Compiled by SEMA Editors
BRITTANY FORCE SCORES FIRST WIN IN TOP FUEL; HIGHT, ANDERSON, KRAWIEC ALSO SCORE: Brittany Force raced to her first career victory and took control of the Top Fuel point standings last Sunday at the Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals. Robert Hight (Funny Car), Greg Anderson (Pro Stock) and Eddie Krawiec (Pro Stock Motorcycle) were also victorious at the third of 24 events in the 2016 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season. Force powered her Monster Energy dragster to a 3.772-second run at 318.77 mph to outlast Terry McMillen’s 3.981 at 266.90 in his Amalie Motor Oil Xtermigator dragster. This was Force’s eighth career final-round appearance and first ever at Gainesville Raceway.
“It feels good to finally bring home the win,” said Force, daughter of 16-time Funny Car champion John. “Our car was on fire all weekend. It went down there and had great runs. This is a very proud moment for me and the John Force Racing team, the Monster Energy team. It took everyone to get us here.”
TASCA TO COMPETE IN FOUR NHRA NATIONAL EVENTS: Tasca Racing will return to NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Funny Car competition this season at four events, beginning with the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals in Charlotte. Team owner Bob Tasca III will also compete at the NHRA national events in Topeka, Epping and Chicago in his Mustang-bodied entry.
“I’m thrilled to have NewAutoParts.com back as the primary sponsor for the Four-Wide event,” said Tasca. “We also have three other primary sponsors that I will be announcing soon for the remaining events.” Longtime Ford stalwart Tasca is excited to be answering the demands from NHRA Ford fans who want to see more Ford Funny Cars on the track. “I get emails and see social media posts nonstop asking why Ford pulled out of NHRA Funny Car racing,” he said. “I talk to the executives all the time and, trust me, the Ford family and many people within the company love the NHRA Ford fans. I firmly believe that one day they will come back and support their fans and their teams. Until then, the Tasca Family will do whatever we can to keep the passion alive for the Ford fans.”
NHRA ALL-ACCESS VIDEO STREAMING SERVICE DEBUTS: The Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals marked the beginning of NHRA’s exciting new premium streaming service—NHRA All Access. For just $99.95 per season, race fans can get live, all-day video coverage from NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series events on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Fans will get the actual in-venue announcing and video feed directly from the Sunoco Vision big-screen display.
He Said, She Said
“Took several years for (Brittany) to struggle and go through all the teams that she loved and the crew chiefs. But what Alan (Johnson) said was that you could put me over there with that other stuff but to make me any better, put me with what I know. And that is what we did. It’s early in the season, but just mentally this is great to deliver for Monster Energy, to deliver for Chevrolet, to deliver for Auto Club that’s been so loyal to us, to Mac Tools, to Peak and everybody. The only one that didn’t deliver today was me, but what I think I am looking at is that I made the right calls. A lot of it is money, and I have had to take money out of my pocket to make this program work. I invested in this Top Fuel team and in Alan Johnson and he made this team work."
—Funny Car racer and team owner John Force after his daughter won her first Top Fuel race in Gainesville. The victory was the first win outside of the Funny Car ranks in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series and also the first time the team doubled-up with wins in the nitro ranks.
Inside the Numbers
3.879: Number in seconds of the Funny Car national elapsed time record set by Don Schumacher Funny Car racer Jack Beckman in Gainesville. The time was also a Gainesville Raceway track record and earned him his 17th No. 1 qualifying position.
“I’m always excited to come here,” said Beckman following the run. “This place was setting records long before I ever came out here when I was reading about it in National Dragster. Driving for (crew chief) Jimmy Prock, we can set records most places we go.”
Did You Know
JEGS BOOSTS SPORTSNATIONALS PURSE TO RECORD AMOUNT: Incentives for racers looking to attend the JEGS NHRA SPORTSnationals, May 27–29, at Beech Bend Raceway Park in Bowling Green, Kentucky, have been sweetened with JEGS boosting the cash purse to an all-time SPORTSnationals record $99,250. With contingency awards in excess of $275,000 and special bonus races, the total award posting approaches $380,000, a dramatic increase over the $50,700 posted at the inaugural SPORTSnationals in 1974. The JEGS NHRA SPORTSnationals is the most lucrative all-Sportsman drag-racing event in the country. The inclusion of a Racer Appreciation Cookout and JEGS Family Fun Night at Beech Bend Raceway Park Friday night makes for a Memorial Day weekend celebration of NHRA Drag Racing that can’t be missed.