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Ladies Day for NHRA: Brittany Force (Top Fuel), Erica Enders (Pro Stock) among New England winners

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Like father, like daughter.

Brittany Force, daughter of 16-time NHRA Funny Car champion, put herself into the spotlight Sunday, winning the Top Fuel title in the NHRA New England Nationals at New England Dragway in Epping, New Hampshire.

Also winning the ninth of 24 races on the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series national schedule were Matt Hagan in Funny Car, and Erica Enders returned for her first triumph since 2015 in Pro Stock.

TOP FUEL: The younger Force captured her fourth career Top Fuel win and first of 2017 (3.716 seconds at 328.62 mph), upsetting three-time defending and five-time overall Top Fuel champ Antron Brown (3.728 seconds 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,” Force said in an NHRA media release. “The key to it all is our team sticking together and not giving up, and it definitely paid dividends today.”

Force qualified No. 2 and reached the final round for the fourth time this season, but emerged with just her first win. She is the fifth winner in the first nine races in Top Fuel.

FUNNY CAR: Hagan reached a milestone by earning the 25th career Top Fuel triumph, as well as his third victory of 2017. Hagan (3.897 seconds at 332.59 mph) defeated Courtney Force (3.927 at 332.34) in the final round.

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

Hagan beat both Force’s in Funny Car en route to the triumph, topping John Force in the first round and then Courtney three rounds later.

Having won the first two races of the season in Pomona (California) and Phoenix, Hagan’s win stopped a four-race winning streak by teammate and defending Funny Car champ Ron Capps, who lost to Courtney Force in the semifinal round.

PRO STOCK: Erica Enders is back. The two-time champion in 2014 and 2015 earned her first win since Las Vegas in fall 2015.

Enders (6.534 seconds at 213.16 mph) defeated upstart rookie driver Tanner Gray (6.550 at 212.06).

“Today is a culmination of everything that happened over the past year and a half, since 2016 was tough for us,” said Enders of the importance of today’s victory. “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 I drive.”

Enders becomes the seventh different Pro Stock winner in the first nine races of 2017.

The season continues next weekend (June 8-11) at the NHRA Summernationals at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park.

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FINAL FINISHING ORDER:

TOP FUEL: 1.  Brittany Force; 2.  Antron Brown; 3.  Leah Pritchett; 4.  Shawn Langdon; 5.  Scott Palmer; 6.  Troy Coughlin Jr.; 7.  Steve Torrence; 8.  Smax Smith; 9.  Doug Kalitta; 10.  Dom Lagana; 11.  Clay Millican; 12.  Tony Schumacher; 13.  Steven Chrisman; 14.  Shawn Reed; 15.  Terry McMillen.

FUNNY CAR: 1.  Matt Hagan; 2.  Courtney Force; 3.  Ron Capps; 4.  Tommy Johnson Jr.; 5.  Cruz Pedregon; 6.  Del Worsham; 7.  Bob Tasca III; 8.  Mike Smith; 9.  J.R. Todd; 10.  Robert Hight; 11.  Jim Campbell; 12.  Jack Beckman; 13.  Alexis DeJoria; 14.  John Force; 15.  Tim Wilkerson; 16.  Jeff Diehl.

PRO STOCK: 1.  Erica Enders; 2.  Tanner Gray; 3.  Bo Butner; 4.  Drew Skillman; 5.  Jason Line; 6.  Kenny Delco; 7.  Vincent Nobile; 8.  Jeg Coughlin; 9.  Allen Johnson; 10.  John Gaydosh Jr; 11.  Greg Anderson; 12.  Alan Prusiensky; 13.  Val Smeland; 14.  Shane Tucker.

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FINAL RESULTS:

TOP FUEL: Brittany Force, 3.716 seconds, 328.62 mph  def. Antron Brown, 3.728 seconds, 327.98 mph.

FUNNY CAR: Matt Hagan, Dodge Charger, 3.897, 332.59  def. Courtney Force, Chevy Camaro, 3.927, 332.34.

PRO STOCK: Erica Enders, Chevy Camaro, 6.534, 213.16  def. Tanner Gray, Camaro, 6.550, 212.06.

