CLASS CEILING

Femme Fanatic Sports: A look at motor sports from a female perspective -- recapping the NHRA's trip to Baytown

Brittany Force, left, was among the big winners in Baytown. NHRA.COM

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

What Readers should know:

What: The NHRA  Mello Yello Drag Racing Series / Spring Nationals 

When: This past weekend  (April 20-22, 2018)

Where: Royal Purple Raceway  

SportsMap was in the house for the NHRA Spring Nationals !

If the NHRA Spring Nationals was a music genre it would be Coachella mashed up with Woodstock, with a little  T in the Park, squished up with Lollapalooza, mixed with a tad of Bonnaroo and a splash of  Glastonbury (for garnish). Like Wow!

As SportsMap strolled through the entrance,  Snap! No way, 

The Mongoose (Tom McEwen) was sitting right there with that notorious killer smile! Front Line and Center, this was to be the place to be this weekend!  I couldn't help but look over my shoulder as we conversed to see if Don "The Snake " Prudhomme would slither by!  NO CIGAR.

For The opening act  you have the Sportsman Class , followed by Pro Mod on stage 2, with El Arabe Jet Car and the GameXChange Jet Dragster on Center  Stage, followed by the headliners Pro Stock, Funny Car, Top Fuel. 

Ladies and gentlemen start your engines Please!

SportsMap caught up with #theonetowatch Erica Enders. who posted the top spot in our book by driving  not one, but two cars in two different categories.  She dawned the Elite  Performance Pro Mod  Car as well as the Melling Performance Pro stock Car. 

Matt Hartford took the win in Pro Stock, and J.R. Todd had four for four in Funny Car!  There were records set of course with Matt Hagan and Greg Anderson, too much to mention. Then in between sessions there was a nice DJ who dazzled us with Fallout Boy and Rihanna.

Do not feel bad for Enders. She was not alone in the elite field of  class  at the  NHRA Mello Yello Spring Nationals here at Royal Purple Raceway in Baytown. You had Kayla Morton of Street Outlaw fame driving her "Hot Mess Express" Mustang  taking home the Redemption Title Friday over contender Barry Nicholson in a nice grudge match of Chevy vs. Ford.

Then of course, Tammy Gatlin had her Jet Funny Car shimmying down the track on her exhibition runs along with fellow jet car exhibitionist Juan Cantu and the GameXChange Jet Dragster. Definitely warmed things up on chilly Friday afternoon! 

Not to forget Leah Pritchett, and  Courtney Force. To be sure, Brittany Force did not disappoint as she took the win in  her Monster Energy Top Fuel Dragster at 3.762e.t. at 299.46 mph over fellow competitor Terry Mc Millen. 

Then there was  Brenda Grubbs, in her '69 Camaro in Super Stock, who showed us what life can be like in the quarter mile as this was her first Wally, winning out over Craig Gualtiere. Thanks to Janet, Gina, and Randi Lynn Ship and then some, we had a roaring weekend.

With the thundering of the funny cars, the roaring of the jet cars, the wind, rain and shine, the revving of motors, the testing and tuning, all the behind the scenes strumming throughout the pits and the harmonious voices of all the participants,  it made for quite the music festival that only can be found at the NHRA Mello Yello Spring Nationals.

The winners

Top Fuel -- Brittany Force, 3.762 seconds, 299.46 mph def. Terry McMillen, 3.818 seconds, 311.56 mph.

Funny Car -- J.R. Todd, Toyota Camry, 3.955, 313.29 def. Robert Hight, Chevy Camaro, 3.993, 308.14.

Pro Stock -- Matt Hartford, Chevy Camaro, 6.522, 211.36 def. Erica Enders, Camaro, 6.570, 210.50.

Pro Modified -- Jim Whiteley, Chevy Camaro, 5.834, 239.14 def. Rick Hord, Chevy Corvette, 5.818, 252.43.

Top Fuel Harley -- Doug Vancil, Weekend, 6.300, 230.76 def. Randal Andras, JTR, 12.128, 80.94.

