Category Archives: NHRA

Laura Ingraham’s “Draconian” Measures for Border Crisis

By Isabel Matos

Laura Ingraham is not every Sarah Palin supporter’s favorite talk show host, but she has been a steady and effective activist against Amnesty. She helped Dave Brat to victory in Virginia.  She has been an outspoken critic of Renee Ellmers, exposing her stance on amnesty during a contentious radio interview, and she is now helping Joe Carr in his race against Lamar Alexander, a Rino incumbent nemesis. Her endorsement of Carr has already helped him surge in the polls.

Laura was on Bill O’Reilly last month.  This is what she said she’d do about the border crisis and illegal immigration in general (in case you missed it). Many people I know who know her track record with Palin have had to agree these are common sense solutions to a problem the politicians are just wanting to ignore.

In 15 minutes she brought O’Reilly’s Immigration spin zone to a complete halt listing all of her solutions for sane immigration policy as follows:
  1. Deportation  OK, first thing you do is start deporting people — not by the hundreds, not by the dozens. By the thousands. And that means entire families. Not just a father, a mother. But we keep families unified by deporting all people who are are here illegally, that’s number one.
  2. Number two, we have to stop visas and stop foreign aid to countries who will not repatriate the citizens of those countries that left and came to our country illegally. We’re seeing this with Guatemala, [El] Salvador, Costa Rica, Honduras, some of the South American countries. If they don’t agree to repatriate their citizens back home and stop sending signals, implicitly, explicitly, that people should come here, then they get no foreign aid, we stop all visas from those countries coming in. This is a crisis, and we have to deal with it in a serious way.
  3. Number three, I think there has to be an end to this thing called birthright citizenship. Some people call it anchor babies. But this is not required by our Constitution, it doesn’t require a constitutional amendment. Harry Reid was for this about 15, 16 years ago. He went on the Senate floor and proclaimed that we should end birthright citizenship. So, that should go.
  4. Having severe civil penalties against employers We should also have severe penalties in place that are enforced, Bill, against employers who knowingly hire illegal immigrants and undercut the American worker and the legal immigrants who want to earn a decent wage. Severe civil penalties. If they have to be criminal penalties for successive violations, we have to do that.
  5. Building a wall or fence in places along the border I think Krauthammer is right, we need a wall and/or a fence in the places along the border that that is practical. We have to absolutely have that in place. That is practical and enforcing the border with the national guards, and filing lawsuits against states that do not enforce the border.
  6. Taking magnets away such as welfare for households, food stamps, disability, bank accounts and housing should not be allowed. I think no welfare for households that house illegal aliens. That’s a big magnet. Food stamps, disability, obviously the concern about Obamacare, that’s critical. We also have to make sure that bank accounts, housing, people who can rent houses — if you’re in the country illegally, why are you allowed to enter into a rental agreement —  to live in this country? That should not be allowed. So, there are a lot of common sense steps that we can take that both take the magnet away, we enforce the border, as you said, with the National Guard, we work with border states at a federal level. And we don’t file lawsuits against the border states when they actually want to enforce the border.

O’Reilly:  argued that mass deportations would make the Republican Party obsolete, that it would ensure Hillary Clinton’s election in 2016.  He said that was Rove’s argument and called these measures draconian. He also said 67%  of Americans want some kind of pathway. Ingraham pointed out the GOPe is buying the left’s argument and that Karl Rove has made electoral mistakes in the last few elections. O’Reilly insisted it could be done without destroying the party.
Laura: The Republican Party has done a good job of destroying itself.

* H/T  John Frank: “How Eisenhower Solved Immigration
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Press Conference: We Found A Lot! This Is Much Bigger Than MS

By Isabel Matos

Video by David: McDaniel addresses national and local media on the current status of the Mississippi Senate primary run-off.  The campaign is represented by Mississippi Senator Michael Watson and McDaniel lead attorney, Mitch Tyner.

(My transcribed notes) Mississippi Senator Michael Watson: We cannot challenge the election yet without a FULL examination of election materials

  • Chris has gone to all 82 counties in Mississippi to look at the process to base the challenge on evidence found.
  • They have combed through roughly 400, 000 votes from June 24th and
  • They have combed through another 100,000 votes from June 3rd. They were given 12 days to do it but it can’t be rightfully done when the Secretary of State stands in your way.
  • They’ve had to go to courts to ask for relief.
  • Yesterday was a huge win in Jackson county but they still having a 12 – day window. The judge said there was no thanks needed, he was just following the law.

Senator Watson said that THIS IS MUCH BIGGER THAN CHRIS MCDANIEL. Accusations of illegality are disappointing and they do have deal with those before proceeding with legal action.

  • Issue of Race-Baiting
  • Not being granted access to the poll books. Must find funds to do so. The process is set up to be uncovered.

************

Attorney Mitch Tyner: Hurdles have been placed in front of the team – the Media should be aware how unfair that is. That’s wrong and they have gone to the Supreme Court to Rule to say “The candidate has an unfettered right to see all the materials of that race. This affects every voter of Mississippi. This is bigger than Mississippi.” Tens of thousands of pages have been produced. Thanks to almost sixteen clerks who opened their ballot boxes and gave them unfettered access to the poll books.

Tyner thanked clerks who made sure there was a deputy there and they were able to open ballot boxes with unfettered access. He went on to the:

Million Dollar Question: What did we Find? 

    • Votes are being bought
    • Ballot boxes have been stuffed
    • False Affidavit ballots
    • Invalid Affidavit Ballots
    • Invalid Absentee Ballots

He said he has heard this all his life and they are committed to finding it rooting it out and stopping it. Thank goodness Senator Michael Watson has seen this up close and can do something about in the next legislative session.  He said that the third lawyer, Steve Thorton who wasn’t present, was currently reviewing material, but of the four motions that had been heard, Michael Watson was on the side of right after making the arguments on all  four of them. In every single case, the judge said yes, you’re entitled to review the materials, all but one.

They are waiting for the Supreme Court to rule against the only one who imposed a cost on the candidate. The issue we want to make sure is that it doesn’t matter how much money you have, you still get to look at the poll votes.

“That’s the issue that we want to make sure that the Supreme Court rules on: that it doesn’t matter how much money you have, you still get to look at the poll books,” Tyner said.

Categories of information they encountered:

    • Crossover votes
    • Illegal Votes
    • Absentee Problems
    • Votes that were cast into the boxes to see how many people signed in to the votes cast

Problem after problem was found. They will put it into a packet and give the media, the U.S. Attorney, the FEC and the Mississippi Attorney General.

