Courtney Force's Body Issue Photos Among ESPN Magazine's Highlights

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistJuly 9, 2013

(Williams and Hirakawa/ESPN the Magazine)
(Williams and Hirakawa/ESPN the Magazine)

Courtney Force comes from strong racing bloodlines. Her father, John Force, is one of the most famous funny car drivers of all time and has won 135 racers in his career, while two of her sisters also race.  

And now his daughter will be following in his footsteps in another matter, appearing in this year's ESPN the Magazine's Body Issue much as John did in 2011.

And not only does she appear, her photos are one of the highlights of the new issue. 

A beautiful woman and the engine of a car—what could be better than that?

Beyond just posing for some pretty cool pictures, the Body Issue is also giving Force the opportunity to show people that funny car drivers are athletes, despite the perception that they just sit in a car for a few seconds.

From Morty Ain of ESPN:

A lot of people think that as a race car driver, you just sit in the seat and mash the throttle and it's just a 4-second run and it's easy. But there's a lot that goes into it. You need a lot of upper body and core and leg strength to drive a 10,000-horsepower racecar. I hope we can capture that. It bothers me when people think we aren't athletic.

She added:

I remember when I first started, I used to walk away from the car—I wasn't as strong as I am now—and I'd be sore. Just from steering my arms would be sore, my shoulders would be sore and my legs would be sore from working the clutch and the throttle pedal. You are doing so much at once. But now I've pinpointed what to focus on at the gym so that I can drive better. It's pretty much all about strength training.

I would never insult someone who drives a vehicle that reaches 300 mph—yes, 300 mph!—in four seconds. If I were in that car with her, well, let's just say I'd be telling everyone I had spilled a soda on my pants after I got out of the car. 

This is what the Body Issue is so often good at—highlighting the different stresses and pressures different sports put on the body and the way these athletes have to train to overcome those physical demands. 

Generally speaking, the end product is a celebration of the human body that has been chiseled and trained to reach its ultimate form. Most of us may not think of race car drivers in that light, but Force is proof that we should.

Plus, the photography is always really, really cool, and it hearkens back to the sport in a clever way. 

When you drive a car that goes so fast it needs a parachute to help it stop, you are one bad mother. Anybody disagree?

Force is already a very promising driver, earning her first win in 2012 after just 15 races. She was eventually named the 2012 NHRA Rookie of the Year and looks to have a long and successful career ahead of her.

Like father, like daughter, I suppose.



Follow TRappaRT on Twitter