2022 Top Fuel Champion Brittany Force prepares for the ladder on July 22. (Photos by Ben Ray / Sound Publishing)

2022 Top Fuel Champion Brittany Force prepares for the ladder on July 22. (Photos by Ben Ray / Sound Publishing)

May the Force be with you: Legendary drivers compete at Pacific Raceways

NHRA 16-Time champion John Force joins defending Top Fuel Champ Brittany Force.

There isn’t much that shakes the soul more than a Nitro Funny Car or a Nitro Top Fuel rocketship flying past fans at Pacific Raceways in Kent.

The 34th Annual National Hot Rod Association Northwest Nationals was held July 21-23. Fans saw racing legend John Force take first in qualifying on Saturday. Fans also saw Tim Wilkerson take home the crown in Top Fuel and Steve Torrence in Funny Car.

John Force has had one of the most successful NHRA careers in the history of the sport. But specifically at Pacific Raceways, he gets into another gear.

“It’s fun, I love it … .Some places you just have consistency. You don’t know why, you just do,” Force said.

Chris Bostick prepares before his Prostock Motorcycle race. (Photos by Ben Ray / Sound Publishing)

Chris Bostick prepares before his Prostock Motorcycle race. (Photos by Ben Ray / Sound Publishing)

Another member of the John Force Race team is John’s daughter Brittany. She is the reigning Top Fuel World Champion in her 9th season on the circuit. They have been coming to Pacific Raceways for a long time.

“I’m excited to be here in Seattle. I’ve been coming to this race track for a long time. This was one the one on the circuit that my sister and I would hit. We’d sit in the stands and watch dad all day,” Brittany said.

Flav-R-Pac was the title sponsor of the event and had signage all over Pacific Raceways over the weekend. Brittany Force’s title sponsor is Flav-R-Pac, so for her, seeing all of the work put in was special.

“Very proud to see Flav-R-Pac splashed all over the place. But now we want to perform. We do every weekend. But now we’re here at a Flav-R-Pac race. We want to qualify number one and win this thing,” Brittany said.

Last time out in Denver, both Brittany and John voiced disappointments with their performances. But in Seattle, they were able to turn it around.

“You gotta stay ahead of the pack, you gotta get lost to find yourself,” John Force said.

In the funny car race, Force qualified with the best time and ran the second fastest in the ladder. He couldn’t make it past the quarterfinals, but the 16-time champion may have gotten on the right track.

“Let’s start here. I’m good with that. We’re gonna do good. A lot of it is attitude. I’ve been putting sponsorship deals together and I’m back on my feet and my attitude is good,” John Force said.

Nitro Funny Car driver Cruz Pedregon warms up his tires before the first run of qualifying. (Photos by Ben Ray / Sound Publishing)

Nitro Funny Car driver Cruz Pedregon warms up his tires before the first run of qualifying. (Photos by Ben Ray / Sound Publishing)

Brittany has had a better year than her pop so far. She sits fourth in the overall standings and holds the top speed of the season so far. On top of that, she had the fastest speed on Sunday at 334.73.

“You honestly can’t compare it to anything…When you step on that throttle pedal somehow you’re still thrown back… It’s like being strapped to a rocket,” said Brittany.

The Forces have only won the same event one time back in 2021 in Topeka, Kansas. It didn’t happen this time around, but it’s always a goal when they’re on the track.

“To get that one in Topeka was really special for us. I’m glad we got it done once, and to do it here in Seattle would be a very special place. There’s a lot of great memories built around this place, but to double up in this season would be outstanding,” Brittany said.

“You’re always proud to be with your daughter. She’s got a head just as big as mine. Her and I fight all the time. But I listen to her, she teaches me stuff… To win with her, that would be real special,” John Force said.

Cars were on display at the Federal Way Performing Arts Center before making their final destination for Fan Fest at the Outlet Collection on July 20. (Photos by Ben Ray / Sound Publishing)

Cars were on display at the Federal Way Performing Arts Center before making their final destination for Fan Fest at the Outlet Collection on July 20. (Photos by Ben Ray / Sound Publishing)




Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@kentreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.kentreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in Sports

Photos by Ben Ray / The Reporter
Jaylen Petty drives against Lincoln inside the Tacoma Dome.
Two-time NPSL MVP to leave Auburn High School for Rainier Beach

Jaylen Petty will play his last high school season as a Viking in Seattle.

Skylar Diggins-Smith conducts the offense against the Sparks. Ben Ray / The Reporter
Storm pour it on in the fourth, wash out Sparks

Seattle used a huge 10-0 run late in the fourth to take control over Los Angeles.

Federal Way Memorial Field. Photo provided by Bruce Honda
Federal Way Memorial Field to host high school boys soccer tournaments

Class 2A, 1A competitions to move to Federal Way from Renton for 2025 to 2028

Kentwood and Kentridge players go at it for possession. Ben Ray / The Reporter
NPSL All-League Soccer Teams: Kentwood’s Logan Hasting is POTY

Other Kent School District athletes make the list.

Photo provided by Rodney McCurry.
Seattle Majestics play in postseason

Seattles women’s tackle football team goes to Las Vegas to open up the playoffs.

Gabby Greenwood gives a yell after her home run against Graham-Kapowsin. Ben Ray / The Reporter
Kentwood falls in district championship, named five seed for state tournament

Kentridge makes second day of district tournament for first time since 2016.

Matthew Ledbetter leads off the game in the first inning at Sherman Anderson Field. Ben Ray / The Reporter
Kentlake baseball eliminated in Mount Vernon

Falcons fall 9-3 to third-seeded Bulldogs.

Christopher Moore went six strong innings against Stanwood. Ben Ray / The Reporter
Kentlake blanks Stanwood 5-0 in state tournament opening round

Falcons win behind solid performance from Christopher Moore.

Sarah Wright struck out 17 and allowed just two hits against Kentridge. Ben Ray / The Reporter
Kentwood fastpitch wins fourth straight league title

Wright and Conks down Kentridge 7-0 with 17Ks and 2RBI at the plate.

Brock England. COURTESY PHOTO, Canadian Sport School Hockey League
Kent-based Thunderbirds load up on Western Hockey League draft picks

Eleven players taken in Prospects Draft; two in U.S. Priority Draft, both from Dallas team

T20 World Cup trophy waits for fans to take photos. Ben Ray / The Reporter
Seattle Orcas, ‘America’s Favorite Cricket Team,’ builds local support

Event held at Bellevue Downtown Park can be catalyst for the world’s second most popular sport.

Ethan Loghry on the bump pitched a gem for the Falcons. Ben Ray / The Reporter
Kentlake baseball stays alive with a walk-off win

Falcons move on to winner-to-state game.