When the campaign files its challenge, it will publish all the evidence for the public to see. “We’re going to put it all together in a complete package,” Tyner said. “I was really hoping we’d have it today. Monday, a week ago, I was sure we would. But I wasn’t sure we were going to run into this many problems. We’re going to get that together and at the same time we file a challenge, we’re going to give you a complete copy of it.”

He praised Chris for not throwing in the towel. Chris said “I want to root out the problems. I want integrity in the Process. If it root outs my political career so be it.” Pete Perry was called out during the Q & A that followed (27:00)

One of the things I admire most about Senator Chris McDaniel is that he is keeping the fire burning. His updates not only help us keep our spirits high they restore confidence in our elected officials. He is still a state senator and he could have chosen the path of less resistance but he is fighting for the integrity of the process. It’s not as easy as he has made it look. There has been a lot of pressure for him to not pursue this but he remains focused but he is staying close to supporters who are following this with great interest and is keeping his word. We cannot ask for more but he still needs support for his legal defense.  The challenge will be filed within 10 days.

~Q & A~

Chris and Michael watson

Chris McDaniel and Senator Micahel Watson

ITINERARY

“Truth and Justice Tour”

Chris McDaniel keeping the fire burning as he waits 10 days to file legal action … We are happy to announce that beginning Thursday, July 17, Chris will embark on his “Truth and Justice Tour” of Mississippi. 

The first three stops are in DeSoto County, Tupelo, and Jackson, and we will be sure to update you with details on more events as soon they’re finalized. Please share this post with your friends, and we’ll look forward to seeing you soon! 

DeSoto County

Thursday July 17, 2014 @ 6:30 PM 
Sweet Pea’s Table
8948 Midsouth Drive 
Olive Branch, MS 38654

Tupelo

Friday July 18, 2014 @ 6:30 PM 
Summit Center 
852 N Gloster Street. 
Tupelo, MS 38804

Jackson Metro

Saturday July 19, 2014 @ 4:00 PM 
Holiday Inn – Trustmark Park 
110 Bass Pro Drive
Pearl, MS 39208

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Outrageous! Sarah Palin Sends Gun Gift Tweet

ICYMI: Sarah Palin causes outrage over gun-gift tweet. The nerve to promote Amazing America..

Sarah Palin Bear Practice Sarah Palin's Alaska

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Palin at NRA Stand and Fight: If I Were in Charge They Would Know Water-boarding is How We’d Baptize Terrorists

NRA rally

By Isabel Matos

This is a grrrreat speech!

INDIANAPOLIS — Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin fired up a crowd of thousands inside Lucas Oil Stadium Saturday night to kick off the National Rifle Association’s “Stand and Fight Rally,” saying Americans’ constitutional rights as envisioned by the founding fathers are under attack and policies like gun-free zones constitute “stupid on steroids.”

“They knew that if the Second Amendment goes, the rest of the constitution is not far behind,” she said of the country’s founders.

In addition to haranguing former New York City Mayor Michael I. Bloomberg’s gun control push and lampooning Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr.’s recent testimony on Capitol Hill, she also tsk-tsked Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s suggestion last year to fire off shotgun blasts into the air to scare off would-be intruders.

“Just aim up in the air – that was his directive, his advice,” she

said. “Well, fine, Joe Squirt Gun, if your rapist is a bird.”

She also derided those who she said place an emphasis on political correctness in handling the country’s adversaries “instead of putting the fear of God in our enemies.”

She said later in her address that if “I were in charge” — a line that drew applause from the crowd — “they would know that water-boarding is how we’d baptize terrorists.” Read more

Sara Evans and Sarah Palin

 

 

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Drag Racing’s Brittany Force Beats Out Danica Patrick, Other Professional Drivers for RACER Magazine’s Rookie of the Year

Brittany Force Castrol

By Gary P Jackson

Father John Force, 16 time NHRA Funny Car champion, wins RACER of the Year and Drag RACER of the year honors as well

BForce_RACER_Cover

JForce_RACER_Cover

RELEASE:

The readers of RACER magazine turned out in record numbers to recognize two John Force Racing drivers for their high levels of excellence during the 2013 NHRA season. John Force the newly crowned 2013 NHRA Mello Yello Funny Car champion was voted Drag Racer of the Year and even more impressively recognized as the RACER of the Year for all forms of motorsports. Force, driver of the Castrol GTX High Mileage Mustang Funny Car, becomes just the third multiple time RACER of the Year winner joining four-time winner Michael Schumacher and two-time winner Jacques Villeneuve. Force won his first RACER of the Year award for his then record setting 15th Mello Yello Funny Car championship in 2010.

This is the kind of thing that really makes you stop and think. Someone was just telling me how great I did last year, and I had to tell ’em to stop. I didn’t want to hear it. Still don’t. It’s like my dad told me once, a long time ago, when I came home bragging about how I’d just won 50 grand at some race. He said, ‘What makes you think you’re so great? Because you read that in the paper? You’re probably the one who told them how great you are.’ I never forgot that. I try to stay hungry and stay humble and not think about it, but this award from RACER makes you think about it. The 2013 championship was special, and this award makes it even more special. All I can say is what an honor it is,” said Force when he was notified of both awards.

Force received an astounding 67% of the fan vote for RACER of the Year and an unbelievable 83% of the vote for Drag Racer of the Year. This was the seventh time Force has been named Drag Racer of the Year.

Another John Force Racing tradition was continued when Top Fuel driver Brittany Force was the overwhelming choice for RACER Rookie of the Year. Last year Courtney Force took home top rookie honors from RACER readers. Brittany, the first Force to race Top Fuel dragster, outdistanced NASCAR Sprint Cup rookies Danica Patrick and Ricky Stenhouse as well as young drivers from racing series around the globe.

This is huge. I thought for sure Danica Patrick would win. She’s Danica Patrick. NASCAR’s fan base is so much larger than NHRA drag racing’s, but this just goes to show that we have the best fans,” said Force.

I struggled all year then ended the season at Pomona with a career-best E.T. and my first semi-final ever. Reaction times are still the toughest part. You can practice all you want, but it’s completely different when someone’s in the next lane and you’re strapped in with a helmet on and the engine making all that noise behind you. I’m still learning, and I’ll be learning for a while.

With a staggering 78 percent of votes, Brittany lapped the rookie field. Nearest contender was Carloz Munoz, whose second-place finish on his Indy 500 debut earned him nine percent of the poll.

