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Brittany Force becomes first woman in 35 years to win top-fuel season title

Kevin Baxter, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Auto Racing

POMONA, Calif. -- John Force is among the most decorated competitors in drag racing history. But Sunday he was fine being the second-best driver in his own family after daughter Brittany became the first woman in 35 years to win a season title in drag racing's top division.

"Ain't that something," said Force, a 16-time Funny Car champion who dropped to the track in tears after his daughter clinched her first top-fuel crown two races into the final day of the season.

"She struggled this year as a driver. And she's really kind of a rookie at this," he continued. "But to jump up here and get the win, I couldn't be more proud.

"I can't even imagine all this happened."

Nor could his daughter.

"It still doesn't seem real," Brittany Force said. "And the only reason it is real is because of all the support I have around me. Today is huge. We made history.

 

"I'm still trying to wrap my head around it."

It was one of two titles on the day for John Force Racing, which also captured the Funny Car crown before an estimated crowd of 30,000 on a cool, overcast day at Auto Club Raceway in Pomona. Robert Hight took home that one, pulling away from defending champion Ron Capps during the elimination races, then surviving a spectacular accident in the semifinals when his Chevy burst into flames at the end of its 1,000-foot sprint.

With his second drivers' title clinched, Hight ran a backup car with a borrowed body in the final, finishing well back of Tommy Johnson Jr.'s Dodge Charger, which clocked 329.10 mph.

In Pro Stocks, Bo Butner got his Trans Am up to 210.70 mph to beat Tanner Gray in the final race of the year and pass Greg Anderson in the season standings, capturing his first career title by seven points. Eddie Krawiec closed out his championship season in Pro Stock Motorcycles with a runner-up finish to Andrew Hines, who clocked 196.02 mph in Sunday's final.

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