Class Ceiling

Recap of the four-lane NHRA race at Concord, North Carolina

It was an exciting weekend of racing in North Carolina. Fox photo

Welcome to Femmefanaticsports recap of the Four Wide Concord, N. Carolina.

First Lady of Drag Racing? Winningest Female in professional Motorsports  history?  First woman  to Win the highly coveted Wally? (Danica Patrick and Christmas Abbott are favorites too, but this article is speaking exclusively on Class Ceiling Contenders in the NHRA).

The answer to most of these questions is deeply embedded in the events that unfolded this past weekend at the Four Wide Nationals in North Carolina at the zMAX Dragway. 

It's the reason Audrey Worm made a successful debut at Reading and even though considered a part time rookie , is making waves with the goal of eight events this year. It's the reason Erica Enders is hard to beat on the tree. It's the reason Courtney, Brittany and Ashley Force are so stoked for each race. (Makes for a proud Pappa, John Force.) It's the reason Leah Pritchett is relentless and refuses to give up.

So Crew Chief for Cruz Pedregon Aaron Brooks agrees that running on the 1st Four Wide Novelty track is indeed a daunting task. (Way to go Cruz for ruling the roost!)

Steve Torrence, Terry MacMillen and Clay Millican can also attest to the fact that getting your team, your setup and your car on the same page to run on any official NHRA two-lane track is in itself a challenge.   (Matt Hagan knows this all too well as he set records but destroyed a Mopar body this weekend).

Now to bring home the point, the first woman to win a Wally (NHRA'S Most Prestigious Award) was Shirley "the Drag-On Lady" Shahan. She was also the first woman to win an NHRA Pro event.   A real class act.

Then there's  Shirley "ChaCha" Muldowney . She mastered the two-lane in her top Fuel Dragster  racing with the likes of Connie Kalitta, Don Prudhomme, and Jungle Jim Liberman, young people everywhere were mesmerized! Moms, grandmas, wives, aunts  and sisters all over were abuzz! She is the classy First Lady of Drag Racing as she paved the way for Angelle Savoie ( Most winningest female in motor sports, hands down).  Megan Meyer, (who is a tw0 time winner at this track, but not to be confused with Rocker Meg Myers-Sorry), Annie Whiteley (Come on, she drives a Top Alcohol Funny Car Chevy Camaro, Seriously) to name a few. The latter  were schooled in the Class of Four Wide  in Concord, North Carolina and came off victorious! 

We are just scratching the surface here, to be sure , but what I appreciate about this trip down  drag racing memory lane is how important coed is. Teamwork is crucial for growth and stability.  Role models are vital. To have stable, secure leadership where each  team member is acknowledged and appreciated for their input and hard work  is a must for successful families and communities.  This  makes for a happy, content, right wise society.

(NHRA Photo)

Check out the results of NHRA'S Mello Yello Drag Racing Series /@ the NGK Spark Plugs NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at zMax Dragway. Concord, North Carolina below:

CONCORD, N.C. -- Sunday's final results from the ninth annual NGK Spark Plugs NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at zMax Dragway. The race is the sixth of 24 in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series:

Top Fuel -- Steve Torrence, 3.813 seconds, 326.56 mph def. Doug Kalitta, 4.010 seconds, 278.12 mph and Terry McMillen, 4.361 seconds, 235.72 mph and Clay Millican, 5.295 seconds, 129.97 mph;

Funny Car -- Cruz Pedregon, Toyota Camry, 4.059, 310.84 def. John Force, Chevy Camaro, 4.098, 307.93 and Tommy Johnson Jr., Dodge Charger, 4.143, 275.39 and Courtney Force, Camaro, 6.215, 114.46;

Pro Stock -- Erica Enders, Chevy Camaro, 6.535, 212.73 def. Vincent Nobile, Camaro, 6.520, 212.69 and Chris McGaha, Camaro, 8.237, 118.82 and Drew Skillman, Camaro, 18.515, 43.69;

Pro Stock Motorcycle -- Jerry Savoie, Suzuki, 6.784, 195.73 def. Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 6.873, 197.05 and Scotty Pollacheck, Suzuki, 6.865, 193.79 and Matt Smith, Victory, DQ;

Pro Modified -- Jose Gonzalez, Chevy Camaro, 5.743, 254.09 def. Steve Jackson, Camaro, 5.763, 243.68 and Rickie Smith, Camaro, 5.775, 250.74 and Brandon Snider, Chevy Corvette, 6.393, 162.10;

Top Alcohol Dragster -- Megan Meyer, 5.192, 276.29 def. Dan Page, 5.250, 276.97.

