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Brittany Force after more VMP magic at PlayNHRA Virginia Nationals

The last time Brittany Force was at Virginia Motorsports Park, she was obliterating track records en route to a victory in 2022 and, ultimately, her second world championship, and she hopes to recreate some of that magic this year.
20 Jun 2024
Posted by NHRA.com staff
Brittany Force

The last time Brittany Force was at Virginia Motorsports Park, the Top Fuel standout was obliterating track records in Richmond en route to a victory in 2022 and, ultimately, her second world championship in the NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series.

Returning to the standout facility in 2024 for this weekend’s PlayNHRA Virginia Nationals at Virginia Motorsports Park, Force hopes to recreate some of that magic and return to the winner’s circle for the first time since her 2022 championship season.

The team made strides two weeks ago in Bristol, advancing to the semifinals, and she has plenty of good history in Richmond, going 3.654-seconds at 335.82 mph two years ago on her way to the winner’s circle. Force is preparing to race in warmer conditions in her 11,000-horsepower HendrickCars.com/Chevrolet dragster, as she also gets ready to tackle the unique, first-time schedule that will feature three qualifying sessions on Saturday.
“Our recent improvements, particularly at Bristol, have boosted our confidence and morale,” Force said. “We’re eager to build on that momentum and showcase our progress in Richmond. This weekend, Richmond is changing things up. It will be a 2-day event, which is something I’ve never done in my career. I’m interested to see the fan response for a Saturday and Sunday event, and we are hoping for a positive outcome.”

In 2022, Force (Top Fuel), Robert Hight (Funny Car), and Matt Smith (Pro Stock Motorcycle) all won in Richmond and this year’s event will again be broadcast on FS1, including eliminations at 5 p.m. ET on Sunday, June 23. It is the ninth of 20 races during the 2024 NHRA season and PlayNHRA Virginia Nationals is the first time in NHRA history that all four pro categories (Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock, and Pro Stock Motorcycle) will take part in three qualifying sessions on Saturday.

That makes for an action-packed weekend for Force, who is also competing in the Mission #2Fast2Tasty Challenge on Saturday, taking on reigning world champion and points leader Doug Kalitta in a semifinal rematch from Bristol. The other pairing features Bristol winner Tony Schumacher and Clay Millican. Those runs will take place during the second qualifying session of the day, with the winners meeting in the final qualifying session with a bonus purse and bonus championship points on the line.

Currently 10th in the loaded Top Fuel category, Force is also looking to make a move over the next two weekends in Richmond and Norwalk. It won’t be easy, taking on the likes of Justin Ashley and Shawn Langdon, who each have two wins this season, Antron Brown, Steve Torrence and Top Fuel newcomer Tony Stewart, but Force believes her team is headed in the right direction heading into an important time of the year.

The team has pushed through early-season difficulties, including a rare DNQ in Chicago, and the payoff for the perseverance could come this weekend at Virginia Motorsports Park.
“We’re excited to return to Richmond with HendrickCars.com as our primary sponsor coming out of a strong weekend in Bristol,” Force said. “After a semifinal finish in Thunder Valley, our team will enter Virginia Motorsports Park and have a chance to compete #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge for extra bonus points and prize money. This team has made some progress on the track and we know we are starting to see results on race day.”

NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series qualifying features three rounds of action on Saturday, June 22 at 11 a.m., 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. ET, with eliminations beginning at 12 p.m. on Sunday, June 23. Television coverage includes qualifying action at 1 p.m. ET on Saturday and Sunday. Finals coverage starts at 5 p.m. on Sunday on FS1.
To purchase tickets to the PlayNHRA Virginia Nationals on June 21-23 at Virginia Motorsports Park, visit https://nhra.com/tickets. All children 12 and under will be admitted free in the general admission area with a paid adult.