Courtney Force may be most well-known as the daughter of 16-time NHRA Funny Car national champion John Force, but she's an accomplished NHRA racer as well. In fact, she just accomplished something that most NHRA racers never see.
NBC reports that Courtney became the 100th female driver to score a win in the NHRA over the weekend. In a race with Cruz Pedregon on Sunday, she finished in 4.148 seconds scoring her first win of the season. While it may have only been her first win of the season, it was a defining moment for women in motor sports.
“This is for all the girls out there in any type of sport, any motorsport,” said Force. “It’s an exciting day for us. It’s an honor to be number 100 on a list of the legends like Shirley Muldowney, Angelle Sampey, Melanie Troxel, Erica Enders-Stevens, Shelly Payne, Ashley (Force Hood, sister), Alexis DeJoria, there are so many great names. … It’s an honor to be a part of it. We’ve hit 100, but there’s 100 more to go.”
To commemorate the event, the NHRA gave Force a special trophy complete with pink faceplate and design. She came close to winning the trophy last week when she barely lost to Robert Height at the Spring Nationals in Commerce, GA. Despite that loss, she still came back and won it this week for all the women in sports:
“There’s just a lot of emotion right now," Force said. “I am happy to win this for all of the girls who have won races in NHRA over the years. They know how to win, and this win is for them.”
— Courtney Force (@courtneyforce) May 26, 2014
Speaking of female NHRA drivers, all of this started in 1976 when Shirley Muldowney became the first female to win a national event. It may have taken over 30 years for female drivers to score 100 wins, but it's long been impossible to question their contributions to the sport. Force's win only cements the fact that women are here to stay in motorsports.
Image via nhra/YouTube