Class Ceiling

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

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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Justin Verlander will start for the Astros on Friday night. Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images.

Houston Astros (22-28, third in the AL West) vs. Oakland Athletics (21-31, fourth in the AL West)

Oakland, California; Friday, 9:40 p.m. EDT

PITCHING PROBABLES: Astros: Justin Verlander (2-2, 3.97 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 26 strikeouts); Athletics: Ross Stripling (1-8, 5.19 ERA, 1.56 WHIP, 32 strikeouts)

BETMGM SPORTSBOOK: LINE Astros -170, Athletics +142; over/under is 8 1/2 runs

BOTTOM LINE: The Oakland Athletics begin a three-game series at home against the Houston Astros on Friday.

Oakland has a 21-31 record overall and a 12-14 record in home games. The Athletics have hit 65 total home runs to rank third in the AL.

Houston is 22-28 overall and 8-13 in road games. The Astros have a 13-4 record in games when they did not allow a home run.

The teams match up Friday for the fifth time this season. The Astros lead the season series 4-0.

TOP PERFORMERS: Brent Rooker has 11 home runs, 17 walks and 32 RBI while hitting .286 for the Athletics. Max Schuemann is 12-for-35 with a double and two RBI over the past 10 games.

Kyle Tucker leads Houston with 17 home runs while slugging .638. Alex Bregman is 9-for-38 with three home runs and six RBI over the last 10 games.

LAST 10 GAMES: Athletics: 2-8, .225 batting average, 5.25 ERA, outscored by 27 runs

Astros: 7-3, .272 batting average, 3.13 ERA, outscored opponents by 20 runs

INJURIES: Athletics: Esteury Ruiz: 10-Day IL (wrist), Darell Hernaiz: 60-Day IL (ankle), Alex Wood: 15-Day IL (rotator cuff), Paul Blackburn: 15-Day IL (foot), Joseph Boyle: 15-Day IL (back), Freddy Tarnok: 60-Day IL (hip), Luis Medina: 60-Day IL (knee), Sean Newcomb: 60-Day IL (knee), Aledmys Diaz: 60-Day IL (calf), Miguel Andujar: 10-Day IL (knee), Ken Waldichuk: 60-Day IL (elbow), Trevor Gott: 60-Day IL (elbow)

Astros: Oliver Ortega: 60-Day IL (elbow), Bennett Sousa: 60-Day IL (shoulder), Penn Murfee: 60-Day IL (elbow), Luis Garcia: 60-Day IL (elbow), Lance McCullers Jr.: 60-Day IL (elbow), Jose Urquidy: 15-Day IL (forearm), Kendall Graveman: 60-Day IL (elbow)

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