It should be noted that at the second race of the young 2014 season, Brittany made it to her first final round, losing a very close race. She’ll be joining her famous father and two sisters in the winners circle soon.

~ Gary

Fans can see all the RACER awards at www.racer.com

Former RACER Rookie of the Year Winners

2006 Colin Braun
2007 Lewis Hamilton
2008 Joey Logano
2009 Ben Spies
2010 Ryan Dungey
2011 James Hinchcliffe
2012 Courtney Force
2013 Brittany Force

Former Overall RACER of the Year Winners

1995 JACQUES VILLENEUVE
1996 JACQUES VILLENEUVE
1997 TOMMY KENDALL
1998 JEFF GORDON
1999 JUAN PABLO MONTOYA
2000 MICHAEL SCHUMACHER
2001 MICHAEL SCHUMACHER
2002 MICHAEL SCHUMACHER
2003 PAUL TRACY
2004 DALE EARNHARDT JR.
2005 TONY STEWART
2006 MICHAEL SCHUMACHER
2007 LEWIS HAMILTON
2008 KYLE BUSCH
2009 JIMMIE JOHNSON
2010 JOHN FORCE
2011 TONY STEWART
2012 RYAN HUNTER-REAY
2013 JOHN FORCE

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Shawn Langdon, Robert Hight, Erica Enders-Stevens, Hector Arana Sr Lead NHRA AAA Texas FallNationals Fields

2013 AAA Texas FallNationals Header

By NHRA Communications

NHRA Funny Car driver Robert Hight secured his second No. 1 qualifying position of the season and 45th of his career on Saturday with a track-record performance, and he will try for his third straight victory of the season on Sunday at the AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals at Texas Motorplex.

Hight and his Auto Club Ford Mustang climbed to the top of the class with an impressive second round showing of 4.052 seconds at 311.85 mph. The red-hot Hight, who broke the elapsed time track record with the run, will open eliminations against two-time event winner Del Worsham.

It’s a lot of fun right now. It couldn’t happen at a better time than at our sponsor’s race,” said Hight, who jumped to third in the points standings with a win at Charlotte last weekend. “That was a good run. (Crew chief) Mike Neff is not one of these guys that goes up there and throws a Hail Mary.”

Snap-on Tools Toyota Camry driver Cruz Pedregon, a three-time event champ, holds the second position with run of 4.092 at 304.32 while series points leader Matt Hagan sits in the third spot with a performance of 4.093 at 312.78 in his Magneti Marelli/Rocky Boots Dodge Charger. Hagan’s speed also broke the track record.

In Top Fuel, Shawn Langdon powered his 10,000-horsepower Al-Anabi Silver Racing dragster to his fifth No. 1 qualifier of 2013 and 11th of his career with a strong pass of 3.819 at 321.04. Langdon, who has a class-best five wins this year and earned three bonus points with the quickest pass of the first session, will meet T.J. Zizzo in the first round of eliminations.

It was huge to come out here and make as strong a run as we did in the first session,” said Langdon, who claimed the No. 1 qualifying spot in Dallas for the second straight year. “It was our goal to try to bring the deficit behind (points leader) Spencer Massey to less than one round. Now our focus is to win the race.

Doug Kalitta claimed the No. 2 spot with a run of 3.825 at 318.39 in his Mac Tools dragster. Protect the Harvest/MAV TV dragster driver Brandon Bernstein, who holds the track record in Dallas, secured the third spot after going 3.827 at 316.38. Fellow Texans Steve Torrence and points leader Massey, who has been the runner-up at his home track the past two years, took the No. 4 and No. 8 qualifying positions, respectively.

In Pro Stock, Texas native and fan favorite Erica Enders-Stevens earned her first No. 1 qualifier position of the season and sixth of her career with a stellar performance of 6.557 at 210.93 in her newly-funded Husky Liners Chevy Camaro.

Erica Husky

This is a great feeling for sure, especially doing it in front of my hometown fans in Texas,” Enders-Stevens said of her first No. 1 qualifier in her home state of Texas. “It was kind of nerve-wracking with only two qualifying sessions, so I hope to have more peace of mind during Sunday’s eliminations.”

Rickie Jones in his Elite Motorsports Chevy Camaro took the No. 2 position with a run of 6.574 at 211.33 while his teammate, Gray Motorsports Chevy Camaro driver Shane Gray, finished as the No. 3 qualifier with his pass of 6.591 at 210.77.

Enders-Stevens, who currently sits in the No. 7 spot in the series points standings, will take on fellow Texan Chris McGaha in the first round. Points leader Mike Edwards qualified No. 6 and will race Larry Morgan in the opening round.

In Pro Stock Motorcycle, Hector Arana, Sr. earned his second No. 1 qualifier of the season on his Lucas Oil Products Buell with a run of 6.846 at 195.42. Arana, who was the runner-up last weekend in Charlotte, claimed his 23rd career No. 1 qualifier with the run and will meet Michael Phillips in the first round.

Hector Arana Sr

We’ve always had the power, but now we’re focusing more on consistency, taking it one round at a time,” said Arana Sr., who is the No. 1 qualifier for the second time in the past three races.

Son and points leader Arana Jr. took the No. 2 spot after a challenging first session on his Lucas Oil Buell, going 6.897 at 194.66 in the final qualifying session. He will face No. 14 qualifier Shawn Gann in the opening round. In the third spot is Matt Smith with his time of 6.893 at 194.07 on his Viper Motorcycle Company Racing Buell.

We’ve always had the power, but could not take full advantage of it,” Arana Sr. said of his racing family. “This year, we’ve taken it easy on our runs. I’m truly blessed because I’m racing for a living and having my sons right with me to help out.

Sunday’s first-round pairings for eliminations for the 28th annual AAA Texas NHRA Fall Nationals at Texas Motorplex, the 20th of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series. Pairings based on results in qualifying, which ended Saturday. DNQs listed below pairings.

