Get to Know Drag Racing’s Local Royal Family

Based in Brownsburg, John Force and his three daughters rule the drag strip.

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John Force and two of his daughters, Brittany and Courtney Force, will compete in the National Hot Rod Association’s U.S. Nationals September 3–7 at Lucas Oil Raceway. Here, they (and oldest sis Ashley, on hiatus) introduce us to their prime competition—each other.

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Pictured, left to right:

Courtney Force, 27
Winningest female drag racer
Top Speed: 325.37 mph

Brittany Force, 29
2013 NHRA Top Fuel Rookie of the Year
Top Speed: 329.91 mph

Ashley Force Hood, 34,
2007 NHRA Funny Car Rookie of the Year
Top Speed: 316.38 mph

John Force, 66
134 career victories
16-time NHRA Top Fuel Funny Car national champion
Owns John Force Racing
Top Speed: 324.83 mph

 

John: “I always wanted sons—I’ve said that. But Ashley, Brittany, and Courtney have really developed as drivers, and it wasn’t because I made them do it. They wanted to drive racecars. And they are all really good kids.”

Ashley: “Dad doesn’t eat. He’ll drink about 50 cups of coffee and have a handful of peanut-butter cups, and that’s his meal for the day.”

John: “Ashley [currently not competing while raising a family] keeps her competition license updated. We’re like the trapeze people in the circus: Somebody dies over the course of time. You’ve seen it in NASCAR. If I got hurt or one of the girls got hurt and it could cause us to lose a contract, Ashley would jump in for that.”

Courtney: “Ashley loves Christmas. She used to listen to Christmas music. In her helmet. When she was in the staging lane.”

Brittany: “When Courtney and I went to Thailand a few years ago, I thought [Dad] was going to lose it. Before we left, he made us rent the movie Taken. He lectured us for a month leading up to the trip about if we do get taken, what we need to do.”

Courtney: “Dad still has a flip phone, and he doesn’t have one contact saved. He memorizes numbers.”

Brittany: “Courtney has always been very competitive. We’ll go out jogging, and we’ll jog the same pace, but she always has to stay just ahead of me.”

Ashley: “Brittany is kind of a mystery. She just does her own thing. We’re like, ‘What, is it something we said?’”

John: “The night before the Indy 500, we all went downtown to St. Elmo with the Rahals. [Courtney is engaged to Graham Rahal, an IndyCar driver.] There are pictures of the Rahal family all over. I said, ‘What, did you prop this place?’ Graham’s mother said, ‘Isn’t your picture in here?’ I said, ‘No, my picture’s at the Dunkin’ Donuts in Brownsburg.’ It’s the truth.”

This article appeared in our September 2015 Issue.

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