Ashley defeats father John to win Funny Car at Southern Nationals

Updated: April 28, 2008, 9:45 AM ET
Associated Press

COMMERCE, Ga. -- Ashley Force beat father John on Sunday in the NHRA Southern Nationals to become the first female driver to win a national Funny Car event.

Ashley had a run of 4.837 seconds at 320.36 mph at Atlanta Dragway in her Castrol GTX Ford Mustang to take a 59-point lead over Tim Wilkerson in the season standings.

"I'm just happy to win an event. That was the main thing," Ashley said. "Being a female, that's exciting as far as the records and everything, but my team, we just wanted to get our first win. We went a whole year last year and got close a few times. To finally get it done, we're just so excited."

John, seeking his 1,000th career round win, lost traction at the start, finishing way behind Ashley with an 11.223-second run.

"It's great for her that she gets that win and gets that out of the way," John said. "I'm a little disappointed that my car didn't run a little bit better.

"I'm proud of her. She did her job. She didn't do anything stupid at the starting line. ... I love her."

Newest in Charge

Just like Danica Patrick made her mark as the first woman winner in IndyCar, Ashley Force took home a Funny Car victory in NHRA, the first such feat for a woman.
Patrick
Force
SeriesIndyCarNHRA
TrackJapanAtlanta
Race Runner-upH. CastronevesJ. Force
Standing5th1st

The historic win, set up by round victories over Del Worsham, Jim Head and Ron Capps, came seven days after Danica Patrick became the first female winner in IndyCar history.

"At the top end, Dad just came over and congratulated me and told me and my team, 'Good job.' I think Dad's done this enough years that he has the same routine and doesn't care who's next to him, whether you're related to him or not.

"I'm the one who needs to practice and not be thinking about that. He wants his 1,000th win as well. Mom and I had it figured out, though. He can get it next week on his birthday -- that will be special -- and I can get my first win here."

Antron Brown picked up his second win of the season in Top Fuel, beating points leader Tony Schumacher in the final round. Brown drove his Matco Tools dragster to a 4.537 run at 325.14, beating Schumacher on a holeshot.

In Pro Stock, Mike Edwards raced to his first win in over two years, driving his Young Life Pontiac GXP to a 6.680 run at 206.20. Edwards' run was just enough to beat runner-up Jason Line, who appeared in his second consecutive final round.

Andrew Hines topped the two-wheelers with a run of 6.946 at 191.40.


Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press