Two of the Fastest Women on the Planet, Courtney Force and Alexis DeJoria Ready for This Weekend's NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at zMAX Dragway
Friday, two of the fastest women on the planet will face the biggest challenge of their rookie NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series campaigns during the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at zMAX Dragway.
Alexis DeJoria and Courtney Force will be among the NHRA Funny Car competitors that take to the Bellagio of drag strips for the greatest spectacle in drag racing, April 13-15. The unique four-wide format proves formidable to even the most experienced veterans, but could level the playing field for the two first-year drivers.
Force has a lot to live up to. Her father, 15-time Funny Car champion John Force, won the inaugural NHRA Four-Wide Nationals in 2010.
“It is definitely breaking the norm and this is really a really unique track,” said Force, the youngest of John’s three daughters. “There is no other track on the circuit that has four lanes. There’s nowhere else you’re going to see 32,000 horsepower all at the same time. It’s definitely different than what we as drivers and the fans are used to, but I think it’s a good thing. I think it’s awesome and it gives them a different show.”
It may take some extra effort to prepare for competition at the only four-lane, all-concrete drag strip in the world.
“When I get there, the first thing I’m doing is going to the race track and looking at each lane and trying to figure out the difference between all of them,” said Force. “Really getting to know the tree, I think that’s going to be the hardest part as a driver, it’s definitely going to be a challenge and that’s the one track where everything just switches up for everyone. It’s going to take a lot of practice and I am going to have to get it down and figure it out all out, but I think it will be fun.”
DeJoria, also a Funny Car rookie, has never raced at zMAX Dragway, but she is aware of the excitement generated for the fans by the greatest spectacle in drag racing.
“I’ve never experienced four-wide before in Charlotte – I’ve never even raced in Charlotte before. This is all new to me,” said DeJoria. “This year is my first year in a nitro Funny Car, with NHRA drag racing. I’m excited to do this, to do the Four-Wide. It’s great to see on TV, the fans absolutely love it.”
DeJoria feels that one of the most difficult parts will be not knowing what is going on in all the lanes.
”I’ve talked to other drivers about it and I hear them speak on the subject about how you’re not just racing that other guy in the lane next to you,” said DeJoria. “You don’t really know what’s going on in those other two lanes. It kind of makes you drive a little more aggressively.
“Where you might have lifted at a certain point – you probably won’t because you don’t know what’s going on over there and you need to stay on top of it and get it down the track before anybody else does. So it kind of poses a little bit of an issue there, but it’s something that’s exciting for the fans, and I am excited to try it.”
Force and DeJoria will be joined by the rest of the stars of the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series for a total of four qualifying sessions on Friday and Saturday and final eliminations starting Sunday at noon.
Fans can purchase two tickets to any day of the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals for $60 and receive a choice of two t-shirts, two beer vouchers or two Coca-Cola soft drinks and two hot dogs.
Thanks to Traxxas and Circle K, children 13 and under get in free to the three-day event with a paying adult and once inside they can visit the new-and-improved POWERADE Play Zone, located behind the John Force Grandstand, which will include an 8,000-square-foot remote control car dirt course built by Traxxas.
Tickets and camping are still available for the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals, April 13-15 at zMAX Dragway, by calling the Charlotte Motor Speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267).