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Every year, ESPN The Magazine prints “The Body Issue”, which, according to the magazine, is “To unapologetically stand in awe of the athletes who’ve pushed their physiques to profound frontiers. To imagine how it would feel to inhabit those bodies, to leap and punch and throw like a god. To … well, gawk.”

So when we got wind that Funny Car racer Courtney Force landed a cover spot, we had to wonder what was in store for us, and the answer is nothing short of “wow!” Now, you could choose to look at Courtney’s cover shoot one of two ways. You could do what we saw all over Facebook this morning, and be a dude thinking “how could her dad let her do that?”, or you could look at it the other way, and think “there’s an athlete at the top of her game”, which is what we chose to do after watching the accompanying video.

courtney3Courtney is a well-spoken, well-trained, excellent spokeswoman for her sponsors and John Force Racing in particular, and it’s refreshing to see her taking advantage of the opportunities that are presented to her. Of course there will be detractors because of the way she’s chosen to go about it, but as the old saying goes, any press is good press. This particular issue of the all-sports magazine is a celebration of the human body and the things it can do, and as Courtney explains, driving a Funny Car isn’t a task for the weak of mind, or weak of body.

Auto racing, and drag racing in particular, can always use a positive image boost, and Courtney, along with the rest of the Force women, is poised to give that image a boost. Before you discount what she has to say because of the simple fact that she is hanging out on top of a tire wearing nothing more than her birthday suit, listen to what she has to say. You might just learn a little something about the confident, smart, and yes, attractive woman behind the wheel – the future of our sport.