Courtney Force has announced her retirement from NHRA Funny Car competition in an official statement released by John Force Racing.
Rumors of Courtney Force’s impending retirement had been circulating in the weeks leading up to the announcement. The statement didn’t explicitly say why Force decided to step away from racing, but indicated that she wanted to spend more time with her family. Force married IndyCar driver Graham Rahal in 2015.
“This was a personal choice as I feel I’m ready to see what the next chapter in my life has in store for me, while spending more time with family,” she said.
According to ESPN, Rahal and Force spent so much time away racing, they could rarely attend each other’s events. The two spent more than half a year focusing on their respective careers, which not only require dedication to a professional sport, but also intense travel schedules.
Force added that she wants to remain involved in the drag racing world and also thanked her teammates, competitors and fans.
“I intend to remain involved in the industry I love and continue to work with a few select partners as I go forward in 2019, “she said. “I am so thankful that I have had the opportunity to have such a successful career at John Force Racing and the privilege of working with so many incredible people while racing against competitors who pushed me to be a better driver.”
“Last but not least, to my fans: thank you for all of your support throughout my career. I’m excited to see where this next chapter will take me and I hope to see you all at the track soon.”
Force, who most recently piloted a Camaro SS-bodied Funny Car, has 167 starts in NHRA events, in which she picked up 12 victories and 17 runner-up finishes. Force was also the No. 1 qualifier 28 times, 11 of which came last season alone. That performance put her just shy of the single season No. 1 qualifier record- set by her father John Force in 1996.
Courtney Force’s career best elapsed time was a 3.815s, while her best career trap speed was 338.85 mph.