Super Stock -- Brenda Grubbs, Chevy Camaro, 9.284, 138.47 def. Craig Gualtiere, Chevy Nova, 9.691, 132.43.

Stock Eliminator -- Tim Snively, Chevy Camaro, 11.745, 110.84 def. Brandon Bakies, Olds Cutlass, 11.091, 114.30.

Super Comp -- Lyndon Rutland, Dragster, 8.901, 180.07 def. Austin Williams, Dragster, 8.902, 156.99.

Super Gas -- Koy Collier, Chevy Camaro, 9.902, 156.75 def. Steve Collier, Chevy Vega, 9.890, 163.06.

Next Weekend 

When: April 27-29

What: NGK Spark Plugs NHRA Four-Wide Nationals North Carolina 

Where: zMAX Dragway 

5555 Concord Pkwy S Concord, NC 28027

Most Popular

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome

Listen Live

ESPN Houston 97.5 FM
This is getting out of hand. Photo by Ronald Martinez/Allsport/Getty Images.

Dr. Rick warns his patients, young homeowners who are turning into their parents, you can expect to pay more for snacks and drinks at a movie theater. It's the same deal at a professional sports venue. Three years ago, I put a down payment on a cheeseburger at Toyota Center ... I still have three more payments to go before I get it.

But this is ridiculous. The PGA Championship, the lesser (least) of golf's majors, is charging $18 for a beer, a 25-ounce Michelob Ultra, at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa. It's $19 for a Stella Artois. You can buy a six-pack for less at the supermarket. Aren't there laws against price gouging, like during a hurricane? Isn't Tulsa where the Golden Hurricanes play? Get FEMA in here. Did tournament directors get together and ponder, how can we piss off our fans? Sure, it's Tulsa and there's not much else to do, but that's no excuse.

Charging $18 for a beer makes the concession stands at Minute Maid Park look like a Sunday morning farmer's market. A 25-ounce domestic beer during an Astros game is $13.49. A 25-ounce premium beer is $14.45. Yeah, that's high for a beer, but at Minute Maid Park there are lots of hands in the till. Aramark wants to make a profit, the taxman has big mitts, and the Astros want their cut, too. Look, you want to sign Kyle Tucker and Yordan Alvarez to an extension or not? Then drink up and don't complain. Some quiet grumbling and head-shaking is permitted, however.

You know the PGA Championship is charging too much for a beer when even the rich pampered players take notice. "18 (!!!!!) for a beer ... uhhh what," former PGA Championship winner Justin Thomas tweeted. "Good thing I don't drink a lot."

Like he will be in line for a beer at a public concession booth, anyway.

Of course there will be fans sneaking in beer in baggies strapped to their ankles, like stuffing your pockets with store-bought Snickers before going to the movies. It doesn't have to be this way. The Masters, the most prestigious golf event, charges only $5 for both domestic and imported beer. I know it's a gimmick, part of The Masters mystique along with pimento sandwiches for $1.50, but still it's a welcome gesture. You never lose when you treat the public fairly. When Mercedes-Benz Stadium opened in Atlanta, Falcons owner Arthur Blank insisted that food vendors charge the same inside the stadium as they do at their regular restaurants. Same thing when Denver International Airport opened, fast food restaurants couldn't jack up their prices to their captive customers. Here? There needs to be a loan window outside the Cinnabon booth at Bush-Intercontinental.

Except for the Masters in Augusta, golf's majors aren't tied to a city. A major comes to a city maybe every few years or in most cases never. There's no need to ride into a city like the James Gang, rob the local bank, and high tail it out of town. Golf should be the last professional sport to stick it to fans. While the game has made strides to open its arms to lower-income youths, golf remains an elitist, extremely expensive sport for regular folk. Equipment is expensive, private courses are exclusive and country clubs are exclusionary. Public courses are less expensive but still expensive and crowded. Plus there's never been a professional sport more dangerously dominated by one person than golf. I can imagine network executives on their knees praying that Tiger Woods makes the cut and plays on weekends. Otherwise, TV ratings go straight into the toilet, you know, like whatever team Mattress Mack is betting on. (I joke because I love, and frankly a little scared.)

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome