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Force family ready to compete on Father’s Day in Bristol

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Father’s Day weekend is always a special occasion for John Force and his family, perhaps most notably because it involves the family competing together on the same weekend, and sometimes against each other. John Force Racing features 16-time Funny Car champion John Force competing against his youngest daughter, Courtney, in the Funny Car division. John’s middle daughter, Brittany, is also an NHRA star in her own right, but as a Top Fuel competitor, she does not compete against her father.

Of course, given that Courtney is often in direct competition with her father in the Funny Car division, there is a peculiar dynamic that exists within the team.

“Being able to race against my dad on Father’s Day weekend is something that I really look forward to. Hopefully, we can give him Sunday off – that’s always the goal coming out to Bristol, to give dad the day off for Father’s Day. We’ll see what we can do,” Courtney quipped.

Of course, she is obviously joking, as the youngest of Force’s daughters relishes the chance to compete against her father, and enjoys the fun atmosphere it creates, an atmosphere that is especially noteworthy as Father’s Day approaches.

“Honestly, he’s taught me everything I know in a Funny Car, and I have fun when I’m in the lane next to him competing against him,” Courtney added. “I try to mess with him, but literally nothing breaks that guy down. I can’t screw him up, even if I try. We have fun with it.”

Brittany, the middle of John Force’s daughters, who competes in the Top Fuel division, does not compete against her father, but that not have make Father’s Day weekend any less poignant.

She highlighted that Father’s Day weekend is always special for the Force family, particularly in that they’re usually competing at the Bristol Dragway, one of her favorite tracks.

“Racing in Bristol on Father’s Day is always special,” said Brittany. “It always happens to land on that weekend, and Courtney and I do the Track Walk with our dad, which is something fun before race day.”

She added, “Bristol is one of my favorite race tracks – Thunder Valley. It’s a Bruton Smith track, and it’s absolutely beautiful. It’s a race that I want to win, it’s a race I will win one of these days. I’d love to do it this year on Father’s Day.”

Heading into the weekend, Brittany ranks sixth in the Top Fuel standings, while Courtney sits fourth in the Funny Car standings, ahead of John in seventh.

John, meanwhile, looks to overcome a recent run of challenges and inconsistency.

“In my early days, I spent a lot of Father’s Days on the road,” John Force said. “Couldn’t get home to them, and I didn’t have the money – I was driving the 18-wheeler. To be with kids that I’ve missed so much and to race with them, life’s good for me.

“I’m getting beat up on that race track. But they beat me up 40 years ago and then I beat them up. They beat me up the first 10 years, and I dominated for 20, and now I’m getting my butt kicked. That’s what makes it exciting.”

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Ricciardo set to see Dale Jr.’s final Texas ride in two weeks (VIDEO)

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We’ve written before about Daniel Ricciardo’s love of Dale Earnhardt and his love of the No. 3, which Ricciardo has selected as his permanent number for the duration of his Formula 1 career. And additionally, Dale Earnhardt Jr. has offered up the opportunity that one day Ricciardo could race a JR Motorsports car in NASCAR Xfinity Series competition, and Ricciardo has said he’d be up for it.

And although Earnhardt Jr. has only used the No. 3 on a handful of occasions in his career in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, Ricciardo knows how much the number means to the NASCAR veteran as he prepares for his final few starts in the Cup Series the tail-end of this year.

After the Mexican Grand Prix next week, Ricciardo is set to stay in North America for the off-week between the Mexican and Brazilian Grands Prix.

In that break, he said he’ll see Earnhardt Jr. in person at the Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway (Sunday, Nov. 5, 2 p.m. ET, NBCSN) to ensure he gets to see him before he retires from full-time competition.

Ricciardo explained his planning during Thursday’s pre-race edition of the NBC Sports Group original digital series Paddock Pass, speaking to NBCSN’s Will Buxton at the United States Grand Prix at Circuit of The Americas in Austin.

“Well I’ll see him for the first time in Dallas. I’m gonna go to the NASCAR race in two weeks time at Texas Motor Speedway,” Ricciardo told NBCSN.

“Yeah, so, I gotta see him race before he hangs up the helmet.

“The Earnhardt family is a huge name in motorsport, not only in America but all over the world. Yeah I wish him well.”

Ricciardo is also optimistic he’ll get the chance to do a helmet swap with Earnhardt Jr. at the event.

“Hopefully I get to see him perform well in Texas. I’m gonna try to do a helmet swap with him. We’ll see how we go.”

Stay tuned for more on this over the coming weeks.