courtney force

Ten days after injuring her knee and suffering upper-body injuries in a nasty wall impact in Seattle, Courtney Force will return to racing action at this weekend's Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals in Brainerd, Minnesota.

Force was racing Jeff Diehl in the first round of eliminations at the Protect the Harvest NHRA Northwest Nationals at Pacific Raceways when her Traxxas Chevrolet Camaro SS Funny Car swung left and made hard contact with the concrete guard wall. She got out of the car under her own power but was sent to Valley Medical Center in Renton, Washington, to be examined for head, neck, knee, elbow and shoulder injuries. X-rays of her right knee, left elbow and left shoulder along with a CT scan of her head and cervical spine were negative, but she suffered a tendon contusion from contact with the steering wheel. Force used the weekend off to heal.

"I am excited to get back in the seat," said Force, who sits second in Funny Car standings. "After how I last left the track [in Seattle] I am definitely ready to get back in the car and go down the race track. I have been going through physical therapy every day. I have been working with Dr. Ortmeyer who is the same doctor that worked with my dad after his crash.

"I am seeing huge progress every day with my knee. I have gone from being on crutches the first couple of days to getting comfortable walking on it to being able to bend it all the way now. I definitely feel good enough to be back in the race car. That's my throttle leg so I will be ready to pound on the throttle for sure."

Force has one win this season (Houston) and two runner-up finishes to put her in contention heading into the Countdown. That's an improvement over last year's winless season.

"This is a huge turnaround from where we were last year," Force said. "I think this is the best shot at the championship we have ever had. We are hopefully going into the Countdown in the No. 2 spot. We are trying to hold onto that position right now with two races left. Being in that spot would give us a lead going into the last six races of the rest of the Top Ten for the championship.

"I love the team that I with and the crew chiefs I am working with. The car they have given me definitely feels like the most consistent racecar I have ever had in my five years of racing Funny cars. I am thrilled about that as a driver. This is the best time for me to really be on my game with reaction times. I have really been trying hard to be the most consistent that I have ever been before. If we can get everything right we definitely would have the full package. I think we have a great shot of going after the championship this year. I am not going to let that slip away."




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