Brittany Force, one of only two regular female competitors in NHRA’s highest class, isn’t just “one of the best women” in the field. (That’s one we hear all too often as women!) She’s the best out there, period. Force won the Top Fuel title on Sunday, becoming only the second woman in history to do so.
The last woman to win was Shirley Muldowney, who, even though she won Top Fuel championships in 1977, 1980 and 1982, had to defend her driving abilities as a woman to known Great Car Men Bernie Ecclestone and Mario Andretti. She won her most recent NHRA Top Fuel title 35 years ago, yet still had to defend her entire gender to those two last year.
Force, 31, won her seventh-career Wally—NHRA’s event trophy—in the season finale, along with the championship title. She beat championship drivers Steve Torrence, Doug Kalitta, Leah Pritchett, Tony Schumacher, Clay Millican, Shawn Langdon, Terry McMillen, Scott Palmer and 2012, 2015 and 2016 title winner Antron Brown for the championship.
It was the first Top Fuel championship for John Force Racing, her father John Force’s team on which he’s fielded rides for both himself and his daughters. The entire title-deciding run, and John Force’s teary reaction to Brittany Force’s win, is hard to watch without getting a little emotional yourself:
That, right there, is one very fast woman.
But as we’ve been reminded of before, women cannot compete with men and should have their own racing series instead of having to do this whole “co-ed” thing. That way, we can finally produce some female world champions.