Top Alcohol Funny Car -- Annie Whiteley, Chevy Camaro, 5.467, 267.59 def. DJ Cox Jr., Camaro, 6.296, 177.77.

Competition Eliminator -- Frank Aragona, Dragster, 7.378, 172.83 def. Al Ackerman, Dragster, 7.983, 151.39.

Super Stock -- Anthony Bertozzi, Pontiac Grand Am, 9.411, 110.71 def. Bryan Worner, Chevrolet, Foul - Red Light.

Stock Eliminator -- Thomas Fletcher, Chevy Camaro, 10.228, 117.67 def. James Williamson, Camaro, 11.485, 113.49.

Super Comp -- Jonathan Anderson, Dragster, 8.891, 162.78 def. Sherman Adcock, Dragster, 8.880, 166.91.

Super Gas -- Ken Griffiths, Chevy Corvette, 9.884, 152.68 def. Steve Furr, Chevy Camaro, Foul - Red Light

Stay tuned !

Next weekend 

WHEN: MAY 4-6 ,2018.

WHAT: NHRA Southern Nationals Powered by Mello Yello

WHERE: Atlanta Dragway, 500 E RIDGEWAY RD COMMERCE, GA 30529 - 

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Houston's offense had another strong day at the plate in Seattle against the Mariners on Wednesday. Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

After striking a deal with the Mariners before Tuesday's game, along with a reported deal with the Marlins on Wednesday before the finale, the Astros continued to try and bolster their bullpen with fresh arms while also focusing on this series against Seattle. Having won the night prior to even it up, it came down to the rubber game on Wednesday afternoon to decide the series.

Final Score: Astros 11, Mariners 4

Astros' Record: 63-40, first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Jake Odorizzi (4-5)

Losing Pitcher: Yusei Kikuchi (6-6)

Astros continue to score runs in Seattle

Just like in the earlier games in this series, the Astros had no problems offensively. They strung together four consecutive one-run innings, starting in the top of the second when they loaded the bases, then got an RBI groundout by Myles Straw to go up 1-0. In the top of the third, Yuli Gurriel drove one in on a two-out RBI double, bringing in Jose Altuve, who led the inning off with a double of his own. Chas McCormick led off with a single in the fourth, then later scored on an RBI single by Aledmys Diaz.

The fourth run in as many innings came in the top of the fifth, as Gurriel would notch his second RBI with a solo homer to start that inning, pushing the lead to 4-0. They didn't stop there, and neither did Gurriel, as he would get RBI number three on the day as part of a four-run top of the sixth, with RBI hits him, Altuve, Diaz, and Carlos Correa, doubling the lead to 8-0.

Odorizzi gets to the sixth before allowing two homers

The run support gave Jake Odorizzi plenty of leeway, which he didn't need until the bottom of the sixth. He held Seattle scoreless over the first five frames, allowing just four baserunners on a hit by pitch, a walk, and two singles, all peppered over that span and erased in each inning. Kyle Seager would get the Mariners on the board in the bottom of the sixth, blasting a one-out solo homer to cut the lead to seven runs at 8-1. After a single in the next at-bat, recently traded Abraham Toro made it four games in a row with a homer, this one a two-run shot to cut the lead to 8-3 and end Odorizzi's day. His final line: 5.1 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 2 HR, 95 P.

Houston wins the series

Houston brought in Brooks Raley to finish the sixth, issuing two walks but stranding them to keep it a five-run lead. Myles Straw helped push that back to six in the top of the seventh, reaching on a single to start the innings, then stealing both second and third to get in position for Diaz's third RBI of the day, a groundout to make it 9-3. Cristian Javier was the next reliever out for the Astros, but he would not make it through the bottom of the seventh, allowing a single and three walks, the third with the bases loaded to bring in a run.

Bryan Abreu was brought in to get out of the jam, getting a strikeout to end the seventh. Then, in the top of the eighth, Kyle Tucker would put two more runs on the board with a two-run homer making the lead seven runs at 11-4. Abreu remained in for the bottom of the eighth, erasing two one-out singles to get through the frame. Brandon Bielak took over in the bottom of the ninth to close things out, posting a 1-2-3 inning to wrap up the win and give Houston the series victory.

Up Next: Houston will travel down the coast to San Fransisco before getting a day off on Thursday. They'll pick up an exciting three-game series with the Giants on Friday, with the opener slated to start at 8:45 PM Central. Framber Valdez (6-2, 2.97 ERA) will take the mound for the Astros, while San Fransisco's starter is TBD.

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