- Terry Blount, ESPN Seattle Seahawks reporter
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Brittany Force is not just following the footsteps of sisters Ashley and Courtney. Brittany is entering the family business and changing it at the same time.
Like her sisters before her, Brittany becomes a professional NHRA drag racer this year. Unlike her sisters and her legendary father, John Force, she won't be driving a Funny Car.
Brittany, 26, will become the first member of the Force family to drive a Top Fuel dragster. John Force Racing has competed exclusively with Funny Cars for 35 years, producing 17 championships and 217 victories.
But JFR enters Top Fuel in 2013 with Brittany's rookie campaign. Dean Antonelli, who tuned John's car last year, will be the crew chief for Brittany's dragster.
Mike Neff, who drove a Funny Cars at JFR four of the last five seasons, will return to his job as the tuner on John's Castrol Funny Car. JFR will race three Funny Cars (15-time champ John Force, 2010 champion Robert Hight and 2012 Rookie of the Year Courtney Force) along with Brittany in the dragster.
"It's still very surreal to me," Brittany said about her move into Top Fuel. "But I think it's something we're all excited about and I'm going to do the best job I can.
"It really is a big honor to be the first to drive a Top Fuel dragster at John Force Racing. This team has done so much over the years to evolve. Adding a Top Fuel car into the mix, I believe, will help us continue to grow as a team."
Ashley Force Hood, 30, was the first Force daughter to become a professional drag racer. She was the NHRA Rookie of the year in 2007 and became the first woman in history ever to win a Funny Car race one year later.
Force Hood stopped racing in 2010 and became the president of John Force Entertainment in 2011. Force Hood and her husband, Danny Hood, are expecting their second child later this year.
Courtney, 24 and John's youngest daughter, tested for a full year in 2011 before making her Funny Car debut last year. She won at Seattle in August. Brittany tested the Top Fuel dragster all last season.
"My goal for Britt is the same one I had for Courtney last year." John said. "I hope she can qualify for every event, keep her nose clean, and if she does that, she'll have a shot at winning. We are doing everything the same way we did it with Courtney."
"But this dragster is a whole new animal to us. Hell, I don't know how to drive one. She's already gone faster than me."
Brittany, who has a degree in education for Cal State-Fullerton, raced three years in Super Comp and three others in an Alcohol dragster in preparation for this move.
John was asked to compare Brittany's personality to her two sisters.
"Ashley is quiet just like her mom (Laurie Force) and Courtney just like me," John said. "She'll get in your face and fight you. Brittany is a combination of the two. Maybe that's a good thing."
Brittany Force is not following the footsteps of sisters Ashley and Courtney. Brittany is entering the family business and changing it as the same time.