Top Fuel —
1. Shawn Langdon, 3.819 seconds, 321.04 mph vs. 16. T.J. Zizzo, 3.949, 290.44;

2. Doug Kalitta, 3.825, 320.58 vs. 15. Larry Dixon, 3.939, 292.71;

3. Brandon Bernstein, 3.827, 316.38 vs. 14. Antron Brown, 3.895, 311.05;

4. Steve Torrence, 3.832, 320.89 vs. 13. Tony Schumacher, 3.878, 320.20;

5. Clay Millican, 3.835, 320.74 vs. 12. Morgan Lucas, 3.872, 317.87;

6. Spencer Massey, 3.839, 318.02 vs. 11. J.R. Todd, 3.871, 311.27;

7.
David Grubnic, 3.848, 320.43 vs. 10. Brittany Force, 3.871, 312.06;

8. Billy Torrence, 3.853, 316.52 vs. 9. Bob Vandergriff, 3.870, 316.75.

Did Not Qualify:
17.
Scott Palmer, 3.975, 302.48; 18. Troy Buff, 4.041, 284.45; 19. Khalid alBalooshi, 4.179, 260.31; 20. Terry McMillen, 4.302, 124.13.

Funny Car —
1. Robert Hight, Ford Mustang, 4.052, 311.85 vs. 16. Del Worsham, Toyota Camry, 4.262, 291.95;

2. Cruz Pedregon, Camry, 4.092, 304.32 vs. 15. Blake Alexander, Dodge Charger, 4.210, 294.56;

3. Matt Hagan, Charger, 4.093, 312.78 vs. 14. Jeff Arend, Charger, 4.187, 301.27;

4. Ron Capps, Charger, 4.096, 306.88 vs. 13. Tony Pedregon, Camry, 4.178, 288.39;

5. Courtney Force, Mustang, 4.115, 309.13 vs. 12. John Force, Mustang, 4.174, 297.94;

6. Jack Beckman, Charger, 4.122, 306.12 vs. 11. Alexis DeJoria, Camry, 4.166, 303.50;

7. Bob Tasca III, Mustang, 4.137, 301.87 vs. 10. Chad Head, Camry, 4.161, 304.12;

8. Johnny Gray, Charger, 4.154, 304.39 vs. 9. Tim Wilkerson, Mustang, 4.154, 302.41.

Did Not Qualify:
17.
John Hale, 4.430, 277.94; 18. Todd Simpson, 4.706, 192.06; 19. Terry Haddock, 5.701, 126.29.

Pro Stock —
1. Erica Enders-Stevens, Chevy Camaro, 6.557, 210.93 vs. 16. Chris McGaha, Dodge Avenger, 6.654, 208.68;

2. Rickie Jones, Camaro, 6.559, 211.33 vs. 15. Matt Hartford, Avenger, 6.622, 209.14;

3. Shane Gray, Camaro, 6.563, 210.77 vs. 14. Steve Kent, Camaro, 6.612, 209.92;

4. Allen Johnson, Avenger, 6.564, 211.23 vs. 13. Greg Stanfield, Camaro, 6.609, 209.17;

5. Jason Line, Camaro, 6.566, 211.16 vs. 12. Rodger Brogdon, Camaro, 6.607, 210.31;

6. Mike Edwards, Camaro, 6.567, 211.56 vs. 11. Larry Morgan, Ford Mustang, 6.601, 209.46;

7. Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.567, 210.90 vs. 10. Jeg Coughlin, Avenger, 6.583, 210.31;

8. Vincent Nobile, Avenger, 6.582, 210.47 vs. 9. V. Gaines, Avenger, 6.582, 210.31.

Did Not Qualify:
17.
Paul Pittman, 6.734, 206.07.

Pro Stock Motorcycle —
1. Hector Arana Sr, Buell, 6.846, 195.42 vs. 16. Michael Phillips, Suzuki, 7.071, 189.28;

2. Matt Smith, Buell, 6.893, 194.07 vs. 15. Mike Berry, Buell, 7.034, 188.81;

3. Hector Arana Jr, Buell, 6.897, 194.66 vs. 14. Shawn Gann, Buell, 7.005, 190.75;

4. Michael Ray, Buell, 6.899, 194.21 vs. 13. Angie Smith, Buell, 6.999, 185.18;

5.
Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 6.902, 193.27 vs. 12. Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 6.969, 190.57;

6. Jerry Savoie, Suzuki, 6.913, 192.55 vs. 11. Jim Underdahl, Suzuki, 6.963, 193.54;

7. John Hall, Buell, 6.933, 190.22 vs. 10. LE Tonglet, Suzuki, 6.955, 190.78;

8. Adam Arana, Buell, 6.936, 193.32 vs. 9. Scotty Pollacheck, Buell, 6.941, 191.46.

Did Not Qualify:
17.
Steve Johnson, 7.083, 187.03; 18. Freddie Camarena, 7.132, 189.42; 19. Redell Harris, 24.467, 33.91.

Shawn Langdon (Top Fuel), Erica Enders-Stevens (Pro Stock) and Hector Arana Sr. (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also lead their categories as the No. 1 qualifiers at the second of six races in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Countdown to the Championship playoffs.

Rains washed out both of Friday’s qualifying sessions as competitors made two runs Saturday. Sunday’s eliminations start at 11 a.m.

Sunday’s eliminations will air on ESPN2 beginning at 8:30 pm [Eastern] 7:30 pm [Central]

AAA Texass FallNationals Footer

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Texas Governor Rick Perry Enjoys a Day at the AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals Near Dallas

Rick Perry John Force Brittany Force

Texas Governor Rick Perry, second from right, chatted with John and Brittany Force at the AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals. Perry, who was attending his first drag race, was a guest of AAA Chairman of the Board Tom McKernan, second from left. (Gary Nastase photo)

John Laurie Governor Perry Robert Brittany Courtney

Left to Right: John Force, wife Laurie, Robert Hight, Governor Perry, Brittany Force, Courtney Force (Gary Nastase photo)

By Phil Burgess, Editor, National DRAGSTER

Texas Gov. Rick Perry was an honored guest Saturday at the 28th annual AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals at the Texas Motorplex at the invite of good friends Tom McKernan, the chairman of the board of AAA, and Texas Motorplex owner Billy Meyer. Perry met with drivers in the pits and staging lanes and stood on the starting line during Funny Car qualifying to watch Robert Hight’s AAA of Texas Mustang. It was the governor’s first trip to an NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series national event.

I’ve been asked a half-dozen times to come out before but always had a conflict, but I’m glad it worked out that we could be here today,” Perry said. “It was great to see the grandstands full of happy Texans. We’re sorry about that rain yesterday, but we really needed it.”

Although it was the governor’s first trip to a big-league drag race, he’s no stranger to drag racing – invoking the name of legendary “Big Daddy” Don Garlits in his heyday – or to fast cars. As a youngster growing up in Texas in the 1960s, he and his friends would devour Hot Rod magazines on the newsstand at the local drugstore and dream of owning a hot rod of their own.

