Ashley Force Becomes First Woman to Win in NHRA Funny Car
It has been overlooked in some circles, but there was another driver to score the first win for a woman this week-end, and she did it in the most dramatic style possible.
In the 1970’s and ‘80’s, Shirley “Cha-Cha” Muldowney regularly defeated the top competitors in the National Hot Rod Association’s premier series, “top fuel,” winning the overall title in 1977, 1980, and 1982. But, since then, the NHRA has been devoid of a truly top tier female driver.
This past weekend, Ashley Force drove into the record books, becoming the first woman to win a national NHRA funny car national event, taking home the trophy at the Summit Racing Equiptment NHRA Southern Nationals in Commerce, Georgia.
The drama of the last race couldn’t have been greater.
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You see, to win she had to beat her dad, drag racing legend and multiple past champion, John Force.
Her final round time and speed - 4.837 at 320.36 – was enough to do it.
"I’m just happy to win an event," she said. "That was the main thing. Being a female, that’s exciting for the record books and everything, but my team, we just wanted to get our first win. To get it finally done here in Atlanta, we’re just a little bit relieved but so excited as well."
By winning, Ashley Force increases her points lead for the season funny car title. No woman has ever won the funny car title for the season.