Photos courtesy John Force Racing

NHRA: Brittany Force to assume her sister’s Advance Auto Parts sponsorship

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One day after Courtney Force announced she was stepping away from drag racing, John Force Racing revealed Friday morning that Courtney’s primary sponsor for the past two seasons, Advance Auto Parts, will move to the Top Fuel dragster of her older sister, Brittany Force, for the 2019 NHRA season.

Thursday’s news that Courtney Force, the youngest of four daughters of 16-time NHRA Funny Car champion John Force, was walking away from active driving competition after seven years in a Funny Car rocked the NHRA world. Courtney is one of the most popular drivers on the NHRA circuit.

Brittany Force, who won the 2017 NHRA Top Fuel championship, had previously been sponsored by Monster Energy, but that relationship ended at the conclusion of the 2018 season.

Brittany Force will be sporting her new Advance Auto Parts colors both at next week’s NHRA annual three-day preseason test at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in suburban Phoenix, and officially for the first time in active competition at the season-opening NHRA Lucas Oil Winternationals, February 7-10, at Auto Club Raceway in Pomona, California.

“I’m really excited to start this season teaming up with Advance Auto Parts,” Brittany Force said in a media release. “They’ve been such a great partner to John Force Racing the past two years. They exceeded expectations when working with Courtney, building her as their brand ambassador, and I can’t wait to see what we can accomplish together.

Brittany Force

“I’m looking forward to getting them their first win in a dragster and ultimately going after a championship. Off track, I look forward to creating new relationships and being involved with everything this great company has to offer.”

Brittany Force became only the second female to ever win a Top Fuel championship in NHRA history in 2017, and the first woman to do so in 35 years since Shirley Muldowney captured her third and final Top Fuel crown in 1982.

The third of four daughters for John Force, Brittany Force struggled at times during the 2018 campaign, including a wild crash in last year’s season-opening Winternationals. Brittany was uninjured in the incident.

She would go on to finish fifth in the Top Fuel standings and won the NHRA Springnationals, her only victory of 2018 after capturing four wins in her championship season.

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Supercross Preview: It’s Webb’s World for now

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A short launching area and tight left-hand turn is going to create a lot of drama this week in Round 8 of the Supercross season as the riders invade Detroit’s Ford Field after one year off.

Last week Cooper Webb won for the fourth time in the last five races. Incredibly, two of these count among the five closest finishes in Supercross history with a .760-second win over Marvin Musquin at Oakland and last week’s .028-second win over Ken Roczen. Webb has won in a variety of ways so far this year. He has gained experience protecting a lead and coming from behind with Arlington’s incredible run. He even won the first Triple Crown race at Anaheim II after taking two of the three heats.

Last year, Jason Anderson seemingly came out of nowhere to grab the points lead in Round 2. He never relinquished it. Webb has tighter competition in 2019, but he shows know sign of letting up as the four-man battle for the lead became a three-rider challenge last week with Eli Tomac’s trouble.

Eli Tomac cooled off in a hurry. After sweeping the top five in the first five rounds and winning San Diego, he finished sixth in Minneapolis and 12th at Arlington. This week will be a test of his ability to rebound.

Which rider will be the first to win in 2019, Roczen or Musquin? Between them they have finished second or third 10 times this season. They have both stood on the podium in the last three events, but have yet to climb to the top rung.

Vince Friese injured his knee during practice at Arlington and may have a torn ACL. He is unlikely to ride this week.

Schedule:

Qualifying: 12 p.m. on NBC Sports, Gold
Race: Live, 7 p.m. on NBC Sports, Gold, 8 p.m. on NBCSN

Last Week:

Cooper Webb won his fourth event in the past five races over Ken Roczen and Marvin Musquin in the 450 class.
Austin Forkner won over Justin Cooper and Chase Sexton in the 250 class.

Last Year:

Event was not run in 2018.

In 2017 Eli Tomac beat Marvin Musquin and Ryan Dungey in the 450 class.
In 250s, Jordon Smith won over Joey Savatgy and Adam Cianciarulo in the 250 class.

Winners

450s:
[4] Cooper Webb (Anaheim II, Oakland, Minneapolis, and Arlington)
[1] Justin Barcia (Anaheim I)
[1] Blake Baggett (Glendale)
[1] Eli Tomac (San Diego)

250 West:
[3] Adam Cianciarulo (Glendale, Oakland, San Diego)
[1] Colt Nichols (Anaheim I)
[1] Shane McElrath (Anaheim II)

250 East:
[2] Austin Forkner (Minneapolis and Arlington)

Top-5s

450s:
Ken Roczen (7)
Marvin Musquin (6)
Eli Tomac (5)
Cooper Webb (5)
Blake Baggett (3)
Dean Wilson (2)
Joey Savatgy (2)
Justin Barcia (1)
Jason Anderson (1)
Justin Bogle (1)
Chad Reed (1)
Justin Brayton (1)

250 West:
Shane McElrath (5)
Adam Cianciarulo (5)
Colt Nichols (4)
RJ Hampshire (3)
Dylan Ferrandis (3)
James Decotis (2)
Jacob Hayes (1)
Garrett Marchbanks (1)
Jess Pettis (1)

250 East:
Austin Forkner (2)
Jordon Smith (2)
Justin Cooper (2)
Chase Sexton (2)
Alex Martin (1)
Martin Davalos (1)

Points Leaders

450s:
Cooper Webb (150)
Ken Roczen (148)
Marvin Musquin (144)
Eli Tomac (134)
Dean Wilson (110)

250 West:
Adam Cianciarulo (114)
Shane McElrath (105)
Colt Nichols (104)
Dylan Ferrandis (102)
RJ Hampshire (75)

250 East:
Austin Forkner (52)
Justin Cooper (44)
Jordon Smith (42)
Chase Sexton (39)
Mitchell Oldenburg (34)
Alex Martin (34)

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