We’d go in there and look at the magazines, and it would have been like my mom looking at the Sears catalog dreaming of what we’d like to have,” Perry said with a nostalgic grin. “My dream car was anywhere between a ’69 and a ’72 Chevelle SS with a 396.”

He has also been the guest at the Formula 1 event at the new Circuit of the Americas in Austin and at NASCAR races at Texas Motor Speedway, so he has other experiences to compare to NHRA Drag Racing, although it appears that there’s no contest in the governor’s eyes.

I’ve been on the deck of the USS Reagan when an F-18 launched, but I’ve never done anything like this that assaulted all of my senses,” he said. “The feel, the sight, the smell are really something. Someone can tell you about what it’s like to be at a drag race, but it’s hard to describe. I’m going to go home to my wife and try to explain how intense this was, and I know I’m going to do a really poor job.

I like that the sport also is highly technical. I was in the pits and the drivers and teams are all very friendly. I went into the AAA technology van, and it’s science, technology, engineering, and math. The Army has its recruiting efforts here, too, so it’s clear that the NHRA does a good job of reaching out to the community to help kids understand that there’s a great future in this business. Not only is it a lot of fun, but there are some good-paying jobs.”

The governor cites a favorable economic climate for the expansion of business and racing in his state, and it’s clear that he’s passionate about that and keeping it that way.

The great thing about having so many nice venues in our state is that fans get to experience a wide variety of motorsports. They’re all different, but I’m sure there are some NASCAR and Formula 1 fans here today, too, and over the last 12 years we’ve really been focused on keeping taxes reasonable, a regulatory climate that’s fair and reasonable, and a legal system that doesn’t allow for over-suing, and we continue to appropriately fund accountable schools so that you have a skilled workforce, and the businesses come and they expand because of our business climate.

Rick Perry John Force

No trip to an NHRA event would be complete without meeting NHRA legend John Force, especially because the John Force Racing teams count AAA among their sponsors.

What a character, and what a great family man and champion,” said Perry. “His daughters are just wonderful, and so is Robert Hight. They’re great folks.”

Perry with The Forces NHRA Dignitaries

Left to Right: 15 Time NHRA Funny Car World Champ John Force; NHRA President Tom Compton; Governor Perry; 2012 NHRA Rookie of the Year, Funny Car driver Courtney Force; Top Fuel driver Brittany Force; AAA Chairman of the Board Tom McKernan; John Force Racing President, Former Funny Car World Champion,and reigning U. S. Nationals Champion, Robert Hight (Gary Nastase photos)

***Final eliminations ESPN2 at 8:30 PM [Eastern] 7:30 [Central]

Robert Hight, the reigning U.S. Nationals Champion, and winner of the most recent race in Charlotte, is the number one qualifier in Funny Car, for Sunday’s final eliminations. Hight set a new track record for the class running a 4.052 second pass at 311.85 mph. This is Hight’s second number one of the season, and the 45th of his career. He will being going for his third event win in a row on Sunday.

Courtney Force put her Ford Mustang Funny Car into the field at number 5, with a 4.115 second pass at 309.13 mph, she will face her dad, John Force in the first round. John drove his Mustang to a 4.174 at 297.94 mph to qualify number 12. Courtney has a winning record against John. Both are in the fight for the 2013 NHRA Mello-Yello Funny Car World Championship, along with teammate Robert Hight.

Only two of the normal four qualifying rounds were held, due to Friday’s persistent, but much needed rain. Should make for an interesting race day Sunday.

A side note, Governor Perry looking rather spiffy in those glasses.

~ Gary

AAA Texas FallNationals

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Video NHRA Indy-Traxxas Shootout: Beckman’s Explosive Funny Car Win, Langdon Takes Top Fuel

Beckman Traxxas Winner Indy 2013

By Gary P Jackson

A wild Sunday at the 59th Annual Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals, the oldest, most prestigious national drag race in the country. While qualifying continued to set the 16 car fields for Monday’s final round of eliminations, the annual race-within-a-race, the Traxxas Nitro Shootout, the $100,000 to win spectacular, was being contested.

The Traxxas Nitro Shootouts consist of eight Top Fuel and eight Funny Cars, seven of which are event winners from the season, leading up to Indy, and one fan vote/lottery winner. This year’s fan/lottery winners were Tim Wilkerson in Funny Car, and rookie Top Fuel driver Brittany Force, daughter of NHRA’s winningest driver, 15 time world champ John Force, and sister of Funny Car stars Courtney Force and three time Indy champion Ashley Force-Hood.

In Top Fuel, Shawn Langdon started his march to the final round by taking out Brittany Force, who was the provisional number one qualifier for the Nationals, with a holeshot. Langdon’s 3.874 beat Force’s quicker 3.866.

The final round was also a close one, as again Langdon had the better reaction time .062 to .091 against his opponent, Texas’ Steve Torrence, who was in his second straight Traxxas shootout final round. Langdon won with a 3.821 to Torrence’s 3.828.

In even more good news, team owner Sheikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Thani, of Qatar was in town, and announced a 5 year contract extension with Alan Johnson, and Top Fuel drivers Langdon, and Khalid alBalooshi.

Funny Car was even wilder, with Jack Beckman’s really explosive win.

In the final round, Jack Beckman, the reining Funny Car world champion, took on the always tough two time champion Cruz Pedregon. As the cars reached the finish line at over 300 mph, Beckman’s car had an engine failure that produced a spectacular explosion, which in turn caused the carbon fiber Dodge Charger body to disintegrate.

Before the finals, Beckman had to get past number one seed Courtney Force in the semi-finals, doing so with a 4.08 elapsed time. Beckman was the picture of consistently in the Shootout, winning the first round over teammate Ron Capps with a 4.06 [quickest of the round] and back to back 4.08 runs against Force and Pedregon.

Besides making the highlight reels, Beckman took the win over Pedregon with a holeshot, his 052 to Cruzer’s .075 reaction time made the difference at the finish line as Beckman’s 4.08 beat Pedregon’s quicker 4.06 pass.

Video of the final rounds of the Traxxas Nitro Shootout:

From NHRA:

Langdon Torrence Top Fuel Final 2013 Traxxas Indy

In 2012, Shawn Langdon had to watch as the eight drivers who qualified for the inaugural NHRA Traxxas Nitro Shootout for Top Fuel competed for the $100,000 prize during the prestigious Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis. This year, he made sure he would participate in the event by winning the season opener in Pomona, and he brought the win home for the Al-Anabi team.

