Female drivers set record with wins in last three NHRA events
Alexis DeJoria’s Funny Car win at Sunday’s Denso Spark Plugs NHRA Nationals marked the first time in the sport’s history that three different female racers have won in nitro categories at three consecutive events.
It all began back in February, when Leah Pritchett made history at the Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in Chandler, Arizona. Pritchett took her first NHRA Top Fuel career win by after defeating Brittany Force in the first all-female Top Fuel final since 1982.
“It’s the sweetest thing in the world, I can barely even describe it,” said Pritchett after taking her win. “This isn’t even about me, I just get to drive this awesome vehicle with some incredible people.
“I’m living a dream, and it’s because of everybody else, and glory goes to God on this, he’s put some awesome people in my life.”
For every winner, however, someone has to finish second. But Brittany Force only had to wait three more weeks to pick off her first career victory in the Top Fuel final at the Gatornationals in Gainesville, Florida.
“I am excited to get my first win for John Force Racing, Monster Energy and all our sponsors, but I don’t want to win just one race,” said Force after the event. “This is a process and I will keep working on getting better every race. It gives you confidence to go rounds and I have dreamed about winning for so many years.” Force led the points for the first time in her NHRA Top Fuel career leaving Gainesville, and continues to lead them after Vegas.
Meanwhile, last Sunday at The Strip in Las Vegas, Funny Car racer Alexis DeJoria became the third female driver to take an NHRA nitro category win in as many events. In doing so, she ended a 33-race long winless streak by defeating Kalitta Racing teammate Del Worsham in the final.
“It’s great to be a part of that history,” said DeJoria. “This fourth trophy was definitely a difficult one, it took a lot of risks to get here.
“We made consistent passes down the race track all four runs in qualifying and on race day as well. I don’t know when the last time was that we did that. It’s incredible to be a part of this.”
The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series now heads to Charlotte, N.C. for the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at zMAX Dragway, which will run from April 22-24.