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Force sisters celebrate their dad on Father's Day

Jeff Birchfield • Updated Jun 16, 2018 at 8:49 PM

BRISTOL — They got their father's love of speed, but the annual trip to Bristol Dragway for the NHRA Fitzgerald USA Thunder Valley Nationals is a time when the racing Force sisters can also celebrate 16-time Funny Car world champion John Force as their dad.

Courtney Force gave her best imitation of her dad on the track Friday night with her run of 3.993 seconds at 325.92 miles per hour, easily the best time in the qualifying session. But more than performance on the track, all her sisters and her husband, IndyCar racer Graham Rahal, agree that the youngest of Force's four children is easily the one most like the racing legend off it.

"I'm reminded of that by my sisters and my husband all the time," Courtney said. "They tell me I'm just like my dad. I don't know if that's a good thing or not. I have the same passion for racing, but we're both very stubborn, so I think that's more of what they're talking about."

Her sister Brittany, who is the defending NHRA Top Fuel World Champion, agrees that Courtney is the closest to her father and not just on the track. Courtney is the outgoing personality who embraces the spotlight much more than her sisters, and like her father is full of energy and emotion.

"I'm like my dad and my mom where Courtney is a spitting image of my dad," Brittany said. "Like she said, it's scary. Even driving to the drag strip, I'm like, 'You're just like dad.' She's like him in every single way. I remind her of it and she recognizes it. My dad is a handful, but I'm so thankful for everything I get from my dad. He teaches me something new every weekend."

Older sister, Ashley Force Hood, was actually the first to join their father on the track in the Funny Car division. She was successful with four wins in the division, including two in the U.S. Nationals, before turning her attention to family.

Another sister, Adria, has stayed out of the spotlight entirely, although her husband, Robert Hight, is a two-time and defending Funny Car world champion at John Force Racing.

Brittany became the first of the sisters to win a world championship last year, but it's Courtney with her 13 career Funny Car wins, who is the closest on the track. She and her father faced each other last weekend in the Funny Car final at Richmond as Courtney won her fourth race of the season.

"It's great. I grew up wanting to be just like my dad," Courtney said. "I love racing against him and learning from him. It's always been a dream of mine to be out at the race track with him. I love spending Father's Day with him and I'm proud I've taken after him that I remind people of my dad."

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