Enders Ends Drought, Force Takes a Victory at NHRA Epping Race

Enders Ends Drought, Force Takes a Victory at NHRA Epping Race
Photo Credit: NHRA Media

The opening weekend of Wonder Woman gave some powerful good luck to a couple of female drivers at the fifth annual NHRA New England Nationals this weekend at New England Dragway. While a dry spell seemed to have set in for both John Force driver Brittany Force as well as two-time Pro Stock world champion Erica Enders lately, a new force seemed to come to life for both in New England.

 

Top Fuel

Enders Ends Drought, Force Takes a Victory at NHRA Epping Race

After qualifying second for this event, Brittany Force would move on to take down Steve Chrisman, Troy Coughlin Jr. and Shawn Langdon before moving on to face legendary NHRA champion Antron Brown in the finals. With a pass of 3.716-seconds at 328.62 MPH in her Monster Energy dragster, the daughter of Funny Car champion John Force would defeat Brown’s 3.728-second pass at 327.98 MPH.

“We figured things out in Topeka, and I felt like we had our team back, so we knew our first win would be right around the corner,” said Force. “The key to it all is our team sticking together and not giving up, and it definitely paid dividends this weekend.”

Following her fourth career victory, the first of the 2017 season, this drag racing force now sits sixth in the Top Fuel points standings and has become the fifth different series winner of the season.

 

Pro Stock

Enders Ends Drought, Force Takes a Victory at NHRA Epping Race

Following the dominating win by Brittany Force, another of NHRA’s winning women would find the fuel necessary to pick-up her 22nd career victory and first since the fall Las Vegas event in 2015. After also qualifying second in the Pro Stock division at New England, Elite Motorsports driver Erica Enders defeated reigning world champion Jason Line and Pro Stock points leader Bo Butner before lining her Elite Motorsports Chevy Camaro alongside NHRA Heartland Nationals Pro Stock winner Tanner Gray. With a pass of 6.534-seconds at 213.16 MPH, Enders would take down the Pro Stock rookie’s 6.550-second pass at 212.06 MPH in his Gray Motorsports Chevy Camaro.

“Today is a culmination of everything that happened over the past year and a half, since 2016 was tough for us,” said Enders. “It’s so awesome to have a team that has my back, and it is absolutely the reason why I am able to drive the way that I do.”

This victory leaves Enders sitting sixth in the Pro Stock point standings as she also becomes the seventh different series winner of the season.

 

Funny Car

Enders Ends Drought, Force Takes a Victory at NHRA Epping Race

A familiar name in the Funny Car Series would find his way back to the podium for the third time this season at the New England Nationals. After qualifying in the top five of the Funny Car field, Don Schumacher Racing driver Matt Hagan took on 16-time world champion John Force, Del Worsham, and teammate Tommy Johnson Jr. before facing off with Courtney Force in the finals. With a pass of 332.59-seconds in his Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger Funny Car, Hagan defeated Force, who ran a 3.927-second pass in her Advance Auto Parts Chevy Camaro.

“I knew we had a great race car today and the conditions were great, so we knew we were better than our qualifying times,” said Hagan. “Everything went the way it should have, and things just seemed to fall into place.”

Following the 25th victory of his career, Hagan now sits second in the Funny Car points standings behind teammate Ron Capps, who ended a four-race win streak when he fell to Force in the semifinal round.

The 2017 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season continues at the NHRA Summernationals, June 8-11 at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park. Stay tuned to RacingJunk.com for all of your NHRA coverage!

About Ellen Richardson 161 Articles
Ellen Richardson is the author of Behind The Wheel for RacingJunk.com. This automotive sports junkie has a passion for telling an athlete's story while also covering various racing activities. Find out more about her at ellennrichardson.wordpress.com or follow Ellen on Twitter at @ellennrich or Instagram at elnrich33.
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