’t looked back since.
13 Brittany Is A Recipient Of The Prestigious Jerry Titus Award
You can say that recent times have been quite good for Brittany. Just last December, the 31-year-old drag race driver became the recipient of the prestigious Jerry Titus Memorial Award as she also became the second female to win the Top Fuel world championship after former champion Shirley Muldowney.
Aside from receiving an award, Brittany was also elected to the American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association (AARWBA) All-America Team, according to a report from Autoweek. One of the organization’s main goal is to recognize the work of competitors that writers, photographers, broadcasters and other media professionals follow on air, on film, and on print.
In the All-America Team, Brittany is joined by several other racing greats from other auto racing championships. These include NASCAR’s Martin Truex Jr., Indy Lights’ Kyle Kaiser, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series’ Christopher Bell, IMSA’s Jordan Taylor, Spring Car’s Donny Schatz and IndyCar’s Josef Newgarden. As expected, Brittany could not be happier to become a part of this group. “It's such an honor to be included on the All-America Team by the American Auto Racing Writers & Broadcasters Association,” the Top Fuel driver remarked.
12 Courtney Took Her Second Career Win By Defeating Ron Capps
Courtney may be the youngest Force in the team, but she has shown time and again that she can hold her own on the race track. In fact, she managed to win a race against the nearly unbeatable Ron Capps.
You have to understand that for any NHRA driver, Capps is a serious competitor. An NHRA FC World Champion back in 2016, this California native is second place in all-time Funny Car wins, having won 57 Funny Car drag races throughout his career. Not to mention, Capps also has 58 event titles under his belt and to this day, he is determined to keep on racing and winning.
Nonetheless, that did not stop John’s youngest from beating Capps during the 53rd O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Winternationals back in 2013. There, she also managed to run the quickest pass of the weekend, according to The Auto Channel.
“Going against Capps I was honestly terrified. I knew the last time I ran him it was out here in the finals and I knew he wanted revenge. He was running well all weekend,” Courtney later remarked, according to Traxxas. “He’s a tough competitor.”
11 Courtney Taught Her Dad How To Tweet
When it comes to technology, Courtney’s father John is clearly in no rush to stay updated. In fact, the legendary NHRA champion did not even bother to make his debut on Twitter until 2016, and that was done with the help of his youngest daughter, Courtney.
During an interview with KGW8 News, Courtney talked about how much fun it was to help him out. “It’s definitely been fun trying to teach him to do Twitter. It makes me a little nervous. Him, too. He types slowly with one finger. He just got an iPhone. He says, ‘What if I say something wrong? I can’t take it back?’ No, you can’t. It’s a little late at that point,” she said.
Meanwhile, Courtney also captured the moment when John was sending out his very first tweet. In the end, John’s first tweet featured a photo of him and Courtney that was accompanied by the message, “First selfie enough said.”
It seems many were impressed by how well Courtney taught her father how to tweet. In fact, according to NBC Sports, the racing champion got as many as 8,850 followers almost immediately.
10 The Sisters Starred In A Television Series
Brittany, Courtney, their father and the rest of their family were once stars of a reality television series called “Driving Force.” The show aired on A&E from 2006 to 2007. Aside from showing racing footage, “Driving Force” also showed John’s attempts to spend a lot more quality time with his family.
Indeed, the show featured some family drama. In one episode, it was revealed that Brittany got a speeding ticket. Because of this, John decided to send her to driving school. Meanwhile, another episode featured Courtney finding a date to the prom. This made John overprotective, causing some friction between him and his youngest daughter. At some point in the series, Brittany also told her father that she wanted to stop racing and go to college instead. This (expectedly) left the drag racing champion upset. Aside from this, Ashley’s plans to restart her racing career was also featured on the show.
Although the show is no longer airing, you can still watch videos of the Force sisters and the rest of their high-octane family. That’s because John Force Racing’s very own JF Entertainment came up with a Force Web Series back in 2017.
9 Courtney Once Landed A Magazine Cover
On the drag strip, Courtney is an incredible Funny Car driver and it was not long before the media took notice. In fact, ESPN The Magazine already wanted to feature Courtney even when she was just new to the sport. However, being featured so soon simply didn’t feel right.
