Class Ceiling

This week in motor sports: NHRA'S women of power

Clay Millican set a record in qualifying. NHRA.com

Who runs the world? GIRLS!!!! Dubbed the Weekend of Women, Brittany Force, Karen Stoffer and Melissa Surber: Oh my! (The latter two both run in Pro Stock Motorcycle).

The Classy ladies of the NHRA  called the shots at the Atlanta Dragway for the NHRA Southern Nationals Powered by Mello Yello! Also in attendance: Erica Enders, ( Pro Stock)  Angelle Sampey, Angie Smith, (Pro Stock Motorcycle) Courtney Force (Funny Car), Audrey Worm (Top Fuel), and Leah Pritchett. (Top Fuel)  We continue to be intrigued as the NHRA Mello Yello Series 2018, heats up.

We are happy that J.R. Todd,  stayed off the wall! (Excellent driving my friend.) Also one of my personal favorites,  Clay Millican, the No. 1 Qualifier, set the Top Fuel Dragster speed record Friday,  (someone get this kid a consistent car, He's a winner!) as the Matrons  of Mello were gearing up for the winner's circle as the weekend went on! 

DSR has issues with a blown motor for the Sarge, Antron Brown, not firing on all cylinders,  but not to worry. Leah Pritchett   brings home baby for the team with her first win of the year over track mate Blake Alexander. 

Courtney Force , 2012 Rookie of the year, is a bad,bad chick. She surfed on by Diehl (Surfer Boy) as he got wicked right off the starting line in the eliminations round 1 and she  went on to win Funny Car this weekend against Matt Hagan ,making it her second this season, her 10th career victory! She again has made NHRA history as the most victorious female funny car driver.

On a sad note, it is with our deep condolences that we report  that Top Sportsman Racer Randy Alexander did not survive his injuries sustained after a high speed crash at the Atlanta Raceway. Our hearts and our prayers go out to the family and friends. 

And the band plays on as the 2018 Mello Yello Drag Racing Series  visits Topeka, Kansas,  May 18-20, 2018 for the Menards NHRA Heartland Nationals by Minties at Heartland Motorsports Park. 

Check out Sunday's Results from the  38th annual NHRA Southern Nationals Powered by Mello Yello at Atlanta Dragway:


Top Fuel -- Leah Pritchett, 3.874 seconds, 322.42 mph def. Blake Alexander, Foul - Red Light.

Funny Car -- Courtney Force, Chevy Camaro, 4.046, 313.73 def. Matt Hagan, Dodge Charger, 4.148, 291.13.

Pro Stock -- Vincent Nobile, Chevy Camaro, 6.599, 209.72 def. Tanner Gray, Camaro, 6.614, 209.52.

Pro Stock Motorcycle -- Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 6.922, 194.91 def. Scotty Pollacheck, Suzuki, 6.958, 193.18.

Top Alcohol Dragster -- Josh Hart, 5.313, 269.40 def. Megan Meyer, 5.318, 269.94.

Top Alcohol Funny Car -- Jay Payne, Chevy Camaro, 5.557, 260.81 def. Ulf Leanders, Camaro, 5.645, 263.20.

Competition Eliminator -- Van Puckett, Chevy Cavalier, 8.682, 127.19 def. Brian Browell, Dragster, Foul - Red Light.

Super Stock -- Kevin Helms, Olds Achieva, 8.869, 148.92 def. Byron Worner, Chevy Camaro, Foul - Red Light.

Stock Eliminator -- Jeff Strickland, Chevy Camaro, 9.280, 141.85 def. Robbie Shaw, Pontiac Firebird, Foul - Red Light.

Super Comp -- Gene Quinn, Dragster, 8.907, 152.88 def. Lauren Freer, Dragster, 8.926, 181.84.

Super Gas -- Tommy Turner, Chevy Corvette, 9.922, 172.83 def. Carl Watts, Chevy Cavalier, 9.867, 160.35.

Super Street -- Keith Mayers, Porsche, 10.926, 143.58 def. Jesse McKnight, Chevy Camaro, 10.884, 127.17.

Top Dragster presented by RacingRVs.com -- Les Feist, Dragster, 6.089, 226.73 def. Larry Roberts, Dragster, 6.202, 225.33.

Top Sportsman presented by RacingRVs.com -- Bob Mandell Jr., Chevy Bel Air, 6.856, 191.97 def. Vince Hoda,

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Houston now trails in the fall classic

Astros fall in World Series Game 1 as Braves come out swinging

Framber Valdez had a forgettable start in World Series Game 1 as the Braves tagged him with five runs. Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

After a dominant end to win the ALCS and American League pennant, the Houston Astros welcomed in the National League champion Atlanta Braves for World Series Game 1 at Minute Maid Park on Tuesday. With Houston favored to win not just this game but the entire series, the Braves shook up those expectations by finding early success at the plate to build a lead they would hold to take a 1-0 series lead.

Final Score: Braves 6, Astros 2

World Series (Best of Seven): Atlanta leads 1-0

Winning Pitcher: A.J. Minter

Losing Pitcher: Framber Valdez

Valdez unable to replicate ALCS Game 5 success as Braves mount early lead

For the optimist, not having home-field advantage in an MLB postseason series affords you a benefit: you can score first and take captive momentum first in the series. The Braves did that against Framber Valdez, as Jorge Soler became the first player in league history to hit a homer in the first plate appearance of a World Series, putting Atlanta out to an immediate 1-0 lead. They would get another in the first frame, getting a one-out infield single by Ozzie Albies, who would steal second to get in position for an RBI double by Austin Riley.

Houston had the chance to respond in their first inning against former teammate Charlie Morton, getting a single and two walks to load the bases with no outs. They'd strand all three runners, though, as Morton made it through unscathed but having used 26 pitches. Atlanta kept putting stress on Valdez, extending their lead to three runs with back-to-back singles to start the second before later getting an RBI groundout.

Valdez gave up two more in the top of the third, once again allowing a leadoff single, this one setting up a two-run homer to make it a 5-0 Braves lead and forcing Houston's starter out of the game early. Yimi Garcia entered and was able to retire the three batters he faced to end the frame.

Braves lose Morton to injury as both bullpens begin long night

After stranding the bases loaded in the bottom of the first to keep the Astros off the board, Morton followed it up with a 1-2-3 second. He started the bottom of the third by retiring his fifth batter in a row, getting a strikeout of Jose Altuve. He would immediately call trainers to get him out of the game, though, as he would later be diagnosed with a fractured fibula, presumably from a ball that ricocheted off his leg in the prior inning, ending his season in a disappointing turn of events for the Braves.

That set up a long night for both bullpens, and next up for Houston was Jake Odorizzi. He started with a scoreless fourth, working around a two-out error to keep it a five-run game. The Astros began a rally in the bottom of the fourth, getting runners on the corners with one out on a Kyle Tucker double and Yuli Gurriel single. Chas McCormick brought in the first run of the board for Houston, but that's all they would get as Atlanta's lead remained four runs.

Astros drop Game 1

Odorizzi kept going on the mound, tossing a 1-2-3 fifth, then getting one out before a one-out single in the top of the sixth would prompt Dusty Baker to move on to Phil Maton, who finished the inning. Maton returned in the top of the seventh, getting a strikeout before a double and a walk would result in the call to bring in Ryne Stanek.

A double play against his first batter allowed Stanek to finish the seventh, and then he returned in the eighth. He faced three batters that frame, getting one out before a walk and a single would put runners on the corners as Houston moved on to Brooks Raley. A sac fly by Freddie Freeman off of Raley made it a five-run lead again, but a leadoff triple by Yordan Alvarez in the bottom of the inning would set up Carlos Correa for an RBI, a groundout to make it 6-2.

Atlanta's bullpen continued to do well, though, limiting the damage to that one run in the eighth, then returning to hold on to the four-run lead in the bottom of the ninth to give the Braves the upset win to start the series. The loss extends their home losing streak in the World Series to five games (having lost all four at home in the 2019 World Series against the Nationals) and puts them down 0-1 and in need of a win in Game 2 to try and reset the series into a best-of-five.

Up Next: World Series Game 2 will be another 7:09 PM Central scheduled start time on Wednesday from Minute Maid Park. The expected pitching matchup is Max Fried, who is 1-1 with a 3.78 ERA in three postseason starts, for the Braves, and Jose Urquidy, who went just 1.2 innings while allowing six runs (five earned) in his start in the ALCS.

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