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Femme Fanatic Sports: A look at motor sports from a female perspective -- the NHRA

Vegas debuted a four-lane track. NHRA.COM

Welcome to Femmefanaticsports, which covers the feminine perspective of Motorsports, etc.

What readers should know

Four lane race debuts at  Las Vegas Strip

When: April 6-8, 2018
Where: Las Vegas, Nevada.
What: The NHRA  Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Debuted it's  first event on a Four Wide Lane!

One of my favorite things of all time is being at the Houston Zoo at feeding time to hear the thunderous roar of the majestic lion as he awaits his breakfast. The power of the vibrations rising from the waves sent from the ground, rattling my bones, readjusting my footing, Inciting my heart  to throbbing!

The next best thing I find that really gets the adrenaline going is being in the stands  at a Motorsports Park. In Belle Rose, Louisiana there is No Problem Raceway,  then there is Texas Motorplex in Ennis and of course Royal Purple Raceway in Baytown, just to name a few.

These tracks are host  to some of the wildest rides in the 1/4 mile. You have the John Force Racing, Team which includes some of the fastest women on the track- Brittany Force with a 3.667 second- pass at 330.31 mph at Pomona Autoclub Raceway, the same track where now retired Alexis Dejoria was the first woman to break the 3 second Funny Car barrier. Wild, right?  When you consider that these ladies are contending with amazing male counterparts like John Force, Tony Schumacher  and Clay Millican, now that's very classy ladies, amazing feat indeed. The aforementioned are all traditional two-lane tracks.

So now to the point; each time the 11000 horsepower engines torpedoed off the starting  line, it was quadruple  the excitement.  This novelty track is the first of its kind on the West Coast.  

And the winner is: Steve Torrence took the win in Top Fuel in the four lane quad dual beating out  "The Sarge "(#1 Qualifier), 3× World Champion Antron Brown and Doug Kalitta. 

JR Todd took the win in Funny Car; Vincent  Nobile took the top in Pro Stock.

Houston's very own Erica Enders is a formidable contender as  2x  Pro Stock World Champion  in this circuit as well with Melling Performance as her Sponsor, as she has shown us before,  she is the one to watch.

Visiting a nearby track can be an  excellent time for family bonding. It makes for a thrilling field trip for the home school setting . It allows boys and girls to get a closer look at the mechanics of professional racing  teams and their garages on wheels.

All you gear heads can walk the pits to quench your quest for your inner machine head.  Don't forget earmuffs/plugs  for the little ones, seat cushions for the stands, sunscreen, sun visor/caps, comfortable walking shoes for your visit to the pits, And your need for speed!

Looking ahead

NHRA Mello Yellow Drag Racing Series Enthusiasts  can get a taste of this excitement in our own backyard:

What: NHRA Spring Nationals,  Houston,Tx
When: April 20-22
Where: Royal Purple Raceway 2525 FM 565 Baytown,Tx 77523

SportsMap featured contenders

Pro stock: Houstons' very own Erica Enders-Stephens.

Top Fuel dragster: Leah Pritchett (Don SchumacherRacing). 

Top Fuel Dragster: Brittany Force (John Force Racing).

Funny car: Courtney Force (John Force Racing )

 

 

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A WEEKLY REVIEW OF CRENNEL'S COACHING

Now my job: Texans feast on Lions

Photo by Getty Images.

Thanksgiving is full of tradition. There's the typical family gathering, large meal, and of course, football. Sometimes, new traditions are added and old ones are retired. I think the Texans did both in their impressive 41-25 win over the Lions in Detroit. Old traditions were carried on (Lions losing on Thanksgiving), some were put to rest (Texans not being able to get turnovers), and new ones were started (multiple passing touchdowns by Deshaun Watson in six straight games).

The fact that this defense got three turnovers in the game was unbelievable! They got all three in the first quarter within the span of eight plays. JJ Watt's pick-six was insane. He went for a batted ball, ended up catching it, and ran it in. They forced Jonathan Williams to fumble on the Lions' very next play from scrimmage and recovered it. On the Lions' next possession, the Texans recovered yet another fumble after the challenge was reversed. Great call by the coaching staff to challenge and win. The defense looked good. Tyrell Adams stood out because he was in on those two fumbles, made 17 total tackles with 14 of them being solo tackles. They also brought pressure that seemed to make Matthew Stafford very inaccurate and resulted in four sacks. I give defensive coordinator Anthony Weaver credit for knowing he needs to blitz to get pressure, but the run defense has to improve.

The offense kept the tempo up in this game as well. The spread and hurry-up were used to keep the Lions already staggered defense off balance. Knowing the Lions were without a couple defensive backs, I thought it would be the perfect marriage of their defense and the Texans' offense. A buddy asked before the game about the line (Texans -3.5) and the over/under (52.5). I told him bet the Texans and the over because neither team can play defense and both have good quarterbacks. Offensive coordinator Tim Kelly put together another good game plan and Watson executed it flawlessly. One route combo I saw later on in the game I particularly enjoyed. Two receivers were tight to the left side. Cooks ran a hook/curl and settled in the middle of the zone while Fuller ran a vertical route. Duke Johnson ran a swing route to that same side. It left Cooks wide open as the attention went to Johnson in the flat, Fuller deep, and the action to the other play side. Route combos are important because it gives the quarterback different reads as he goes through his progressions and lets him pick apart the defense based on what he sees. Combine that with Watson's play and the way Kelly has changed his play calling now that he's liberated from he who shall not be named, we're seeing a beautiful thing.

As good as things were, there's still room for improvement. The defense gives up way too many easy yards, both run and pass. They can't get pressure bringing only four and will often give up big plays if the blitz is picked up. Plus the run defense is still an issue as evidenced by the Lions' first possession of the second half. The Lions ran the ball 10 plays straight for a total of 58 yards on that drive. Utterly ridiculous! Watson was good (17/25 318 yards and four touchdowns), but he missed two more touchdowns with passes slightly off, and continues to hold onto the ball too long at times. The difference between these two issues I've presented here is the fact that Watson has so played well, his "issues" are minor and very correctable, while the defense is terrible and there's no easy fix in sight. But let Romeo Crennel and Anthony Weaver tell it, they're getting the most out of these guys and they're playing disciplined.

The thought that this team may actually creep into the playoff picture may take shape better after next week if they can beat the Colts. I doubt it, but it is getting interesting. Let's see what else happens around them because they need help getting there.

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