home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


April 9, 2014

Courtney Force

SCOTT SMITH:  Thank you for joining us, Courtney.  Courtney also continues to be one of the top competitors in the Funny Car category.  She raced to a semifinal finish in Gainesville, qualified on the top half of the field at two of the events and was the number one qualifier in Las Vegas for the fourth time in her career. 
Courtney, we've kind of talked about the women in racing, where they stack up, the history of that.  Looking at Shirley Muldowney, Angelle, some of the others.  With what's going on now, would any of that be possible but for what Shirley and Angelle were able to accomplish through the years? 
COURTNEY FORCE:  As a female in the sport, we all look to Shirley Muldowney, Angelle.  I got to take a look at that long list of wins by a female.  It's pretty astounding.  I mean, it is pretty amazing. 
But like I said before, Shirley really was the one that kind of paved the way for all the females in this male-dominated sport.  She accomplished so much during the time she was racing, it's something that we all kind of look at as a female driver.  You kind of strive to be. 
So to be a part of that list of one of the I guess 98 right now females to accomplish getting a win, it's pretty cool. 
But, yeah, who knows if it would be possible or not.  She really did pave the way for all of us.  We all thank her for that.  It's pretty amazing. 
If you really take a step back and look at it, look at all the other sports like baseball and football and basketball - basketball especially - they have men's basketball and they have women's basketball.  In NHRA drag racing, we all get to come together and compete in a sport as an equal.  I think it's pretty amazing that I get to be a part of a sport that's like that. 
SCOTT SMITH:  We'll take questions for Courtney. 

Q.  You mentioned football, baseball, but what about reporting where males dominate that area, too?  What do you think about a female moving up and becoming a great analyst for a sport like NHRA? 
COURTNEY FORCE:  I don't see any reason why they couldn't.  If you're passionate enough about something, like for me, this is my past, I grew up around it, I know not everything, but I know a lot about the sport.  I've learned a lot from my dad, watching him, learning from him.  He's taught me the ins-and-outs of driving one of these cars.  I live it every day of my life. 
If there's an analyst, why couldn't it be a female?  I think it's a little ridiculous to think they couldn't be. 

Q.  As far as going into that Four-Wide situation, you and your team, do you kind of approach it a little bit differently knowing it's going to be more of a challenging event? 
COURTNEY FORCE:  Yeah, definitely.  I mean, we've struggled at the Four-Wide a lot in the past.  It's given me a lot of motivation right now.  I'm always up for a challenge.  This is the race where you really have to bring your A game. 
It's definitely mentally challenging for a driver.  You pull up there.  The Christmas tree is different than what you're used to on the rest of the circuit.  You really get only one shot at qualifying if you think about it.  You only get four passes, one in each lane.  You have to learn the lanes and memorize it quick. 
Same goes for the crew chiefs.  It's definitely a challenge.  It's just a little bit of a challenge for everybody on the team.  It's a lot to take on.  But it's exciting.  I know it's definitely exciting for the fans as well as being behind the wheel and competing with three other Funny Cars out my window. 
It's pretty surreal.  It's a lot of fun.  You definitely do have to approach this race a lot differently than you would any other race on the circuit.  You really got to focus on the Christmas tree. 
You're really kind of racing yourself in the Funny Car.  You don't know what the guy is doing two, three lanes over.  You can't be looking for him.  Normally if it's a side-by-side race, you can see the guy went up in smoke, you're trying to get around him.  In a race like this where you're against three other cars, you just have to race with yourself because you have no idea what the guys are doing in the other lanes.  You shouldn't be looking over there anyway. 
It's really a race with yourself.  You just got to get your car down to the other end.  That's what your main focus is.  All the other cars could be up in smoke in the line.  You'll see guys pedaling it all the way down sideways because they're just trying to get to the finish. 
You approach it differently as a driver and as a crew chief, as well. 

Q.  Everybody is excited because Ashley has renewed her license.  Is there any definitive plan she's coming back into racing, and if so when?
COURTNEY FORCE:  Unfortunately there's not any plan right now.  I wish I knew the answer to that.  Believe me, I'm the one on the side being her biggest fan.  I'm trying to push her to come back out here because I would love to race her.  I'm sure my dad would, too. 
There's no definitive plan.  She just went to get her license renewed.  I think it was exciting for her to do.  I could tell by the smile on her face how excited she was to get back in a Funny Car. 
Right now she doesn't have any plans of jumping back in.  As a lot of people know, she does have two kids now.  I think she loves having them out there.  I think they loved watching her.  It was exciting for everybody in the family.  But she does not have any plan to come back as of right now.
SCOTT SMITH:  Courtney, we were asking Alexis and Erica, the hundredth within by a female definitely could happen this weekend with the entry list, eight women entered this weekend.  What would it mean for you to get that hundredth victory? 
COURTNEY FORCE:  It would be huge.  As a female in a male-dominated sport, it's funny that people can actually come up to you and be, Oh, there are females that race in the sport?  You're competing against mainly guys.  It seems surreal to them.  Then they look at you, Oh, man, I can't believe this girl won.  You want to show them the sheet of paper and go, We've been winning for a very long time starting with Shirley Muldowney, a bunch of other females.  It's not just one and it wasn't just in one class. 
It's pretty cool to see my sister Ashley's name on that list, to see my name on that list.  But, man, to get the hundredth win for women, it would be amazing.  I mean, definitely going to be my goal at this point. 
If I had a picture-perfect world, honestly it would be me getting 99 and Brittany getting a hundred all in this weekend.  Obviously Top Fuel runs after us.  That would be a picture-perfect world.  I definitely hope Brittany gets on that list, too. 
To get the hundredth, it goes down in the history books.  Your name is not going to be coming off that list.  It would really be a proud moment if you can have your name next to 100.  
SCOTT SMITH:  Again, thank you for your time and we will see you in Charlotte. 
COURTNEY FORCE:  All right.  Thank you so much. 

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297