I usually mix my NHRA news in with my NASCAR updates but yesterday was special. Courtney Force won her first Wally!
What’s a Wally, you ask? Well, Wally Parks is the guy who founded the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) back in 1951. The trophy the drivers receive after winning a race is a commemoration of Mr. Parks.
I’ve mentioned this before, but I’m gonna get more into it here. NHRA drag racing isn’t as “simple” as NASCAR in that only one race has to be won. The pro NHRA drivers have to win four races in order to get a Wally! 16 cars qualify and with each race, one is eliminated.
Yesterday, after qualifying somewhat poorly over the weekend, Courtney Force won all four elimination rounds!
Round 1: Courtney vs. Cruz Pedregon. Cruz smokes the tires pretty early and Courtney runs away from him for her fastest pass of the weekend.
Round 2: Courtney vs. Bob Tasca III. Courtney is 2 – 0 against Tasca III in prior events. Tasca smokes the tires and tries to recover it but it isn’t gonna happen. Courtney makes a very nice run, she lose a cylinder just past 600ft but she was already way out in front. Courtney will have lane choice over her Dad, John, in the next round.
Here’s the coolest part of the day, in my opinion. Right before Courtney beat Tasca, John Force took Jack Beckman out… and waited at the top of the track to watch his daughter’s race… and win. I’ve never seen a father’s love of his daughter more evident than when I saw John literally skipping towards Courtney and then picking her up and hugging her. I wish I knew how to pull the video off my DVR because it was a very touching moment.
And this was just Courtney going into the semifinals against her Dad. I knew what was gonna happen there! John would lay down and let Courtney win. As a father… I know I would. I think so, at least! Let’s see what happens!
Round 3: Courtney Force is 1 – 0 against John Force in prior events. Courtney had lane choice over John in this round. John goes up in smoke at the launch. Courtney makes a very clean run and she will go to her 3rd final round and try to pick-up her first ever event win.
Yeah… John let her win… On to the finals (I’ll copy and paste some of what the NHRA puts in their results so you can see it like I do)!
Final Round 4: Courtney Force vs. Matt Hagan.
4:26 p.m. Weather conditions: air temperature 93 degrees, relative humidity 37 percent, barometer 29.58 inches, adjusted altitude 3,335 feet, track temperature 125 degrees. Ed. ~ Weather conditions and altitude have a huge affect on racing results.
Force and Hagan have each won 1 times against the other in prior events and this is the first time they have faced each other in a final round.
Hagan is in his second final round of the year and still looking for the first win of the season. Courtney is in her third final round this season and hasn’t got the win yet. The last time she was racing here she took home the win in the Top Alcohol Dragster class.
Hagan gets the jump on the line and he was out front, but Courtney had the better car and she drives around him at half track; she kept the car right in the groove. She wins her first ever race; the crew is going crazy on the starting line. Courtney makes history with that win as we have three women in the winner’s circle for the first time ever.
Courtney Force’s MOV (margin of victory): 0.0635 seconds (approximately 26 feet).
Courtney Force’s incremental margins (negative if behind): 60ft(-0.021), 330 ft(-0.022), 660ft(0.017). MOV: 0.0635 seconds (approximately 26 feet).
Way to go girl! Much respect!