BROWNSBURG, Ind. (June 7) – That Courtney Force was able to walk away from her Advance Auto Parts Chevrolet Camaro SS Funny Car after a scary engine explosion during qualifying at the New England Nationals last weekend at New England Dragway was a testimony to her John Force Racing car – and the Simpson Performance Products she utilizes.
The explosion destroyed the body of her Camaro and sent a blast of flame through the cockpit. Yet, she escaped unscathed.
“I’m thankful that I had all my Simpson gear on to help protect me during my explosion during Friday qualifying,” Courtney Force said. “Through the fire and the impact, Simpson definitely helped keep me protected and allowed me to walk away from such a horrific incident.”
Force uses a Simpson firesuit, gloves, neck collar and boots and shoes. The firesuit has some minor burns on the outside, but Force was unharmed by the flames.
Force’s father, 16-time Funny Car champion John Force, was in the pair behind Courtney, strapped in his PEAK Coolant and Motor Oil Chevrolet. He jumped out and sped to the top end to check on his youngest daughter. John Force, too, was thankful for Simpson.
“That’s my daughter out there,” John Force said. “My guys are already thinking about talking about more safety stuff. We even got a shout out from (Don) Schumacher about some ideas they had on this because it’s happened to them. We’re moving ahead.
“But when I saw the front of her firesuit, I knew that it protected her. That explosion was so great that when it blew, it ripped the steering out and she couldn’t steer it. Usually when you blow a body off, you can keep it off the wall.
“Yes, it was a total loss. We lost a complete body, complete chassis, complete engine. But my kid walked about of there, and I owe a big thank you to Chuck Davies and his team at Simpson for keeping my family safe.”
Courtney Force and the Advance Auto Parts team return to action in the NHRA Summernationals this weekend at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in Englishtown, N.J.