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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

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Martin Truex Jr. won his 2nd race of the season last week. Photo via: Wiki Commons.

NASCAR returns to the Commonwealth of Virginia for the Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond Raceway. This is the first of two races here at this track as they will race on Sunday afternoon. This will be different from the normal night race they usually have here as this will definitely affect the racing surface considering how much the sun could make the track slick. It should be a fun race come Sunday.

Last week, Martin Truex Jr. passed Denny Hamlin to capture his second win of the season after rain moved the race to Sunday. He became the first driver to win multiple races after a fierce battle with his teammate Denny Hamlin. The race was filled with tons of wrecks including a fifteen car pileup including Brad Keselowski and Kyle Busch. It was one of the better races of the season as there was lots of beating and banging.

The race was not without controversy but not the kind you would expect. Early in the race Rick Ware Racing teammates Cody Ware and James Davison were involved in an altercation. The two were battling towards the back of the pack when Ware decided to drive through his teammate in turn four. The race got much worse for Cody Ware as he was involved in three more cautions all throughout the race. Many people around the sport were quite perturbed by his antics including broadcaster Mike Joy as he was audibly annoyed after Ware spun out later in the race. Many have questioned if the fifth-year driver should even be in the car and overall I can understand why some of those people think that. In his five years of driving, he has finished on the lead lap one time. I hope that he is able to figure it out and find success in the future, but this was not a good look.

The slump continues for two-time champion Kyle Busch

Throughout the race, Busch was running okay for the most part but towards the closing laps of the race he and Chris Buescher got together triggering a fifteen car pileup. Despite all this, he was able to rebound to a respectable tenth place finish. This has been more than likely the toughest stretch of his career since his championship in 2019. Many would say that the omission of Practice and Qualifying has really affected his performance. Whatever the issue is, this team really needs to find some speed, or he could be in danger of missing the playoffs. I look for this team to bounce back considering how talented he is.

Prediction

The driver that I have winning this week is Kyle Larson. This has been an incredible rebound season for Larson as he currently sits fourth in points. He is also second in laps led only to Denny Hamlin. Richmond has been a great track for him as it fits his driving style perfectly as he can run the outside line and find grip where others can't. This track is also rather sentimental to him considering he won his first pole award here during his rookie season in 2014. While he may not have the results he would want he has always been extremely fast here and even won back in 2017. I look for him to capture his second victory of 2021 come Sunday.

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