Class Ceiling

NHRA: A tribute to the Mongoose Tom McEwen, and a recap of Virginia's races

The Mongoose helped launched the NHRA. Courtesy photo

Welcome to Femmefanaticsports.

Tom "The Mongoose " McEwen was a prime component molding and shaping the Wild Life Safari that  we know today as the NHRA. He helped form and shape the sport into the colorful, adventurous wild ride that Motorsports enthusiasts just can't get enough of seeing.

He had such a clear vision of what he knew the sport could be. He not only made it fun and exciting,  he made it profitable. He helped put NHRA on the map.

To have a  car that wins is one thing. To put a team together is another. To sign sponsors is altogether a different animal. How do you win the attention of the sponsors and then convince them that you have a product worth endorsing in an uncharted  arena outside of the norm? McEwen was a pioneer of thinking outside of the box when it came to winning the attention and the confidence of the decision makers.  He was a mover and a shaker.

One of his crowd grabbing rivals was Don "The Snake " Prudhomme. This was a grudge match that not only packed the stands back in the day, (60's and 70's) but also forged an unforgettable bond that parlayed into a lucrative sponsorship deal. Can you say "Hot Wheels?" Kids of all shapes, sizes and ages imagine being on the dragstrip as they race their favorite Hot Wheels car across the kitchen floor. 

Who knew markering and advertising through team sponsorship could be a thing? 

In addition to winning our hearts, and huge brand sponsorships, Tom "The Mongoose " McEwen  also went on to win several National events in Funny Car and Top Fuel as well as induction into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America and the International Drag Racing Hall of Fame . 

Thank you Mr. McEwen,  for showing us how it's done. 

Richmond recap

Give me Liberty or give me the win -- the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, Richmond  Virginia Motorsports Park.  

What a weekend in Nitro Alley!

As the race for the Championship heats up, there is much excitement in the pits. 

Last week,  Iron Man Clay Millican had back to back wins. Will he keep the winning streak?

The Women of Motorsports Power have been keeping the pace, but with many obstacles. Will Courtney Force stay the course?  Will Angelle Sampey make the cut in Pro Stock Bike? Will Karen Stoffer place? (In the meantime welcome to the club, Kelly Clontz!)  How will Leah Pritchett fare? Will Erica Enders stay killer on the tree? 

The competition here is fierce. You had Mike Green on the sidelines  for team DSR. Unbelievable.  There was also a parade of gratitude for First Responders. Not to mention a most welcome visit by Veteran Top Fuel Champion Joe Amato as well as Guest Appearances with Great Expectations Jim and Allison Lee, and two-time Pro Stock Champion Jim Yates. And the crowd goes wild! Literally, tickets  Sold Out Saturday !

To be back in Virginia  for this Mello Yello Drag Racing Series was an amazing feat in itself, and the stakes this weekend are high. Team Force is suffering as the leader of the pack John is scarred from top to bottom but still has a smile, even when paired up for finals with daughter Courtney. 

Erica Enders gave herself a scare when her ride headed toward the wall but made a good save. Bob Tasca also danced with lightning. But the salsa trophy goes to Cruz Pedregon with his massive "out of body" experience due to a blower explosion.

This was one action packed weekend, to say the least.

In the winners circle 

Top Fuel -- Steve Torrence, 3.812 seconds, 322.96 mph def. Doug Kalitta, 3.844 seconds, 309.56 mph.

Funny Car -- Courtney Force, Chevy Camaro, 4.039, 321.96 def. John Force, Camaro, 4.076, 307.65.

Pro Stock -- Tanner Gray, Chevy Camaro, 6.595, 208.81 def. Erica Enders, Camaro, 6.628, 208.46.

Next week:  Join the NHRA  Mello Yello Drag Racing Series in Thunder Valley, Bristol ,Tenn- June 15-17, 2018.

 

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TEXANS HAVE ZERO DEPTH AT CORNER

Here's what Davante Adams' big day against the Texans really proved

Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images

Seven weeks into the season, Bradley Roby has been the sole bright spot playing for a secondary that has been subpar at best. He entered Week 7 against the Green Bay Packers trailing only Eric Murray for the most tackles as a defensive back, while owning the Houston Texans' only interception of the season.

During his media availability on Thursday, Roby spoke about having the Texans' confidence to trust him as the primary defender shadowing the opposing team's best receiver.

And with Davante Adams coming to NRG Stadium with Aaron Rodgers on Sunday, Roby had an opportunity to illustrate why Houston's coaching staff have so much faith in him.

Three plays into the game, Roby sustained a knee injury that sidelined him the rest of the afternoon. In his absence, the Texans felt his importance competing with a depleted secondary.

Adams would go on to have a career day against the Texans. He recorded a career-best 196 receiving yards on 13-of-18 targets and two touchdowns — as the Packers handed the Texans a 35-20 loss on Sunday.

Had the Fort Worth native avoided the injury, would it have resulted in a victory for the Texans? Perhaps not. It is always hard for a team to come away victorious after going scoreless during the first half, but Roby would have limited the destruction caused by Adams. Rogers completed four deep passes where he recorded 28 or more yards, with Adams being the recipient of three.

Not only did Houston have to deal with the effects of not having their best corner shadow one of the league's premier receivers, but the team was not prepared to battle without Roby, according to Michael Thomas following the loss.

"When you lose your starting corner like that, it's going to affect [the team]," Thomas said. "Anytime you have to make adjustments. If you're not prepared, and you don't have the right mindset, then you're probably not going to get the right results you want. Maybe we could have done it a little sooner, but you definitely miss a guy like Roby. You plan on having your number one guy go against their number one guy all the time."

Roby's premature exit left the Texans with a gaping void to slowdown Rodgers and the Packers without two of their projected starting corners. Gareon Conley — who revived his career during the second half of last season — has yet to play a single snap for Houston in 2020 as he continues to recover from offseason ankle surgery.

Their lackluster performance on Sunday showcased the lack of depth and talent the Texans have in the secondary. And with the trade deadline a week away, it may be in the Texans' best interest to invest in a young defensive back they can build around in the future — especially considering the timetable on Conley's return remains unknown.

Interim head coach Romeo Crennel said on Monday that the team is hoping Roby's injury is short-term and hopes to have their top corner make his return following the bye.

At 1-6 on the year, all the Texans have left to play for is pride as they close out the remaining nine games of the season, and the best way is to prevent another receiver from recording nearly 200 yards in a single game.

For this vulnerable secondary, it is a feat easier said than done. And with the talents of Jarvis Landry, T.Y. Hilton, and A.J. Brown remaining on the schedule, it is only best for Roby to make his return to the field sooner rather than later.

"I take pride in it. It's an opportunity that not a lot of guys get throughout the league, and I'm thankful for that. Just to be able to go against the best and try my best for the team and see how I match up. I'm very thankful for that." — Roby.

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