Feb 23, 2014, 8:06 PM EDT
Sunday was Ladies Day in final eliminations of the 30th CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Nationals at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in Chandler, Ariz.
Two weeks after becoming the first female driver in Funny Car history to record a sub-four second pass in the season-opening Winternationals, Alexis DeJoria earned her first NHRA Funny Car victory Sunday behind the wheel of her Patron XO Café Toyota Camry.
DeJoria defeated Robert Hight, racing down the dragstrip in 4.043 seconds at a speed of 309.63 mph. Hight, who came into the battle with 29 national event wins and 16 runner-up finishes, lost traction shortly after the race began and slowed to a final speed of 142.19 mph (at 5.491 seconds) for his 17th runner-up showing.
”When we won the finals, I couldn’t believe it,” DeJoria said. ”Actually, I can because I know we can do it, but it’s such a shock at the same time. It’s surreal. It’s really amazing. I don’t think I’m going to be able to sleep.”
DeJoria is the fourth female to win an NHRA Funny Car national event and 14th female to win a NHRA race across all three pro categories: Top Fuel, Funny Car and Pro Stock.
Although she lost in the final round, another female driver who nonetheless enjoyed a good day was Brittany Force, who reached the final round in Top Fuel before losing a very close battle to Antron Brown. It was Force’s first-ever Top Fuel final round.
In the first time they’ve ever faced each other in a final elimination round, Brown covered the track in 3.755 seconds at 324.20 mph, while Force was just a few ticks behind at 3.793 seconds/322.04 mph.
It was Brown’s 26th career Top Fuel win and 2nd overall.
Both Force and Hight race for John Force Racing.
In Pro Stock, Allen Johnson earned his 21st national event win, defeating V. Gaines in the final round.
Johnson covered the track at 6.543 seconds at 212.23 mph. Gaines lost traction and finished at 8.042 seconds at 115.10 mph.
The third national event of the 24-race NHRA schedule will be the Amalie Motor Oil Gatornationals, March 13-16 in Gainesville, Fla.
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