With just four NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing national events left, Courtney Force sits No. 8 in the Funny Car point standings and is hoping to advance this weekend at the AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals at Gateway Motorsports Park, Sept. 27-29.

“Having only raced at this track once before in 2012 makes no difference to me. The pressure is definitely on since it is one of the last races in the countdown, but we qualified well at Gateway last year and I'm hoping our Traxxas Ford Mustang team can keep the momentum going,” said Force.

Most- recently, Force qualified No. 5, but suffered a devastating first round upset to her father at the NHRA Fall Nationals in Dallas, causing her to drop two spots in the point standings.  

“We're definitely looking at the fact that it’s absolutely necessary for us to go rounds this weekend. Getting stopped in the first round last weekend in Dallas by my dad and ending our day early is not how were going to win this Championship. We've got our eyes set on it and I'm determined to finish well this weekend. We need to get our momentum going again and leave here higher up in points than when we came in,” said Force.

The sophomore driver and her sister, Brittany Force, will participate in the NHRA Fan Fest Thursday, Sept. 26, in downtown St. Louis prior to the Rams vs 49ers football game. “The world’s fastest tailgate party” will include driver autograph sessions, a car show, interactive displays, and ticket giveaways plus food, music, and fun for the whole family. The Fan Fest runs from 5 to 7 p.m. on Washington Avenue between 14th and Tucker.

“I'm so excited to be part of the NHRA Fan Fest this year in St Louis.  I've never participated in anything downtown, so I'm looking forward to seeing it and being able to take part in the festivities. I think it’s a great way for the NHRA race fans and football fans to join in all the excitement together. My sister and I will take part in the autograph session with other drivers and then have the opportunity to go to the Rams vs 49ers game and I can't wait! I've only been to one other professional football game so I'm definitely looking forward to this one. I'm excited to be a part of the atmosphere and excitement downtown. It helps us all get pumped up for the race this weekend,” said Force.

Last year, the 2012 “Rookie of the Year” finished the season in the No. 5 spot. Naturally, the Traxxas Funny Car driver is striving to out-do herself by the end of the 2013 season with a higher finishing spot.

“Our overall goal for this year is to take home the championship in the number one spot. Although we did slide down a couple spots after last weekend, we are still mathematically not out of this chase for the points lead. We need a consistent car and I need to do my job on the starting line so we can start going some rounds in these last few races. St Louis is hopefully going to be a turning point for us, for the better,” said Force.