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Ashley Force eliminates dad John in Funny Car

4/29/2007

COMMERCE, Ga. -- Ashley Force won the first father-daughter
race in NHRA history Sunday, edging 14-time series champion John
Force in the first round of Funny Car eliminations in the NHRA
Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway

Ashley finished in 4.779 seconds to easily edge John (5.783
seconds). The 24-year-old rookie advanced to the semifinals,
equaling the best Funny Car effort for a female driver in NHRA
history, before losing to eventual runner-up Mike Ashley.

"She's a great young driver and she's probably gonna whip
me a bunch, but I'm OK with it because she's my baby."
-- John Force

"Today, I'm a proud father," John said. "I've dreamed of this
day for a long time and it makes me emotional to think it finally
came true. She's a great young driver and she's probably gonna whip
me a bunch, but I'm OK with it because she's my baby."

The Funny Car final was a classic battle between the top two
qualifiers, with Robert Hight taking advantage of some late tire
smoke from Ashley.

The two were side-by-side most of the way down the track until
Ashley's Dodge Charger started spinning its tires around 1,000
feet. That was all Hight needed to take the win in his Ford
Mustang, crossing the finish line with a 4.882 at 314.61 mph to
Ashley's 5.167 at 229.66 mph.

Second-generation driver Brandon Bernstein won the Top Fuel
event to move into first place in the series standings. The son of
NHRA star Kenny Bernstein has won the last two races to push his
career victory total to 14. Bernstein had a 4.662-second run at
305.01 mph in the final to beat Doug Herbert, who posted a 4.714 at
297.02.

Greg Anderson raced to his fourth Pro Stock win of the season to
take a 212-point lead in the standings. Racing former boss Warren
Johnson in an all-Pontiac GTO final, Anderson claimed his 47th
career victory by posting a 6.671 at 207.62 to hold off the
International Motorsports Hall of Fame inductee's performance of
6.719 at 205.79.

Karen Stoffer's second win of the year helped her regain the Pro
Stock Motorcycle points lead. Stoffer took an easy win on her
Suzuki in the final when opponent Matt Smith's Buell broke as he
let the clutch out at the start of the race.