Legendary drag racer John Force said Wednesday he supported the decision by his drag-racing daughter, Courtney Force, to join other athletes in posing nude for this year’s edition of ESPN The Magazine’s “Body Issue.”
“My daughter is very proud of what she’s done, the way she looks,” John Force told reporters on a conference call.
Like her father, a record 15-time champion, the 25-year-old Courtney races 300-mph funny car dragsters in the National Hot Rod Assn.'s premier Mello Yello Series.
Driving for her father’s Yorba Linda-based team, Courtney has won two events this year, her second year in the series.
She’s among 21 athletes displaying their physiques in the magazine, and the photos include a side shot of her sitting against one of the large rear tires used in drag racing.
The always loquacious John Force, who has four daughters, acknowledged that, at first, “I’m a dad so I don’t really want to look” at the photos.
“But I have to look at the big picture,” he said. “The world has changed. We have to go to market different. As an owner, [it] got us great exposure so far.
“It’s not Playboy or those types of magazines; it’s really about an athlete,” said Force, 64.
“It’s my kid and I’m going to be proud of her as a father,” Force said. “It’s a positive note for [the] NHRA and all the sponsors and I’m going to stick by her no matter what anybody says.”