Show of Force: Courtney trumps father John in inaugural New England NHRA race

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One week after Father’s Day, Courtney Force proved that father doesn’t always know best.

In the first final round matchup with her father and legendary 15-time Funny Car champion John Force, Courtney celebrated her 25th birthday by winning the inaugural Auto-Plus NHRA New England Nationals at New England Dragway in Epping, N.H.

Courtney’s Ford Mustang bested her father’s Mustang, 4.301 seconds at 261.67 mph to 4.367 seconds at 262.28 mph.

It was Courtney Force’s second win of 2013 and the third of her career. She defeated Alexis DeJoria, Tim Wilkerson and defending Funny Car champ Jack Beckman earlier Sunday en route to meeting her father for the deciding matchup.

In addition, she’s now 4-2 in all-time round wins against dear old dad, but Sunday was the first time they had ever met in the final round of an NHRA national event. It also allowed Courtney to avenge a first round loss to John last week at Bristol Dragway.

“I definitely told him I was going to get some revenge and we were able to do it. It was a lot of fun,” Courtney Force told NHRA.com. “We got down there, and our car got in a little bit of trouble, but I had my foot on the throttle hoping he wouldn’t catch up. After the win, he came over and hugged me and congratulated me. We were both really excited, and it was great for our team.”

Courtney Force moved up to fourth in the series standings, while John Force is right behind in fifth place.

As for the other three pro classes in the 11th of 24 races in this season’s NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, Spencer Massey won in Top Fuel, Allen Johnson in Pro Stock and John Hall in Pro Stock Motorcyle.

The NHRA now moves on to its third race in a grueling four-week period with the O’Reilly Auto Parts Nationals at Route 66 Raceway in suburban Chicago, June 27-30.

Red Bull Air Race: Yoshi Muroya joins Sato as Japanese champs at Indy

Photo: Joerg Mitter/Red Bull Content Pool
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Takuma Sato isn’t the only major Japanese athlete to take home top honors at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway this year. Countryman Yoshihide Muroya joined him in that on Sunday after winning Red Bull Air Race at IMS, and the Red Bull Air Race World Championship in the process.

Fittingly, the 101st Indianapolis 500 champion was there on site to join him in the celebration.

Muroya flew with a track-record run in the final and erased the four-point deficit to points leader Martin Sonka. The record run came after a disappointing qualifying effort of 11th in the 14-pilot field in the Master Class.

A day after the win, Muroya joined Sato in heading to Sato’s new Verizon IndyCar Series team, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s, Indianapolis-based shop.

A few social posts from Muroya’s victory and the subsequent celebration are below.

CHECKING OUT EACH OTHER’S RIDES

ASTLES BREAKS THOUGH AS WELL

Muroya wasn’t alone among big winners at the Speedway. In the Challenger Class, Melanie Astles of France became the first woman to win a major race at IMS, and is the first female winner in the Red Bull Air Race World Championship.

Nine women have competed in the Indianapolis 500 (Janet Guthrie, Lyn St. James, Sarah Fisher, Danica Patrick, Milka Duno, Simona de Silvestro, Pippa Mann, Ana Beatriz, Katherine Legge) and Mann is the first woman to have been on the pole position at IMS, having done so for the Freedom 100 in 2010 in Indy Lights.

Photo: Joerg Mitter/Red Bull Content Pool