SEATTLE – There's a sexual revolution going on in NHRA, and Courtney Force and Erica Enders have the trophies to prove it.
First the first time in NHRA's 61-year history, two women have won NHRA national events, and Force and Enders won their respective classes in the O'Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Northwest Nationals at Pacific Raceways on Sunday.
And for good measure, Megan Ellingson won in Super Street, marking the first time THREE women won during the same national event.
"The women know their drill," said 15-time Funny Car champion John Force, Courtney's father. "I am also really proud of Erica Enders to go out there and do what she did. Shirley (Muldowney) started all this with a number of other women. These are the young kids they are our future. It is awesome where they are going to be in 10 years. I am really excited. It is a sport for the women. It has always been a sport for the men but the rules are changing."
Enders' victory came a little more than a month after she became the first female to win in NHRA's ultra-competitive Pro Stock class, at Chicago on July 1. Sunday, she doubled up by dumping defending Pro Stock champion Jason Line in the finals after halting Allen Johnson's two-race winning streak in the semifinals and taking out four-time champion Greg Anderson in the second round.
In the finals, Enders' KLR Group Chevrolet Cobalt outran Line's Summit Racing Equipment Chevy Camaro with a pass of 6.614 seconds at 209.65 mph to beat Line's 6.631 at 209.72.
"That's very cool to make history," Enders said of the three female winners. "To be a girl in a man's sport, it means a lot to all of us, I guarantee you."
But Enders, sixth in the Pro Stock points standings, has her eyes on another prize.
"I'm done with all the 'girl' crap," Enders said with a laugh. "Now we need to focus on taking our hot rod to the championship."
Force is also sixth in the points, in Funny Car, after scoring her first career victory in only her 15th start. She beat her dad in the semifinals before taking down defending champion Matt Hagan in the final round, running a lap of 4.238 seconds at 293.54 mph in her Traxxas Ford to beat Hagan's 4.328 at 276.58 mph in his Aaron's Dodge.
"I honestly am still in shock," Force said. "I think I'm still shaking. I mean, coming back out here to Seattle, there are some good memories and some bad. I had my first win out here in Top Alcohol Dragster, which was such a huge accomplishment for me just to even have a Wally in my house. At the moment I was telling my dad, 'I can't wait to have a Funny Car Wally in my house,' because you know what, dad has way more than enough, so he can't be mad at me for taking him out in the semis. It's been an amazing day."
It was amazing for Top Fuel driver Steve Torrence, who won his third race of the season after beating Shawn Langdon in a pedalfest in the finals. Torrence went 4.168 seconds at 261.987 mph in his Capco dragster, denying Langdon's first pro victory.
Landgon went 4.329 seconds at 254.57 mph in his Al-Anabi dragster, but he lit the tires first and wasn't able to run down Torrence.
"Shawn had me nervous in the final," Torrence said. "He's a great leaver and a great race car driver. Alan Johnson has had that Al-Anabi car runnin' all day. I counted on Richard Hogan and had a lot of confidence and did my job. I felt it start to knock the tire off in the final round and went as quick as I could to get it back going. Today, we were just on the right side. We're living lucky."
ROUND ONE -- Khalid alBalooshi, 3.881, 318.54 def. Bob Vandergriff, 9.333, 82.39;Shawn Langdon, 3.838, 316.15 def. Terry McMillen, 5.647, 120.26; Antron Brown, 3.859, 313.95 def. Clay Millican, 3.926, 294.05; Steve Torrence, 4.563, 208.46 def. Steven Chrisman, 6.880, 84.31; Tony Schumacher, 3.828, 318.62 def. Scott Palmer, 5.178, 143.32; Spencer Massey, 3.824, 320.51 def. Ron Smith, 6.834,88.95; Doug Kalitta, 3.842, 317.87 def. Brandon Bernstein, 3.940, 297.75; David Grubnic, 3.854, 312.28 def. Morgan Lucas, 3.935, 264.86; QUARTERFINALS -- Torrence, 3.879, 303.03 def. alBalooshi, 3.877, 312.64; Langdon, 3.852, 314.83 def. Brown, 4.267, 224.06; Kalitta, 5.386, 229.27 def. Schumacher, foul; Grubnic, 3.958, 281.42 def. Massey, 5.067, 151.90; SEMIFINALS -- Torrence, 4.138, 274.89 def. Kalitta, 6.310, 142.39; Langdon, 4.777, 223.39 def. Grubnic, 6.379, 133.33; FINAL -- Torrence, 4.168, 261.98 def. Langdon,4.329, 254.57.
