Brittany Force clinched her second NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series Top Fuel championship in the first round of the Auto Club NHRA Finals, quickly ending an expected day of drama after her primary challengers all faltered.
Force and crew chief David Grubnic, the No. 1 qualifiers after a series of stellar runs in qualifying, including the fastest run in class history, did their part with an easy first-round victory over Steve Chrisman, but losses by second-place Justin Ashley — who was upset by fourth-place Antron Brown — third-place Mike Salinas, and fifth-place Steve Torrence cemented the championship. Force’s round win also locked out Brown, despite his victory.
Force, the 2017 champ, has compiled five wins so far this season for the Monster Energy/Flav-R-Pac team, including a pivotal victory two weeks earlier in Las Vegas that gave her the points lead heading into the season finale.
Force had twice led the points for five-race stretches earlier in the season, but stumbled early in the Countdown to the Championship playoffs, winning just one round in each of the four playoff events before Las Vegas and dropping as far as third.
"I want people to remember this day here in Pomona with this Monster Energy/Flav-R-Pac team -- David Grubnic, Mac Savage, every single one of my guys," she said. "We have been working all season long, we never gave up, and then we struggled in the Countdown and we recovered when we needed to in Vegas and it here today in Pomona, and this just seems unreal.
“I can't believe we're here. I have to thank every single one of my guys and our sponsors, Monster Energy, Flav-R-Pac, Auto Club, Chevy, Peak, Cornwell Tools, Montana Brand, NK Seeds, Powera Solar, all of them. We wouldn't be here without them today, and I'm just so proud of everybody. It just seems surreal right now. I can't believe it ended up this way.”
Force’s season also includes 10 No. 1 qualifying positions, two runner-ups, and a complete domination of the class’ top 10 speeds, six of which were recorded this season.