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

Photo: John Force Racing
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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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Supercross reveals 2023 Daytona track designed by Ricky Carmichael for 16th time

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For the 16th consecutive year, Ricky Carmichael has designed a signature course for the Daytona Supercross race, which will be March 4, 2023.

Eli Tomac took advantage of a last lap mistake by Cooper Webb last year to win a record setting sixth Daytona race – and with that win, he broke out of a tie Carmichael.

Construction on the course will begin two days after the completion of the 65th running of NASCAR’s Daytona 500 when haulers start to unload 7,200 tons of dirt onto the grassy infield in order to create a course 3,300 feet long.

“Ricky has designed yet another incredible course for this year’s Daytona Supercross,” said Daytona International Speedway President Frank Kelleher in a press release. “We’re thrilled to unveil it to the fans, and we can’t wait for them to come out to the track and see it in person.”

MORE: Designs for SuperMotocross finals at zMax Raceway and Chicagoland Speedway

Carmichael’s Daytona course will take center stage for Round 8 of the 17-race Supercross season and the 31-race SuperMotocross season.

The Supercross race coincides with Daytona’s Bike Week, which runs from March 3-12 and includes races from the American Flat Track series and the legendary Daytona 200 speedway race that is contested on the infield road course.

Last year’s course was reported to have 57 obstacles including the return of an over-under bridge. For 2023 the number of obstacles listed in 42, but that will not keep this from being one of the toughest tracks on which the Monster Energy Supercross series will race.

Many of the same elements from last year will be present including sharp turns, vaulted jumps, sand sections and a finish line that aligns with the oval tracks’ start/finish line.

“This year’s Daytona Supercross design is one of the best,” Carmichael said. “It races great for the riders – it’s safe yet challenging and it’s very similar to last year with the split lanes. Daytona is the toughest, gnarliest race on the Supercross circuit, but it’s the most special to win.

“This track is going to produce great racing and I think the riders are going to put on a fantastic display for all our fans.”

While Tomac has dominated this race during his career, Daytona has also been the site of some other dramatic victories. In 2021 Aaron Plessinger scored his first career Supercross podium in 35 starts with a win there and reversed a three-year streak of bad luck on the track.

The Daytona Supercross race is the first of two the series will contest on speedway infield courses. A little more than one month later, Atlanta Motor Speedway will enter their third season as a supercross venue. These two courses will serve as an early test for the SuperMotocross three-race finale that begins September 9, 2023 at zMax Dragway in Charlotte, North Carolina. The three playoff races will each be held on courses that contain elements of Supercross and Motocross, much like Daytona and Atlanta.