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Courtney Force tops funny-car qualifiers at NHRA Winternationals

February 16, 2013|By Jim Peltz
  • Funny car drag racer Courtney Force posted the fastest qualifying time heading into Sunday.
Funny car drag racer Courtney Force posted the fastest qualifying time… (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles…)

Funny-car drag racer Courtney Force posted the fastest qualifying time heading into Sunday's final eliminations at the NHRA Winternationals in Pomona.

"It's really exciting especially because it's my home track," Force, who is from Yorba Linda, said of Auto Club Raceway. "But I've still got to focus. There are guys right behind me."

In the first of two qualifying passes Saturday, Force's Ford ran down the 1,000-foot drag strip in 4.036 seconds at 318.24 mph on a warm day in which the track temperature at one point topped 100 degrees.

That was the fastest time among the 16 funny-car drivers advancing to Sunday's eliminations, which start at 11 a.m.

The 24-year-old Force, last season's rookie of the year, is the daughter of 15-time funny-car champion John Force, 63, who qualified 11th.

In top fuel, the other elite class of the National Hot Rod Assn., seven-time champion Tony Schumacher led qualifiers with a time of 3.753 seconds at 328.14 mph. Schumacher has six career wins at the Pomona track.

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