Wednesday, July 18, 2018
Sports

Brittany Force earns first Top Fuel victory at Gatornationals

GAINESVILLE — An hour after her first NHRA Top Fuel victory, Brittany Force was clutching the trophy as tightly as she does her steering wheel.

She wasn't about to let go, either. It was that special, even for a member of drag racing's first family.

Force, 29, earned that long-awaited win on Sunday by beating Terry McMillen in the final at the prestigious Gatornationals.

"I've been chasing this for quite a few years," Force said. "I've been wanting it since Day 1. It took a lot of work and a lot of time to get here. It's definitely not as easy as you think it is."

Robert Hight gave John Force Racing its first double ever by winning the Funny Car class. Greg Anderson (Pro Stock) and Eddie Krawiec (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also took their categories.

Force, one of 16-time Funny Car champion John Force's three racing daughters, had been winless in seven Top Fuel finals. The No. 5 qualifier knocked off Morgan Lucas (who qualified 12th), Tripp Tatum (13th), Dave Connolly (ninth) and McMillen (14th).

Hight was waiting for her at the finish line.

"The next one's going to come a lot easier," Hight said. "Until you actually win a race, you don't know that you can do it. There's always that element of doubt and now she knows that she can do it."

Force's mom, dad, sister and team celebrated back at the starting line. John Force climbed on his scooter, with his wife Laurie and daughter Courtney in tow, to join the celebration.

"Courtney looked like she was in tears," Brittany Force said. "She had her sunglasses on, so it was hard to tell. She was very excited. My mom was screaming and jumping up and down. My dad actually didn't say much for once. He was a little speechless. He was a little emotional."

John and Courtney Force were both eliminated in the Funny Car quarterfinals.

Brittany Force, in her first season with 11-time Top Fuel champion crew chief Alan Johnson, lost to Leah Pritchett three weeks ago in Phoenix in the first all-female Top Fuel final since 1982.

Hight defeated Ron Capps in his final, Greg Anderson topped Jason Line and Krawiec downed Hector Arana.

Formula One: Nico Rosberg beat Lewis Hamilton in yet another Mercedes 1-2 finish at the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne, but the predictable result disguised an exciting opener, punctuated by a frightening accident that suspended the race. Red flags came out after a high-speed collision between McLaren's Fernando Alonso and Esteban Gutierrez of Haas about a third of the way through the race. Alonso walked away from the crash, in which his car was demolished. While in the pits awaiting a restart, Mercedes made a crucial call, switching to the hardest available tire to set up a run to the finish. Sebastian Vettel's Ferrari was third.

Comments
Speaking frank-ly, Mark Richt declares Malik Rosier UM’s starting QB

Speaking frank-ly, Mark Richt declares Malik Rosier UM’s starting QB

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — On National Hot Dog Day, of all days, Mark Richt again was in rare gastronomical form.Miami's third-year coach, who captivated a media audience at last year's ACC Kickoff by diagramming how to eat a sandwich in 10 bites, volun...
Updated: 9 minutes ago
Must-see golf history with Seminole’s Brittany Lincicome

Must-see golf history with Seminole’s Brittany Lincicome

Thursday is history.There is no way around it, even for Brittany Lincicome, who loves finding her way around it. That's just her. She played with boys growing up, neighborhood football and basketball, baseball — and golf. I remember when she wa...
Updated: 10 minutes ago
Rays place Wilson Ramos on DL for potential extended absence, seek replacement

Rays place Wilson Ramos on DL for potential extended absence, seek replacement

ST. PETERSBURG – The Rays made the inevitable move Wednesday of placing catcher Wilson Ramon on the DL while still looking for a replacement.Ramos strained his left hamstring Saturday in Minnesota, forcing him out of the All-Star Game. The Rays...
Updated: 1 hour ago
‘Wreak Havoc’: Winston absent as Bucs roll out 2018 promo videos

‘Wreak Havoc’: Winston absent as Bucs roll out 2018 promo videos

When Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston was suspended for the first three games of the upcoming season, one of the lingering questions was whether the team would still feature him prominently in their marketing efforts to fans.The team released four sho...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Rays reinstate discount pizza promotion with Papa John’s after corporate action

Rays reinstate discount pizza promotion with Papa John’s after corporate action

The Rays reinstated the discount pizza promotion with Papa John's based on actions taken by corporate officials after the ouster of founder John Schnatter following reports he used a racial slur.The Rays had suspended the promotion, which offers half...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Dan Mullen’s old team will be better than his new one. That’s a good thing

Dan Mullen’s old team will be better than his new one. That’s a good thing

ATLANTA — The difference between where the Gators are and where they could be showed up in back-to-back days behind a podium at the College Football Hall of Fame.On Tuesday, first-year Florida coach Dan Mullen said the program he inherited...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Star cornerback, onetime Buc Darrelle Revis retiring after 11 NFL seasons

Star cornerback, onetime Buc Darrelle Revis retiring after 11 NFL seasons

Revis Island is closed for business. Darrelle Revis, a star cornerback with the New York Jets, a Super Bowl winner with their archrivals, the New England Patriots, and a onetime Buc, has retired. Revis announced Wednesday on social media that he was ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Done deal: Kawhi Leonard goes to Raptors, DeMar DeRozan to Spurs

Done deal: Kawhi Leonard goes to Raptors, DeMar DeRozan to Spurs

The Kawhi Leonard saga in San Antonio is finally over. So is DeMar DeRozan’s time in Toronto. An NBA summer blockbuster got pulled off Wednesday, with the Spurs sending Leonard to the Raptors — weeks after the disgruntled 2014 NBA Finals MVP asked fo...
Updated: 3 hours ago
MLB: Brewers’ Josh Hader must take sensitivity training after tweets

MLB: Brewers’ Josh Hader must take sensitivity training after tweets

WASHINGTON — Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Josh Hader will be required to go through sensitivity training after years-old racist and homophobic tweets of his resurfaced during the All-Star Game, Major League Baseball said Wednesday. MLB announced that th...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Georgia Tech preparing for its day in the (Tampa) sun

Georgia Tech preparing for its day in the (Tampa) sun

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The two Georgia Tech players who appeared Wednesday at the ACC Kickoff were smart enough not to speak at length about their Sept. 8 game at USF, considering they have a Sept. 1 game against Alcorn State.But be assured, the Bul...
Updated: 3 hours ago