Class Ceiling

First quarter-season NHRA recap

Fast Jack Beckman had a strong first quarter. NHRA.com

So what If the NHRA were the NFL? Yike,s that would  be crazy. Based on the opening Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals, February 8-11,2018,  here is how the season recap would go: 

So go long! That was the scene at the  Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals /Pamona where Top Fuel Round 1 went more than an hour. Q.B  Brittany Force of the Monster Energy JFR team met with unnecessary roughness as she crossed the center line of scrimmage right across the middle and hit the wall on both sides of the track.  Safety Safari was all over it, with no Zebras in sight. No worries. Safety valve in place with family  on starting line. Whew. Our girl is  all right. Her Passer Rating has her returning with a vengeance.

Wide receiver Doug Kalitta blew a supercharger  round one but takes the finals against The Sarge and he scores! He goes on to become  the Top Fuel winner making this his 44th career win.

And what does Bo know? Defending Champion Bo Butner makes a real football move by winning the season opener making this his sixth win in Pro Stock putting him on an 8 round winning streak.

Touchdown! Matt Hagan lands on "snake eyes" as he brings home his second straight Winternationals Funny car title, against Robert Hight, (matching Don "The Snake" Prudhomme who won the Winternationals back to back 1976-1977)., in what  was dubbed the quickest side-by-side Funny Car race in NHRA history.

Perfect segue to the second event of the 2018 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, (Feb 23-25, 2018)the  34th annual NHRA Arizona Nationals at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park.

This is where Courtney Force, blitzes the Funny Car  field as she was the No. 1 qualifier and goes on to keep control of the ball in her Chevy Camaro, with a 3.834, 337.16 def. Tommy Johnson Jr., in his Dodge Charger. 

A Hail Mary in Pro Stock as  Chris McGaha, in his Chevy Camaro,  runs a 6.529, at 211.59 mph  def. Jason Line, in his  Camaro.  McGaha is a one car team, a one man army and had to take down Tanner Gray, Erica Enders and Alex Laughlin for his first win this season.

In Top Fuel: Steve Torrence,takes down the Big Uglies  Steve Chrisman, Blake Alexander and his father, Billy Torrence, on his way in to the red zone. In the finals he runs a 3.729 seconds, 330.72 mph , def. Scott Palmer.

Fast Forward to the Amalie NHRA Gatornationals Gridiron  at Gainesville Raceway in Florida (March 15-18,2018)...Tailgating is in full effect and yes, there is some fumbling past the rumbling.

Welcome to the Gatornationals 2018  Where Any Given Sunday is March 18, the day of the underdog! It is the day the Play Makers Antron Brown, Leah Pritchett, Steve Torrence, Brittany Force and even Tony Schumacher were benched.

And the Wally goes to: In Top Fuel -- Richie Crampton. This player did not even have a car last year, and what an upset! He runs a 3.854 seconds, 314.90 mph def. Shawn Reed. 

In Funny Car... I'd like to refer to fast Jack Beckman, and his teammates as The Option. Fast Jack  gets his first Gainesville win in his Dodge Charger, 4.035, 323.58 defeating DSR mate Matt Hagan, in his Charger, Matt took one for the team! 

And last but not least is Pro Stock: Young Tanner Gray, in his Chevy Camaro, ran  6.588, 210.18 def. Bo Butner, Camaro, making this Tanners first  touchdown since last year in Charlotte. 

What an Option: With team DSR, you have Antron Brown, Leah Pritchett, Tony Schumacher, Ron Capps, Matt Hagan, Tommy Johnson Jr,   and Fast Jack Beckman.

As quick as the first half went by, that's what I call a no huddle offense! 

For more Femmefanaticsports  features from the 2018  NHRA  Mello Yello Drag Racing Series - Checkout our other articles  on SportsMap.com or reach out on twitter @red_tery.

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There's nothing left to do, but wait. Composite image by Jack Brame.

For the first time in nearly a quarter-century, Major League Baseball has entered into a lockout in which team officials and players cannot communicate with each other until both sides are “satisfied” and have come to an agreement on labor negotiations.

Before December 1st, MLB free agents were being signed left and right with teams like the Rangers spending over half a billion dollars on players that include Kole Calhoun, Jon Grey, Marcus Semien and Corey Seager.

Other teams that opened their wallets this offseason were the Mariners, Mets and Tigers.

Baseball free agency came to a screeching halt once the December 1st MLB CBA ended. As of right now, players can't sign with any team until the lockout has concluded.

Now that Major League Baseball has entered this work stoppage, the question on everyone’s mind is what does this mean for the sport going forward?

The short answer is no one knows. This process will take some time and most owners have a wait and see approach in regard to this stoppage. Labor negations can be a long, meticulous process that could drag out for weeks, if not months.

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred seemed optimistic that a deal should get done between both the owners and the MLB Player’s Association sometime before the 2022 regular season starts.

"We believe that an offseason lockout is the best mechanism to protect the 2022 season," Manfred wrote in a letter to fans. "We hope that the lockout will jumpstart the negotiations and get us to an agreement that will allow the season to start on time. This defensive lockout was necessary because the players' association’s vision for Major League Baseball would threaten the ability of most teams to be competitive."

That being said, it may be some time before any deal is made between either side, thus leaving certain free agents in a temporary limbo like Carlos Correa.

The 27-year-old shortstop looked to be the most coveted player available this offseason and would earn a major payday. Just like his fellow shortstops, Correa was looking to earn a deal similar to that of Manny Machado, Fernando Tatis Jr. and the Francisco Lindor. All of whom signed deals or extension’s of at least 10-year $300 million dollars or higher.

The aforementioned Seager signed a 10-year deal worth $325 million with the Texas Rangers two days before the current CBA ended. Correa was looking to earn a deal similar to this, and the Rangers were one of the team’s that looked to obtain the All-Star shortstop.

Another club that had been linked to Correa was the Tigers, but they just signed free agent short stop Javier Baez to a six-year $140 million contract.

With both Texas and Detroit out of the Correa sweepstakes presumably, where would the 27-year-old land?

We won’t know for some time due to the ongoing lockout negotiations, but as soon as there’s an agreement, Correa will sign somewhere and get his money.

According to Bleacher Report, the Gold Glove winning shortstop has drawn interest from the Chicago Cubs, New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, Atlanta Braves and Los Angeles Dodgers.

All of these clubs are big market teams who are not afraid to spend large sums of money in free agency.

As much as Astros fans would hate to see their beloved shortstop don Yankee pinstripes or wear Dodgers Blue, it seems to be more of a reality Correa won’t be wearing an Astros uniform next season.

Is it possible for Houston to keep Carlos Correa?

Sure, if James Click and the Astros’ front office do something they have never done before and give him an extension of more than $300 million.

The largest contract Houston has ever given out was a 5-year $151 million extension to Jose Altuve.

If they wish to keep Correa, the Astros would have to give him at least a deal similar to what Seager just received in Texas, therefore doubling their largest contract ever given out.

It is not out of the realm of possibilities to believe Houston could accomplish this feat, but it seems unlikely.

A lockout might prolong Correa’s free agency, but once clubs are able to sign again, the All-Star shortstop could sign quicker than we think.

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