ROUND ONE -- Courtney Force, Ford Mustang, 4.164, 301.33 def. Cruz Pedregon, Toyota Camry, 4.710, 189.71; Ron Capps, Dodge Charger, 4.118, 296.89 def. Jeff Diehl, Chevy Monte Carlo, broke; Jack Beckman, Charger, 4.152, 300.53 def. Gary Densham, Charger, 5.240, 143.11; Johnny Gray, Charger, 4.159, 304.05 def. Robert Hight, Mustang, 5.059, 152.14; Matt Hagan, Charger, 4.181, 297.88 def. Jeff Arend, Camry, 4.383, 255.19; Bob Tasca III, Mustang, 4.323, 261.83 def. Mike Neff, Mustang, 4.412, 258.52; John Force, Mustang, 4.254, 291.70 def. Alexis DeJoria, Camry, 4.185, 296.83; Tim Wilkerson, Mustang, 4.138, 298.67 def. Tony Pedregon, Camry, 4.358, 234.13; QUARTERFINALS -- Hagan, 4.268, 280.08 def. Gray, 5.865, 125.47; Capps, 4.169, 288.46 def. Wilkerson, 4.214, 292.90; J. Force, 4.505, 254.28 def. Beckman, 4.574, 274.05; C. Force, 4.255, 290.57 def. Tasca III, 5.694, 132.28; SEMIFINALS -- C. Force, 4.239, 297.48 def. J. Force, 10.548, 84.75; Hagan, 4.410, 231.28 def. Capps, 5.328, 159.61; FINAL -- C. Force, 4.238, 293.54 def. Hagan, 4.328, 276.58.
ROUND ONE -- Warren Johnson, Pontiac GXP, 6.658, 208.46 def. Shane Gray, Chevy Camaro, 6.880, 206.13; V. Gaines, Dodge Avenger, 6.614, 208.55 def. Larry Morgan, Ford Mustang, 9.664, 94.10; Jason Line, Camaro, 6.601, 209.56 def. Jeg Coughlin, Avenger, 10.507, 86.73; Mike Edwards, GXP, 6.606, 209.95 def. JR Carr, Mustang, broke; Vincent Nobile, Avenger, 6.622, 208.71 def. Mark Wolfe, Mustang, 6.726, 206.76; Allen Johnson, Avenger, 6.575, 210.70 def. Matt Hartford, Avenger, 6.719, 207.56; Erica Enders, Chevy Cobalt, 6.596, 209.56 def. Ron Krisher, GXP, 6.640, 209.56; Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.607, 210.05 def. KurtJohnson, GXP, 6.729, 207.18; QUARTERFINALS -- Nobile, 6.628, 209.52 def. Gaines, 6.631, 208.33; Line, 6.620, 209.43 def. Edwards, 18.357, 43.30; Enders, 6.638, 209.20 def. Anderson, 6.646, 209.62; A. Johnson, 6.605, 209.69 def. W. Johnson, 6.684, 207.66; SEMIFINALS -- Line, 6.657, 209.23 def. Nobile, 6.709, 208.75; Enders, 6.624, 209.33 def. A. Johnson, 6.747, 209.14; FINAL -- Enders, 6.614, 209.65 def. Line, 6.631, 209.72.