Class Ceiling

NHRA report: Hot track in Thunder Valley makes for strong weekend in Bristol

Tommy Lee wound up in the sand trap. Competitionplus.com

Welcome to Femmefanaticsports where this week's journey goes to the Fitzgerald USA NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals in Bristol, Tenessee. You have the Perfect Trifecta: The birthplace of  country music plus The Home of Bristol Motor Speedway, (a NASCAR Sprint Cup track that is one of the most well-known motorsports facilities in the country.) and Bristol Dragway, where  the Fitzgerald USA NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals  event is held.

Just give me that old time Rock and Roll, right on down the track! 

I would be remiss if I didn't mention that  classy First Lady of Drag Racing, Shirley "ChaCha" Muldowney graced the  presence of  fans in Thunder Valley and reminisced about Tom "The Mongoose " McEwen and how thrilled she was when he asked her for her autograph at a track meet years ago. WOW, that is amazing Class Ceiling stuff right there! Just imagine that back in the day, the  Mongoose,  forward thinker that he was, gives her the symbolic Fist Bump, High Five, Atta Girl, by requesting her John Hancock. She immediately paid it forward and bought  and wore one of his shirts and did not part with it for the day. Sweet dreams are made of this! 

A little lightning and thunder would have been most welcome this weekend here in Thunder Valley. A bit of rain  could have cooled the track down ....track temperatures were up to 139.° Now remember, we're in Thunder Valley, so we're talking about  major horsepower,  a super hot track and less track treatment with scorching temperatures, both behind the wheel and on the track. The driver has to make some real time, real life decisions on the dime. Should I stay in it off the starting line? Yes! I have the Holeshot...But I'm smoking the tires...Foot off pedal...Straighten up...Foot back on pedal...Don't touch the centerline...Pedal off...Get back in it... Foot back on the pedal....  watch out for the wall,  foot off pedal, win beam insight, foot on pedal, my opponent coming over the lane, foot off pedal,  Get this win! All in 4 seconds . Just ask Brittany Force .

 Funny thing, as it heats up here, Iron Man Clay Millican seems to have no problem getting down the track, putting his field on the map in qualifying sessions with a 3 second pass! Maybe, just maybe it has to do  with The Thunder from down under Crew Chief, Dave Grubnic. What's the secret? 

Doug Winters lived to tell after crossing the centerline and kissing the wall during Pro Mod Qualifying .  

Pro Stock Rocker Tommy Lee waltzed the Sand trap as his chutes failed to deploy and his brakes failed to grab during third round qualifying. Safety, first, last, always. Great job NHRA Safety Safari!   

Matt Hagan lit the fire as leader of the DSR qualifying pack. There is nothing Funny about those cars.

This weekend's event proved to be , thuderous, brutal, and action packed.

Victory Circle:

Top Fuel: Tony Schumacher, 3.946, 313.58 def. Salinas, 5.251, 152.18.

Funny car: Ron Capps, 4.234, 296.37 def. Tasca III, 4.300, 286.98.

Pro stock: Jeg Coughlin, 6.709, 205.10 def. Anderson, 6.741, 205.07.

Take me out to the Race Track!

June 21-24 2018 

Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals

Norwalk, Ohio

Most Popular

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome

Listen Live

Houston dropped two of three

Astros drop series finale to Oakland, A's win series

Jose Urquidy couldn't hold Oakland back on Saturday. Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

With Oakland finally ending their drought against the Astros on Friday night to split the first two games of the series, and with the Angels staying in step with them as both teams started the day 6-2, the Astros needed a win to keep momentum in their favor on Saturday.

Instead, Oakland would outslug Houston once again to take the series finale and take the series win. The loss moves Houston to 6-3 and down to second place, at least for now, until the 6-2 Angels complete their game on Saturday evening.

Final Score: A's 7, Astros 3

Astros' Record: 6-3, second in AL West

Winning Pitcher: Frankie Montas (1-1)

Losing Pitcher: Jose Urquidy (0-1)

Urquidy gives up four over six

Much like the night before, Oakland was able to bring in runs against Houston's starter, this time Jose Urquidy, Saturday afternoon in their second time through the order. Their first time through, Urquidy was cruising, allowing just one baserunner in the first three innings on a single in the top of the third.

Things shifted in the top of the fourth, with the A's getting back-to-back singles to set the stage for a two-run frame with dual RBI-singles to take a 2-0 lead. Oakland doubled that in the fifth, getting a two-out single to set up a two-run homer by Ramon Laureano to make it 4-0. Urquidy would go on to finish six innings, but with no run support to that point, would leave in line for the loss. His final line: 6.0 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 7 K, 93 P.

A's pad their lead before Houston gets on the board

Meanwhile, although getting five hits, the Astros could not get anything on the board against Frankie Montas through six innings. Brandon Bielak took over out of the bullpen for Urquidy in the top of the seventh, but after loading the bases, he would allow a dagger two-RBI single to make it a 6-0 deficit for Houston.

With Montas starting the seventh looking to face a batter or two before Oakland moved to their bullpen, Kyle Tucker would finally get Houston on the board with a leadoff solo home run, cutting the lead to 6-1 and ending Montas' day. Houston would get a two-out rally going, with an RBI-double by Jose Altuve followed by an RBI-triple by Michael Brantley to make it a three-run game at 6-3.

Oakland takes the series win

Ryne Stanek tried to keep it a three-run game and give the Astros a chance to stay in it in the top of the eighth but instead would give up a two-out solo home run to push Oakland's lead back to four. That 7-3 score would go final as Houston would go scoreless in the eighth and ninth.

Up Next: Houston will have a day off on Sunday before continuing this homestand Monday night by welcoming in Detroit and former manager A.J. Hinch for three games. In the series opener, the Tigers will send young star Casey Mize (0-0, 2.25 ERA) to the mound, while the Astros will get another start by Zack Greinke (1-0, 1.38 ERA).

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome