The ladies dominated the NHRA nitro categories as Leah Pritchett and Courtney Force were victorious in Top Fuel and Funny Car Sunday at the 38th annual NHRA Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway in Commerce, GA.
Vincent Nobile in Pro Stock and Eddie Krawiec in Pro Stock Motorcycle were also victorious in their respective categories at the seventh of 24 events on the 2018 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule.
Courtney Force claimed her second Funny Car victory this season with a pass of 4.046 seconds at 313.73 miles per hour in her Chevrolet Camaro against Matt Hagan. After earning the #1 qualifying spot Saturday, Force secured her 10th career victory making her the most victorious female Funny Car driver in the history of NHRA.
“We had a great race car all day long,” Force said. “Every single guy on my crew has done just a phenomenal job all day long. From getting the #1 qualifying spot yesterday in our final qualifying run and to go out there and have some consistent runs. It’s great to be able to get a win at the track my sister [Ashley Force-Hood] got her first win at. It’s a pretty good day and we’re excited.”
Pritchett Wins Top Fuel
Pritchett locked in her first Top Fuel win of the season as she piloted her dragster to a pass of 3.874 at 322.42 mph during the final round of eliminations to defeat Blake Alexander. This is her first Wally since Brainerd 2017, her first event victory at Atlanta Raceway, and her sixth career win overall. Pritchett is the first of Don Schumacher Racing’s Top Fuel drivers to go to the winner’s circle this season.
“We were racing one round at a time,” Prichett said. “The conditions out there were varying all weekend long and that’s why my hats and kudos go off to (crew chief) Todd Okuhara for finding what was right and wrong and adjusting to it. Yeah, you want to win every race, but this one was very special in a lot of ways.”
Alexander, who raced to his first career final round, started from the #10 position and defeated Antron Brown, defending world champion Brittany Force, and points leader Steve Torrence before the final round.
Nobile Gets 2nd 2018 Pro Stock Win
In Pro Stock, Vincent Nobile powered his Chevy Camaro to a victory run of 6.599 at 209.72 to defeat Tanner Gray in his Camaro in the final round. This is Nobile’s first career win at Atlanta and second Wally of the season.
“I had the car to beat this weekend,” Nobile said. “I know we didn’t qualify #1 but going back after each run and looking at the computer we know we could’ve been the fastest car each session. On race day we got it together and was the fastest car every session. All in all, it was a great day.”
Nobile is now the points leaders for Pro Stock after defeating Alan Prusiensky, Chris McGaha and top-qualifier Greg Anderson prior to the final round.
Krawiec Captures 45th Career Win in Pro Stock Motorcycle
Defending world champion Eddie Krawiec rode his motorcycle to the winner’s circle with a pass of 6.922 at 194.91 on his Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson. This is his fourth event victory at the NHRA Southern Nationals and 45th of his career.
“This track has been very challenging for us this weekend,” Krawiec said. “I really had a better bike than what I showed Friday and Saturday because I was not making the proper chassis adjustments to get the bike down the track. We’re going to learn and continue to get better. That’s what we need to do.”
Krawiec was the #5 qualifier and was victorious against Angie Smith, LE Tonglet, the #1 qualifier Hector Arana Jr., and Scotty Pollacheck in the final round.
The 2018 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season continues with the Menards NHRA Heartland Nationals at Heartland Motorsports Park May 18-20 in Topeka, KS.
NHRA Pro Stock Point Standings
1. Vincent Nobile 534 2. Bo Butner 486 3. Greg Anderson 463 4. Chris McGaha 460 5. Drew Skillman 444
NHRA Funny Car Point Standings
1. Courtney Force 546 2. Jack Beckman 538 3. Matt Hagan 487 4. Tommy Johnson Jr. 436 5. J.R. Todd 428
NHRA Top Fuel Point Standings
1. Steve Torrence 581 1. Tony Schumacher 461 3. Doug Kalitta 458 4. Clay Millican 448 5. Leah Pritchett 435
NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle Point Standings
1. Eddie Krawiec 286 2. Andrew Hines 261 3. Scotty Pollacheck 246 4. Jerry Savoie 203 5. Angelle Sampey 177
Drag Race Central and NHRA contributed to this report.