INDIANAPOLIS — Courtney Force and Terry McMillen secured the No. 8 positions in the NHRA Traxxas Nitro Shootout, following a special lottery drawing in downtown Indianapolis previewing the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals.
Force, who is the defending Traxxas Nitro Shootout Funny Car winner, has yet to win a race this year but earned the most fan votes with 50 percent and will face top-seeded Ron Capps in the first-round on Sunday.
She has raced in the event five times and took home the victory last year as the fifth seed.
“I want to thank the fans because I wouldn’t be able to have this opportunity if not for them,” Force said. “I’m really excited for my team and I can’t wait to get started in the Traxxas Shootout as we try to win this again.”
“I’m really excited for my Advance Auto Parts team. My crew chiefs keep texting me asking for the results, so I can’t wait to call them and let them know that we’ll be in it and we’ll be going for that Traxxas Shootout. Hopefully we can win it like we did last year.”
Force’s lottery win continues a stretch of good fortune for JFR, as a team driver has won the Shootout lottery six years in a row.
In Top Fuel, McMillen, who also won last year’s fan vote in the NHRA Traxxas Nitro Shootout, defeated Scott Palmer in this year’s fan vote lottery. McMillen earned the most fan votes with 55 percent.
He will meet top seed Antron Brown in the first round of the NHRA Traxxas Nitro Shootout for Top Fuel on Saturday.
“It’s an unbelievable feeling and I can’t thank all the fans enough who voted for us,” McMillen said. “It’s been a tremendous ride to get into the top 10 and now have the opportunity to race in the Traxxas Nitro Shootout once again.”
The selection of the drivers today was the culmination of a process that started on Aug. 20. All drivers in both categories who had competed in each race this season but were not a part of the seven qualified drivers for each Traxxas Nitro Shootout were eligible for the fan vote/lottery.
Fan voting took place on NHRA’s Facebook page and lasted until Aug. 29. The fan voting determined how many lottery balls would be assigned to each driver for the drawing.
The Traxxas Nitro Shootout for Top Fuel will be held Saturday, Sept. 2, with rounds at 3:45, 5:45 and 7:40 p.m.
Meanwhile, the Traxxas Nitro Shootout for Funny Car will be contested Sunday, Sept. 3, with rounds at 12:45, 2:45 and 4:40 p.m.
In the other first round pairings in Top Fuel, Steve Torrence — a six-time winner this season — will face Bristol winner Clay Millican; four-time winner Leah Pritchett will race Doug Kalitta; and Gainesville winner Tony Schumacher will face Epping winner Brittany Force.
Schumacher is the defending NHRA Traxxas Nitro Shootout winner in Top Fuel.
In the three other Funny Car first round pairings, two-time winner Robert Hight will go up against Denver winner J.R. Todd; three-time winner Matt Hagan will be pitted against Gainesville winner John Force; and Las Vegas winner Tommy Johnson Jr. will race two-time winner Jack Beckman.
CREDIT: NHRA Communications