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NHRA Nationals at LVMS: Not One, but Four Women Competing at Drag Racing’s Highest Level

April 4, 2013 by  



Brittany Force
The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway
will host the National Hot Rod Association’s NHRA SummitRacing.com Nationals this weekend (Pictured: Brittany Force)

On Sunday evening – after the final pair of cars have raced down the track at more than 300 miles per hour – someone invariably will ask, “Where did she finish?” and the reply will be, “Which one?”

There are not one, but four women competing in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series’ professional classes: one in Top Fuel Dragster, two in the Top Fuel Funny Car ranks and one in the Pro Stock division. And two of the four already have won NHRA national events. The Force name is without a doubt one of the most well-known in professional drag racing circles. Sisters Courtney and Brittany are daughters of 15-time NHRA Funny Car champion John Force, of Yorba Linda, Calif.

  • Brittany, 25, (pictured at top) is a contender for the 2013 NHRA Top Fuel Dragster Rookie-of-the-Year Award. The Cal State-Fullerton grad competed for a number of years in the NHRA’s Top Alcohol (a.k.a. A-Fuel) Dragster class before graduating to the nitromethane-burning, 320-mile-per-hour premier division.
Courtney Force

Courtney Force

  • Courtney, 24, earned No. 1 Qualifier status in the Funny Car class and won the 2013 season-opener in Pomona, Calif. Her first Funny Car win came in 2012 at Seattle, Wash., in August. She was the NHRA’s 2012 Funny Car rookie of the year.
Erica Enders

Erica Enders

  • Erica Enders, 29, competes in the NHRA Pro Stock division. The native of Houston, Texas, became the first woman to win in the NHRA Pro Stock category when she defeated four-time champion Greg Anderson in Joliet, Ill., in 2012. She won this year, at Chandler, Ariz. to pad her Pro Stock win total to five. Enders’ drag-racing life was portrayed in a Disney Original Movie, Right On Track, in 2003.
Alexis DeJoria

Alexis DeJoria

  • Alexis DeJoria, 36, was successful in the NHRA’s Top Alcohol Funny Car ranks before graduating to the Top Fuel Funny Car class in 2010. She reached her first final-round appearance at Bristol, Tenn., last year, losing to perennial favorite Ron Capps. DeJoria is sponsored by Las Vegas-headquartered Patron Tequila. She recently wed Jesse James of “West Coast Choppers” fame and her father is the founder of the Paul Mitchell hair care empire.

All four drivers are following in the footsteps of the NHRA’s first female champion, Shirley Muldowney, who won the Top Fuel Dragster title in 1977, 1980 and 1982. She retired from professional drag racing with 18 NHRA national-event wins.

The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series – formerly known as the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series – delivers the biggest names in professional drag racing twice each year to America’s Greatest Drag Strip. Pro (Top Fuel Dragster, Funny Car and Pro Stock) qualifying will take place on Friday and Saturday with eliminations on Sunday. Children 12 and under will be admitted free.

For tickets and information, please call LVMS at (702) 644-4444 or visit www.LVMS.com. Follow LVMS on Facebook and Twitter.

NHRA SummitRacing.com Nationals schedule:

Thursday, April 4
Free NHRA driver autograph session from 6-8 p.m. at the New York New York Hotel & Casino’s Staten Island Room.

Friday, April 5
8 a.m. – Sportsman qualifying, Comp Eliminator qualifying sessions (two).
12:30 p.m. – Top Alcohol Dragster and Funny Car qualifying.
Pro Stock qualifying.
3 p.m. – Top Fuel Dragster and Funny Car qualifying.
4 p.m. – Top Alcohol Dragster and Funny Car qualifying.
5 p.m. – Pro Stock qualifying.
5:30 p.m. – Top Fuel Dragster and Funny Car qualifying.
6:45 p.m. – Jet Dragsters.
7 p.m. – Track closed.

Saturday, April 6
8 a.m. – Sportsman eliminations.
10 a.m. – Comp Eliminator qualifying.
10:30 a.m. – Top Alcohol Dragster and Funny Car qualifying.
K&N Pro Stock Horsepower Challenge intro.
First round of K&N Pro Stock Horsepower Challenge.
Pro Stock qualifying.
Top Fuel Dragster and Funny Car qualifying.
2:15 p.m. – Second round of K&N Pro Stock Horsepower Challenge.
2:20 p.m. – Pro Stock qualifying.
Top Fuel Dragster and Funny Car qualifying.
3:25 p.m. – Final round of K&N Pro Stock Horsepower Challenge.
3:30 p.m. – Top Fuel Dragster and Funny Car qualifying.
4 p.m. – First round of Top Alcohol Dragster and Funny Car eliminations.
5 p.m. – First round of Comp Eliminator eliminations.
7 p.m. – Track closed.

Sunday, April 7
9 a.m. – Sportsman eliminations.
10:30 a.m. – Pre-race ceremonies; final eliminations begin.
4 p.m. – Track closed.

Schedule is subject to change.

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