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 drops the game to Arizona

D-backs outslug Greinke and Astros to take series opener

Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images

With the series win over the Rangers by taking two of three games in the middle of the week, the Astros welcomed the Diamondbacks to Minute Maid Park for a three-game weekend series, Houston's final three regular-season home games. Here is how the opener unfolded:

Final Score: Diamondbacks 6, Astros 3.

Record: 25-26, second in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Zac Gallen (2-2, 3.00 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Luis Garcia (0-1, 2.53 ERA).

Houston scores first, but Arizona grabs a lead against Greinke

Houston would get on the board first on Friday night, with George Springer reaching base in the bottom of the first on an error, moving to second on a walk, then to third on a single, as the Astros loaded the bases with no out to threaten a big inning. Instead, they would come away with just one run, with Springer taking home on a wild pitch, grabbing the 1-0 lead, but leaving runs on the table.

They doubled their lead in the bottom of the third, getting a two-out RBI-double by Kyle Tucker to make it a 2-0 Houston lead. The D-backs responded in the top of the fourth, getting back-to-back singles to lead off the inning before a three-run homer by Kole Calhoun off of Zack Greinke would put Arizona in front, 3-2. Greinke would finish one more inning before Houston would move to their bullpen, striking out the side to bring his total to nine on the night, making the bad fourth inning the one blemish on his night. His final line: 5.0 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 9 K, 1 HR, 89 P.

Astros tie it, but D-backs take the opener

George Springer would get Greinke off the hook in the bottom of the fifth, leading off the half-inning with a solo bomb to tie the game at 3-3. Luis Garcia was first out of Houston's bullpen and retired Arizona in order for a 1-2-3 inning in the top of the sixth. He returned for the top of the seventh but would allow a leadoff single, RBI-triple, and wild pitch to bring in two runs. He would face two more batters, allowing a double and getting a strikeout, before Dusty Baker would come out to get him, now down 5-3.

Blake Taylor would make his return from the IL after Garcia, getting back-to-back outs to finish the inning. He continued on in the 5-3 game in the top of the eighth, but allowed a one-out solo homer to Calhoun, his second of the night and fourth RBI. That made it a 6-3 D-backs lead, which would go final as Houston would go scoreless after Springer's home run back in the fifth.

Up Next: The middle game of this three-game set will start Saturday at 6:10 PM Central. The pitching matchup will be Luke Weaver (1-7, 6.70 ERA) for Arizona and Cristian Javier (4-2, 3.22 ERA) for Houston.

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