LAKings.com continues with THE SPORTING LIFE, a multi-part summer series in which professional athletes talk about experiencing a Kings game at STAPLES Center.
Courtney Force, the daughter of racing legend John Force, is a popular NHRA Funny Car driver and that circuit’s 2012 Rookie of the Year who was recently profiled in ESPN The Magazine’s annual Body Issue. She also dropped the ceremonial puck at a Kings game at STAPLES Center.
In this third installment of The Sporting Life, Force talks about that experience as well as the drag racing world. Here are questions and answers for Force, who is from Orange County and graduated from Cal State Fullerton:
Q: You got to drop the ceremonial puck. Can you talk a little about the experience?
A: It was one of the most exciting things I’ve done in a while. I’m used to going 300 miles an hour in a car but dropping the puck at an LA Kings game is something that you can’t do all the time, so I was very excited. I was also a little nervous.
Q: Were you nervous that you were going to slip and fall down on the ice?
A: Oh, my gosh, yes. I was definitely afraid I was going to slip and fall. That was my number one fear. But I got over it and didn’t fall so I was all right.
Q: NHRA and hockey kind of have some similarities being action sports, but our fans might not know a lot about the NHRA. Can you describe the NHRA and what you do for a living?
A: I’m an NHRA racing driver, so I race a funny car. It is two cars competing against each other head to head and there are four rounds in a race to find out who the winner is going to be at the end of the day. It is the best driver who wins. These cars go 300 miles an hour in four seconds and the track is only 1,000 feet long. It’s a lot of speed and you can’t really explain it unless you’re there and can feel the cars drive by. It just vibrates every bone in your body.
Q: Can you describe the popularity of your sport?
A: NHRA has always had a great following. We have some amazing fans out there. I think bringing in new drivers in younger generations is making it more and more popular. It pulls in a new crowd hopefully. From other sport we can try to pull other fans in.
Q: What are some of your athletic interests beyond NHRA?
A: After attending the Kings game, ice hockey for sure. That might be my new thing.
Q: You are from Orange County so the question would be is it Ducks or Kings?
A: Well my brother in law Danny, he’s huge into ice hockey he has been getting me into it, and I’m trying to figure it out and learn more about it. You know the Anaheim Ducks are close to my home, but this was my first LA Kings game so I think they’re going to have to be my new favorite team.
Check out LAKings.com/news now to read the first two series installments featuring UFC/MMA legend Tito Ortiz and horse racing champion jockey Garrett Gomez.
Future editions of The Sporting Life will feature a local MLB catcher, a pro golfer, a local and international soccer star, and an NFL veteran. We also will hear from a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame who provides his unique insights on our sport.