“I was originally asked to be in the magazine at the start of my rookie year and I turned it down. I knew the type of media attention that could bring, and I really wanted to focus on my racing and trying to establish myself as a racer, before doing something like that,” Courtney explained during an interview with Parade.
Soon, Courtney said she managed to score a win in Seattle and even received the 2012 Auto Club Rookie of the year award. Her second Funny Car season also started with a win and she soon found out that the media was still interested in her. According to Courtney, she was asked to be featured again in the magazine. This is how she landed the cover of ESPN The Magazine’s “The Body Issue” for 2013. According to Courtney, doing the cover was “a great experience.”
8 One Sister Is Single, One's Tied The Knot
Just because the sisters are extremely busy on the track doesn’t mean that they don’t have time for love. In fact, youngest daughter Courtney is married to Graham Rahal and together, they are known as “racing’s fastest couple.”
Rahal is an IndyCar driver who made history in 2008 by becoming the youngest IndyCar race winner during his debut season. Aside from that, he also went on to claim impressive victories, including the 24 Hours at Daytona. To this day, Rahal is one of youngest Sports Car Club of America champions in history.
Just like Courtney, racing has always been a family affair for Rahal. His father is none other than three-time IndyCar champion Bobby Rahal. Today, he drives for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing.
On the other hand, Brittany remains technically single. During an interview with Arizona Auto Scene, the older Force sister revealed she was dating someone but did not disclose his identity. She only said she was dating a crew member in the team. “My dad likes him, so that’s good,” she added. Later that year, Brittany revealed that the man in her life is Jim Underco.
7 Courtney Walked Away From An Explosion
What you must realize is that Funny Cars in the NHRA are not really meant to be funny. Instead, they are designed to constantly push the limit to make sure that the driver gets to cross the finish line first.
Well, pushing the limits turned out to be quite explosive for Courtney, literally. During a qualifying event at the NHRA New England Nationals in 2017, the Funny Car driver was charging the down the drag strip at a speed of 330 mph when her car unexpectedly exploded. Afterward, Courtney safely hopped out of the car.
As far as Courtney was concerned, it was just another day on the track. In fact, she even tweeted about the incident, saying “Didn't expect to be driving a @TeamChevy convertible at 330mph after my fuel line burst. But we stayed #1 qualifier for @AdvanceAuto team!”
Despite the dramatic explosion on the track, Courtney was seeded in the second spot as her team went into the elimination round that weekend. Oddly enough, it was her run time during the explosion that got her the spot, according to a report from The Drive.
6 They Have An Estimated Net Worth Of $5.8 Million Together
Without question, becoming a drag racing driver can make you quite a millionaire, just ask the very successful Force sisters.
According to The Net Worth Portal, it is estimated that older Force sister Brittany has a net worth of around $1.8 million. Aside from the earnings she makes from being a Top Fuel drag racer in the NHRA, Brittany also has other sources of income. For starters, she reportedly runs her very own website. Aside from this, she also has been known to sell various clothes and sports equipment online.
On the other hand, youngest Force sister Courtney seems to have outdone Brittany in earnings so far. According to Wealtholino, Courtney’s net worth is currently estimated at $4 million. While it is believed that her income is primarily derived from drag racing in NHRA, it was also reported that Courtney has a number of side businesses.
In addition, Courtney may have also been making some earnings through various magazine covers. At the same time, the NHRA Funny Car driver continues to be a spokesperson for the Ford Driving Skills for Life Program.
5 Brittany Is Recovering
The start of the season was not without trouble for Brittany as she suffered quite a horrific crash earlier this year. The incident occurred during the first round of eliminations in the Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals in Pomona, California.
Brittany was in the middle of a race against Terry Haddock when her dragster ended up veering right just off the start. It then shot to the left before slamming into the left wall on the track. The car then spun and hit the right wall before flipping on its side.
In the aftermath of the crash, Brittany was rushed to the hospital. According to a report from USA Today, the older Force sister did not sustain any major internal injuries from the incident. However, NBC Sports reported that she sustained a concussion and some severe bruising. Brittany was kept in the hospital overnight for observation and some tests.
