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

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Houston's magic number stays at 2

Astros drop series finale to Mariners after rough start by Greinke

Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images

With their magic number at 2 to secure their spot in the 2020 MLB postseason, the Astros returned to T-Mobile Park in Seattle for this three-game series' finale and rubber game. Here are the highlights from the game:

Final Score: Mariners 3, Astros 2.

Record: 28-28, second in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Nick Margevicius (2-3, 4.57 ERA)

Losing pitcher: Zack Greinke (3-3, 4.03 ERA).

Greinke unable to complete five innings

While the Astros were being held scoreless, the Mariners were putting up runs on Zack Greinke. They took an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first with back-to-back singles followed by an RBI-double with one out. Greinke would stop the damage there, then looked to settle in over the next few frames.

He allowed just one baserunner in the second through fourth innings, a one-out single in the bottom of the fourth. Then, in the fifth, the Mariners would knock him out of the game by getting a one-out single that would come around to score on a two-out RBI-double, followed by an RBI-single to extend the lead to 3-0. Greinke faced one more batter, allowing a single before Dusty Baker would take the ball and move to the bullpen. His final line: 4.2 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 0 HR, 92 P.

Astros try a late rally, come up short

On the other end, the Astros were unable to break through against Nick Margevicius, getting just one hit and two walks through the first four innings. They had a chance to get on the board in the top of the fifth, starting the inning with back-to-back singles before a walk loaded the bases with one out to turn the lineup over. They'd come up empty, though, with George Springer striking out before a long flyball to center by Jose Altuve to end the inning.

After finishing the fifth for Greinke, Andre Scrubb returned for a scoreless sixth, working around a one-out walk. Still 3-0, Blake Taylor took over on the mound in the bottom of the seventh, erasing a leadoff single and two-out walk to keep Seattle from extending their lead. Houston had another chance to score in the top of the eighth, getting two runners in scoring position, but again would strand them.

Cy Sneed was the next reliever out for the Astros, working around a two-out walk to send the game on to the ninth. The Astros would avoid the shutout, getting a two-RBI single by pinch-hitting Josh Reddick in the top of the ninth to make it a one-run game at 3-2. That's as close as they'd come, though, as the Mariners would eventually get the final out to take the series and keep the Astros' magic number stagnant at 2.


Up Next: There is one series left in the regular season for Houston, and it awaits them in Arlington with a four-game series against the Rangers, who are well eliminated from playoff contention. The first of the four games will start at 7:05 PM Central on Thursday with a pitching matchup of Lance Lynn (6-2, 2.53 ERA) for Texas and Cristian Javier (4-2, 3.33 ERA) for the Astros.

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