Steve Torrence was denied in the final for the second straight year. Following big wins against Tony Schumacher and Spencer Massey, he lost a close race to Langdon. Langdon got a .062 to .091 starting-line advantage and edged Torrence in a 3.821 to 3.828 decision.

I wanted to get in bad last year, and we weren’t able to do that,” said Langdon. “It was a great feeling just to get in and be a part of it. There’s a lot of attention drawn to this one event. I’m hitting the gas in the finals for $100,000. It gets you in the stomach. There have been two moments in my career in the Top Fuel class that I got that kind of little, gut feeling with the butterflies rolling: the first time I ever sat in the car and the final just now.

Being a kid, I think back to the days at Pomona when I would watch guys like Kenny Bernstein, Don Prudhomme, and Joe Amato race the shootouts at the end of the year. I always had big interests in those events because it was always eight of the best drivers in the class competing for a lot of money. If you can’t get up for that, I don’t know what you can get up for.”

Langdon earned his keep in the cockpit by defeating Brittany Force on a 3.874 to 3.866 holeshot in the opening round. His car did the job with a 3.821 to 3.880 victory in the semifinals against Antron Brown.

I didn’t see the win light in the semi’s, and I pulled off the track thinking I lost,” said Langdon. “I shook Antron’s hand and wished him luck in the final, and he just looked at me like I had three eyes. I was a little bummed out. When they told me I won, it felt like I had a buyback into the final.”

Langdon’s win comes on the heels of an earlier announcement that Qatar, Al-Anabi Racing, and Alan Johnson agreed to a five-year contract extension. Team owner Sheikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Thani was on hand for the win.

On top of the win, we’re out here at Indy, my mom came out, Sheikh Khalid is out here, and we announced our five-year agreement this morning,” said Langdon. “We’re having a good time. The car is running excellent. I couldn’t ask for anything more. The only thing left is to win Indy and win the championship.

Langdon Winners Circle 2013 Traxxas Indy

Beckman Cruzer Final 2013 Traxxas Indy

Jack Beckman, far lane, began the Traxxas Nitro Shootout Funny Car final in a coupe but completed it a winner in a convertible after a finish-line explosion after defeating Cruz Pedregon for the $100,000 winner prize.

Beckman After Explosion 2013 Traxxas Indy

There is an old adage that states, “If you can’t win, be spectacular.” Jack Beckman decided to be both, winning the NHRA Traxxas Nitro Shootout for Funny Cars in very spectacular fashion after the engine let go in his Valvoline MaxLife entry as he crossed the finish line, shredding the body and sending Beckman on a wild, bouncing ride through the shutdown area. Beckman was uninjured in the incident.

The first four seconds were fantastic. The next 10, not so good,” said Beckman of the final-round run. “Pomona when it blew up, it blew up earlier in the run, and the way the fire came out and what was left of the body, there was a little bit more fire up in my face. This one, it didn’t blow oil all over my visor like it did in Pomona, so I could see the whole way. I’m not sure I recommend that either. As soon as you lose the body, you lose all downforce, so the thing starts bouncing off the ground and you start sliding in your own oil, too. Man, I just did not want to wreck that chassis. We do have a back-up car, but you don’t want to go every qualifying run and then switch chassis out there, so we’ll put a body on it. The problem is when they blow up that hard, it tweaks a couple of things in the chassis, too. We’ve got the whole night to fix it. We’ve got another MaxLife body we can put on it, and we’re the only ones with the chance to double up. I kind of like that.

It gave me no warning whatsoever. Just like Pomona, it didn’t lay over. It didn’t do anything, and to be perfectly frank about this, when you’re in competition, even if it dropped a hole down there, you’ve got to stay in it. You’ve got to get it to the finish line, but there was nothing: good, good, good, good, boom.”

The spectacular finish came after a great side-by-side race with Cruz Pedregon in which Beckman himself played a key role in taking the $100,000 top prize in the bonus event for Funny Car competitors. Beckman left the starting line first against Pedregon, .052 to .075, and that helped guide him to a 4.08 to 4.06 holeshot victory.

You’ve got to race smart,” said Beckman. “The first two rounds were also qualifying, and we get those little points, so I wanted to stage as shallow on both of those rounds. In the final round, it doesn’t matter because it didn’t count towards qualifying, and there’s nothing to lose by staging deeper other than you don’t typically stage deeper. As it turned out, it worked out perfect for us.

The fact that we haven’t won anything this year makes it that much bigger,” added Beckman, who got into the Shootout based on points after there were only six winners prior to Indy. “I’m actually kind of at a little bit of a loss for words right now because it’s really surreal. I intended to be down there with an intact Dodge Charger and a bunch of happy guys, and they’re happy, but now they’ve got to work five more hours than they would have had to tonight. You never know if your last win is your last win, and you try to learn to appreciate every single one of them. This is an odd one because we’ve got to go right back out tomorrow and race, and this one’s a different race. But yeah, it feels fantastic. I won the Skoal Showdown in the only year I competed in it, so to get another eight-car shootout win is amazing. It’s one of those things where years from now you look back and go, ‘Wow, what an amazing day.’

Beckman’s 4.08 in the final was his third straight 4.0 run. He posted a 4.062 that was the quickest winning time of the first round to get past teammate Ron Capps. Beckman then clocked a 4.08 to defeat Courtney Force and advance to the money round.

Pedregon’s fate in the Traxxas Shootout was determined entirely on the starting line. He was on the losing end of a holeshot in the final, but Pedregon used holeshots to get to that title round. In the first round, Pedregon turned a .027 to .070 lead at the Tree into a 4.06 to 4.05 victory over last year’s Traxxas Shootout winner, John Force. In the semifinals, Pedregon’s .050 to .085 reaction-time advantage carried him to a 4.12 to 4.10 win against Tim Wilkerson.

Courtney Force was the number one seed in the Traxxas Shootout, based on her dominating win at the season opening Winternationals in Pomona, California:

Courtney Force Indy 2013

Courtney’s sister Brittany Force was the number one qualifier going into the final day of qualifying for the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals, got into the Shootout on the fan vote/lottery:

Brittany Force

Brittany Force Indy 2013

Tim Wilkerson won the fan/lottery vote in Funny Car:

NHRA_Wilkerson_mug

Tim Wilkerson 2013 Indy

For complete video of the Friday through Sunday NHRA Chevrolet U.S.Nationals qualifying click here.

Final Eliminations are Monday, with coverage starting at 12 pm [Eastern time] on ESPN2.

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Drag Racing Star Courtney Force at the Indy 500 Festivities

Courtney Force Indy 2013 Target Pits

From John Force Racing:

Courtney Force, driver of the Traxxas Ford Mustang Funny Car, attended Carb Day and experienced the festivities leading up to the 97th running of the Indianapolis 500 this past weekend. The 24-year-old wanted to show her support for the series and represent NHRA as one of the sport’s many female racers.

Force enjoyed another “off-weekend” at yet another race track touring the paddock and making a couple stops in the Indianapolis Motor Speedway media center before watching final practice for the Indy car teams.

It was great having one off weekend, but I couldn’t keep myself away from the race track. I was able to watch final practice for the Indy 500, meet a lot of really cool people involved in Indy Car, talk to some fans at the Automobile Club of Southern California display and tour the paddock,” said Force.

CF_Auto Club Stage

She met with team owner Chip Ganassi, drivers Dario Franchitti and Scott Dixon in the Target Chip Ganassi camp as well as the legendary Alex Zanardi, just moments before an emotional presentation where Ganassi presented Zanardi with a restored “Old Midnight,” the car Zanardi drove last in 2011 before losing both of his legs in a crash.

The highlight for me was hanging out with Dario, Scott and Alex and hearing about Alex’s first time watching from the starting line when one of our cars took off and how it affected him. He told us that he was blown away by the power of the run, until he realized it was just the burnout! He watched a full run and said got emotional from experiencing the power of our cars, which was amazing to hear. We talked about a lot of differences between Funny Cars and Indy Cars. It was a blast to hear all of the questions and comments coming from a group of guys who I admire and look up to in another form of racing,” said Force.

Force with Franchitti and Dixon

Courtney Force with Dario Franchitti and Scott Dixon, drivers for Chip Ganassi Racing.

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Drag Racing’s Long Record of Diversity is No Hype

By Gary P Jackson

Back in February, when the media circus was aimed directly at Daytona, and NASCAR racer Danica Patrick’s pole winning drive, another female racer, Courtney Force, was not only qualifying in the number one spot at the NHRA Winternationals in Pomona, California, she was winning the event. It wasn’t her first win either.

Force, the daughter of 15 time world champ John Force, drove her Funny Car to the number one spot with an elapsed time of 4.036 seconds at 318.24 mph. Come race day, Courtney dominated the field, and saved her best for the final round. Her 4.025 second 317.12 mph pass was not only low elapsed time of the event, but her career best. Courtney left Pomona with the points lead and a coveted spot in the Traxxas Nitro Shootout that will be held at the US Nationals on Labor Day weekend.

At the same event, John Force’s middle daughter, Brittany, was making her debut in Top Fuel, as was Leah Pruitt-Leduc, who has already raced in Funny Car and Pro Mod previously.

The very next weekend, as the media again looked to Daytona, and Fox Sports’ announcers were hyperventilating because Danica Patrick led a lap, one single lap, at the Daytona 500, Pro Stock racer Erica Enders-Stevens was busy winning at the NHRA Arizona Nationals. She did so in dominating fashion.

What is so remarkable about these two ladies’ wins, is that in the National Hot Rod Association it’s not remarkable at all!

Women have been participating, and winning, in the NHRA for decades. Courtney Force’s points lead wasn’t even of historic note, as her sister, three time Indy champion Ashley Force-Hood, led the points several years back, and finished second in the points championship that season.

The first female to win an NHRA national event was Shirley Shahan, who in 1966 won Top Stock Eliminator at the Winternationals, with her 426 Hemi Powered Plymouth.

Shahan would have a long and storied career in the NHRA. Since then women have participated in, and won many events at the sportsman level. All the Force girls, Erica-Enders Stevens, as well as most of the women pro racers, just like the men, started out in the sportsman categories. Erica started out in Jr Dragster, as a young girl. Disney made a movie about young Erica’s exploits called Right On Track.

If you go to your local drag strip, you might be surprised to find as many little girls racing Jr Dragsters as little boys!

NHRA’s legacy of women in racing arguably goes back further than all of this though. Even further back than the NHRA itself. Much like NASCAR, part of NHRA’s DNA comes from street racers, but NHRA also has deep roots in land-speed racing. NHRA’s founder, Wally Parks, was also part of the Southern California Timing Association, the sanctioning body that oversaw many of the races on the dry lake beds. Parks helped reorganize the SCTA in the late 1930s.

One of these dry lakes racers was a lady named Veda Orr. Now as you can imagine, not everyone was on board with women racing fast cars, but Veda’s husband, Karl, was a rather large and imposing fellow, and no one was gonna tell him that Veda couldn’t race! She and other women raced “unofficially.”

What makes Veda Orr stand out as a historical figure, was her efforts during WWII. All of the young men who raced on the dry lakes were, of course, enlisted in the fight. Many of the racers turned GIs would write Veda looking for news, anything from home. It didn’t take long before the letters were so numerous, she took up publishing the SCTA newsletter, something that had been left undone, and sending it to GIs all over the world. She gave these warriors a little taste of home, and the servicemen absolutely adored her.

After the war, the SCTA was again reorganized, and the board members voted to admit her, and allow her to race officially. It can be said, Veda Orr kept the SCTA alive during the war. Veda would go on to publish a pictorial book of dry lakes racing for the 1946-1948 seasons. The book has since been reissued several times. She has a huge place in motorsports history.

In modern times, the first woman to win as a professional was Shirley Muldowney. Shirley had raced for years in both door cars, and fuel dragsters, but it was her groundbreaking win in Top Fuel in 1976 that really paved the way for all of the women who now compete.

Around this time other women tried racing in NASCAR and at Indy, but were treated as “novelties” not serious racers, a real shame. Shirley faced her share of discrimination, for sure, but as a pro she quickly proved she was no novelty! In 1977 Shirley won the NHRA Top Fuel world championship, the first for a female. She would back that up with many more event wins, as well as championships in 1980 and 1982.

What makes Shirley so remarkable is when she won her second championship in 1980, she was the first person in history, man or woman, to have won more than one NHRA Top Fuel championship. When she won her third, in 1982, she was still the only person in the world with more than one NHRA championship in Top Fuel. During this period Shirley was also winning in the AHRA and IHRA as well.

The thing we enjoyed about Shirley wasn’t that she was a woman, but that she came to the track to race. She was there to rip the competition to shreds, and more times than not, that’s exactly what she did. Her reaction times, one of drag racing’s most important skills, were far superior than her contemporaries, and she flat knew how to get her car down the track. In fact, Shirley’s reactions were so good, many in drag racing, at the time, wondered if women didn’t make better race car drivers.

Since then, numerous women have raced and won in Top Fuel, including Lucille Lee, Shelly Anderson-Payne, Rachelle Splatt [from Australia] , Christen Powell, Lori Johns, Hillary Will, and Melanie Troxell, just to name a few.

The winningest female racer in the NHRA also happens to be the winningest Pro Stock Motorcycle racer, period, Angelle Drago. Angelle has three world championships to her credit. Pro Stock Motorcycles cover the quarter mile in less than seven seconds, at speeds around 200 mph.

There is not a single professional NHRA class that hasn’t had a female winner.

One of the hardest things to do in drag racing, especially the nitro ranks, is to win in both Top Fuel and Funny Car. Only a handful of men have done this throughout the history of the sport. A handful of men, and one woman, Melanie Troxel.

Melanie has also won in Pro Mod, one of the hardest to drive race cars in all of motorsports. She is the only driver to have won in all three classes.

It’s not just women who have enjoyed great successes though. Minorities have always done well. The reigning Top Fuel champion is Antron Brown, a huge fan favorite.

Antron Brown

Before coming to Top Fuel, Antron was already a winning Pro Stock Motorcycle racer, where he was Angelle Drago’s U S Army Racing teammate.

Antron joins Formula One’s Lewis Hamilton in being the only black racers to have won major racing championships, but Antron is not unique in drag racing. There have been black racers in Top Fuel and Funny Car, as well as Pro Stock , Pro Stock Motorcycle, and Pro Mod.

In the 1960s, before there was Funny Car, there were the gassers. These lightweight supercharged cars, were fan favorites. When not racing at national events, the gassers were a huge draw at match races and open events across the country. There was no bigger names then, or bigger legends now, than the famed Stone, Woods, and Cook team.

Owners Fred Stone and Leonard Woods were black, and driver Doug Cook was white.

In 2008 NHRA’s weekly publication National Dragster ran a poll asking readers what their favorite race car of all time was, and the Stone, Woods, and Cook Swindler was the winner. Editor Phil Burgess did a follow up to the story that brings back great memories.

Hispanics have always been well represented in drag racing. From Joaquin Arnett and the sport’s earliest days to second generation Funny Car drivers Cruz and Tony Pedregon who have a pair of world championships each.

Drag racing is international, with races held all over the world. Throughout the years, racers have traveled to America to compete in the NHRA. Obviously there have been great racers and champions from Canada, but there have been racers from England, Australia, all over Europe, and the Middle East who have competed as well.

Currently, one of the top teams in the sport is based out of Qatar, and one of their drivers Khalid alBalooshi, races Top Fuel, after having been a standout in Pro Mod.

Though he now calls Montana home, Top Fuel racer David Grubnic is from Australia.

I wish I could tell readers why NHRA has such a great record of diversity, that is unmatched in other forms of motorsports, but I simply can’t. A race car doesn’t know, or care, who is driving it. For a driver, skill, not gender or color, is all that matters. That holds true for any kind of racing, not just drag racing.

Some will say that well, in drag racing, you only go straight, so anyone can do it. We’ve heard this before, always from people who have never actually tried it.

Let’s look at Funny Car, and Courtney Force.

The V-8 engines in Funny Car and Top Fuel make over 10,000 horsepower, burning highly volatile nitromethane fuel. To put that in perspective, each cylinder makes around 1250 horsepower, or almost double that of an entire NASCAR or Indy Racing League engine.

When Courtney Force steps on the throttle of her Funny Car, she feels twice the amount of g-force that astronauts in the space shuttle felt during take off. She goes from 0 to 100 mph in about eight-tenths of a second. By the eighth mile [660 feet] she’ll be traveling at 275 mph. When she pulls the parachute as she reaches the finish line, Courtney will feel negative g-forces about three times more than what she experienced at launch. To give you an idea of how hard this is on the body, two of the sport’s biggest legends, Big Daddy Don Garlits, and Joe Amato had to retire from Top Fuel racing, because their retinas had detached from their eyes, after so many years of pulling those parachutes.

If you look at a Funny Car, you’ll notice the exhaust points upward. There is a reason for this, the extreme exhaust pressure coming out of each cylinder produces thousands of pounds of downforce, and that helps keep the race car planted firmly to the track.

This is a double edged sword though. Nitro engines are finicky, on a good day. Many times, even on a great pass, one or more cylinders will lose fire, which tuners call dropping a cylinder. What happens then is the exhaust pressure from the side of the engine that has all four candles lit, will actually push the race car out of the groove, and in extreme cases, into the wall. A driver only has milliseconds to react, in a car that really doesn’t like to be driven. It takes great skill to get an errant Funny Car down the track in these conditions. We’ve seen Courtney do a great job of driving when it seemed her car wanted to stuff her in the wall. She does a remarkable job of taking the car right down the track when many others struggle.

No race car is easy to drive and certainly not one with the kind of power we are talking about here.

As a former racer, and someone who loves all kinds of racing, it’s frustrating to see so many lauding NASCAR and Danica Patrick, when the NHRA has such a long record of women, and minority winners. I don’t want to take away from Danica, she’s certainly a skilled driver, but she has yet to win at her sport’s highest level. In fact, she’s often finished races well out of the top positions. Danica has always sat in the very best equipment money can buy, yet no wins. It would be nice to see some women drivers not only be competitive in NASCAR, but win. So far, that has never happened.

On the other hand, in the NHRA women have captured the number one qualifying position 90 times. Women have won 92 NHRA events. Two women, Shirley Muldowney and Angelle Drago, have three world championships each.

Three Hispanic racers count for 5 world championships, and of course, the reigning Top Fuel champion is black.

NASCAR and the media have surrounded Danica Patrick with hype. Last week RACER Magazine named Courtney Force the 2012 Rookie of the Year, for all of motorsports. This huge honor is the first for any drag racer. Courtney joins some of the biggest names in all of motorsports who have also won this honor.

Meanwhile, the NHRA Gatornationals are this weekend in Gainesville, Florida. There will be numerous women drivers competing throughout the many classes. Don’t be surprised to see one, or more female winners. At Seattle in 2012 Courtney Force and Erica Enders-Stevens shared the Winners Circle with Megan Ellingson, who won Super Street.

You can catch qualifying Saturday and final eliminations Sunday evening on ESPN2.

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