Following her crash, Brittany remarked how much help her family has been during her recovery. “My family has been really supportive through this whole process. They were right there with me in the hospital,” she said. Soon enough, Brittany was back on the track.
4 Courtney Recently Got The Funny Car Win
February of 2018 proved to be a month to remember for John Force Racing. While Courtney managed to win the NHRA Arizona Nationals, her father, John, got caught up in a horrific engine explosion.
During the final round of the event, Courtney managed to beat Tommy Johnson Jr. by doing a 3.834-second run while traveling at a speed of 337.16 mph. Her victory marked her 10th win in Funny Car. Moreover, it was reportedly her first since her win in Houston back in 2016.
Meanwhile, things didn’t go so well for Courtney’s father as the engine on John’s car exploded right at the finish line during the second round. Following the crash, John was taken to the Chandler Regional Hospital where he stayed for the rest of the day.
According to a report from USA Today, Courtney’s win and John’s incident occurred just two weeks after Brittany’s horrific crash which left her hospitalized. Following his crash, John released a statement saying, “This was a great day for John Force Racing.” He also added, “My struggles continue, but I’m a big boy, I’ll fix it.”
3 Brittany Just Broke A Top Fuel Record
The start of the season may have been rather bumpy for Brittany. Nonetheless, John Force Racing’s only Top Fuel driver remained determined to make quite a big statement. In fact, she had managed to do just that recently when she broke a Top Fuel recorded during the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at the zMax Dragway in Concord, North Carolina.
According to a report from ESPN, Brittany beat the Top Fuel track time record by doing a 3.689-second pass while traveling at an exhilarating speed of 318.39 mph. Following her performance, Brittany said she was quite happy with the way things turned on the drag strip at that time.
“It felt good, especially compared to that first run we made earlier. I just wanted a clean, safe pass and I wasn't expecting to go No. 1. When they told me when I got out at the top end, that was pretty exciting. My team is pretty pumped,” the older Force sister said during an interview.
However, Brittany was later eliminated during the first quad race on Sunday. Nonetheless, she managed to finish a respectable third place while setting a track of 4.473 seconds.
2 Brittany’s Recent Win Was Extra Special
Just last month, Brittany showed the drag racing world exactly why she is the reigning Top Fuel world champion. During the NHRA SpringNationals in Houston finals, Brittany drove her Monster Energy Top Fuel dragster and claimed first place.
According to a press statement from John Force Racing, it was the eighth Top Fuel win in Brittany’s career. It was also a win that Brittany achieved after a devastating crash earlier in the season.
“Leaving Pomona last season we were on a huge high. We won the championship and that is something every driver dreams about. We were able to do that and then, coming out to the opening race of the season, at the same track in Pomona, it was the ultimate low,” Brittany explained.
The team’s only Top Fuel driver had been doing a lot of physical therapy aside from her usual workout routine to get back to top form. Clearly, all of Brittany’s efforts paid off as she found herself back in the winner’s circle just four events after her horrendous crash. “This win is big for us. It puts Pomona behind us and it pushes us towards another championship,” she said.
1 The Sisters Both Took Top Positions At The Four-Wide Nationals
During the recent NGK Spark Plugs NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at the zMAX Dragway, Brittany and Courtney ended up hanging on to number one qualifying positions after two qualifying rounds.
Brittany managed to achieve the Top Fuel provisional number one spot after she expertly set the track time record with a 3.689-second pass while traveling at a speed 318.39 mph. Nonetheless, the reigning Top Fuel world champion remained cautiously optimistic. “Tonight was our best shot at making a run that would put us No. 1. Tomorrow will be different, as far as conditions, and they should be more similar to race day. Tomorrow is about getting set up for Sunday. We are hoping to hold onto that top spot for sure,” she said in a press statement issued by John Force Racing.
Meanwhile, Courtney set a track time record with a 3.873-second pass while traveling at 332.02 mph. during the opening qualifying round. “This is a great start for us for the weekend. To go out there Q1 and step up with a run that made us No. 1 makes me really proud of my Advance Auto Parts guys,” she remarked.
Sources: nhra.com, parade.com, johnforceracing.com