Brittany Force raced to her first career victory and took control of the Top Fuel point standings 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 dragster to a 3.772-sec run at 318.77 mph to best Terry McMillen’s 3.981 at 266.90. This was Force’s eighth career final-round appearance and first ever at Gainesville Raceway. Force is the first female Top Fuel racer to appear in back-to-back finals since Melanie Troxel in 2006. As the No. 5 qualifier, Force defeated Morgan Lucas, Tripp Tatum, and Dave Connolly before beating McMillen in the final.
“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.”
McMillen, appearing in his first ever final round, sped past defending world champ Antron Brown, eight-time world champ Tony Schumacher, and Clay Millican before having engine problems in the final against Force. McMillen jumped from 10th to fifth in points.
Leah Pritchett won at Phoenix three weeks ago, and Force’s victory marks the first time since 1990 that female Top Fuel racers have won back-to-back events. Pritchett’s win was also the first of her career, the first time there have been back-to-back first-time Top Fuel winners since 1993.
John Force Racing doubled up for the first time in team history as Hight pushed his Funny Car to a 4.429 at 280.95, outrunning Ron Capps’ 7.047 at 89.05. It was Hight’s first win in 2016 and third in Gainesville. He qualified third and beat Terry Haddock, Matt Hagan, and Chad Head en route to earning his 37th career win. Hight leads the Funny Car points.
In Pro Stock, Anderson raced his Summit Racing Equipment Chevrolet Camaro to a holeshot win against Ken Black Racing teammate and points leader Jason Line. Anderson posted a 6.590 at 210.01 and used a quicker reaction time to cross the finish line before his teammate, who powered his Summit Racing Equipment Chevrolet Camaro to a 6.581 at 210.57.
For full story, results, and standings click here.