It didn’t take long for the chemistry to heat up between Brittany Force and her new crew, led by David Grubnic and Mac Savage, who were hired in the 2018-19 offseason to try to get Force and her Advance Auto Parts Top Fueler back to the championship throne they earned in 2017.
Within three races, they had their first of eight No. 1 qualifiers this season – their eight coming this weekend -- and by race five they were in the winner’s circle in Houston. Since then it’s been a series of late-round finishes that have propelled them to the No. 3 spot in points and a shot at that title.
According to Force, they’ve jelled and succeeded not just through the Grubnic-brewed horsepower but good communication as well.
“We have a team meeting every Sunday morning and talk about where we can improve, what we need to fix and where we were strong,” she said. “We sit down and talk for a good hour and communication is key when you’re out here with your team because here and there you have weekends where little mistakes happen and they cost you a round win and might not have happened if your communication was better.
“We’re a really tight-knit group. I love every single one of those guys and I give it up to them. This is a team effort and we were all No. 1 together.
Qualifying is one thing, but the team could really use another win in Texas. Since winning in Houston in April, they’ve scored a pair of runner-ups and four semifinal finishes, and a win would mean a lot.
“We’ve been to the semi’s, and that’s not good enough,” she said. “Sunday is where we’ve been struggling, especially in the heat, but I feel like we made some good runs in the heat and hopefully we’ll have it fixed.”