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FINAL ROUND-BY-ROUND RESULTS:

TOP FUEL: ROUND ONE — Steve Torrence, 3.716, 331.20 def. Doug Kalitta, 3.724, 331.69; Scott Palmer, 3.915, 302.75 def. Terry McMillen, 7.199, 71.24; Antron Brown, 4.579, 170.47 def. Shawn Reed, 5.469, 100.00; Leah Pritchett, 5.232, 127.94 was unopposed; Brittany Force, 3.754, 328.62 def. Steven Chrisman, 4.782, 180.07; Smax Smith, 4.200, 285.17 def. Tony Schumacher, 4.740, 270.86; Shawn Langdon, 3.753, 324.28 def. Dom Lagana, 3.816, 321.04; Troy Coughlin Jr., 3.784, 328.54 def. Clay Millican, 3.831, 312.78;

QUARTERFINALS — Brown, 3.733, 330.07 def. Palmer, 3.801, 322.73; Force, 3.745, 330.88 def. Coughlin Jr., 3.822, 320.66; Langdon, 3.790, 323.35 def. Smith, Broke – No Show; Pritchett, 4.332, 187.50 def. Torrence, 7.071, 95.09;

SEMIFINALS — Force, 3.731, 331.69 def. Langdon, 17.479, 67.72; Brown, 3.707, 331.28 def. Pritchett, 3.735, 326.40;

FINAL — Force, 3.716, 328.62 def. Brown, 3.728, 327.98.

FUNNY CAR: ROUND ONE — Ron Capps, Dodge Charger, 5.726, 151.14 def. Jeff Diehl, Toyota Solara, 13.414, 63.19; Matt Hagan, Charger, 3.954, 330.80 def. John Force, Chevy Camaro, 5.117, 152.90; Mike Smith, Dodge Stratus, 4.324, 257.92 def. Robert Hight, Camaro, 4.369, 298.27; Courtney Force, Camaro, 3.914, 331.94 def. Jim Campbell, Charger, 4.686, 181.30; Del Worsham, Toyota Camry, 4.060, 321.04 def. Jack Beckman, Charger, 4.761, 169.04; Cruz Pedregon, Camry, 3.959, 328.22 def. Tim Wilkerson, Ford Mustang, 8.585, 109.63; Bob Tasca III, Mustang, 4.572, 253.14 def. Alexis DeJoria, Camry, 4.854, 253.80; Tommy Johnson Jr., Charger, 4.016, 315.86 def. J.R. Todd, Camry, 4.032, 269.73;

QUARTERFINALS — Hagan, 3.946, 333.00 def. Worsham, 4.078, 318.32; C. Force, 3.952, 322.19 def. Pedregon, 3.993, 319.82; Johnson Jr., 4.003, 320.81 def. Smith, 4.780, 184.09; Capps, 3.959, 326.63 def. Tasca III, 4.416, 204.54;

SEMIFINALS — C. Force, 3.895, 331.77 def. Capps, 3.939, 327.11; Hagan, 3.965, 332.02 def. Johnson Jr., 4.093, 301.74;

FINAL — Hagan, 3.897, 332.59 def. C. Force, 3.927, 332.34.

PRO STOCK: ROUND ONE — Jason Line, Chevy Camaro, 6.544, 211.46 def. Allen Johnson, Dodge Dart, 6.842, 167.82; Vincent Nobile, Camaro, 6.586, 210.77 def. Jeg Coughlin, Camaro, 6.558, 212.26; Kenny Delco, Camaro, 6.717, 210.24 def. Greg Anderson, Camaro, 9.866, 98.80; Drew Skillman, Camaro, 6.544, 212.56 def. John Gaydosh Jr, Chevrolet Camaro, Foul – Red Light; Tanner Gray, Camaro, 14.715, 77.37 def. Val Smeland, Camaro, Broke; Bo Butner, Camaro, 6.549, 212.13 def. Alan Prusiensky, Dart, Foul – Red Light; Erica Enders, Camaro, 6.551, 212.90 def. Shane Tucker, Camaro, Broke – No Show;

QUARTERFINALS — Gray, 15.749, 53.46 was unopposed; Butner, 6.532, 211.86 def. Nobile, Broke; Enders, 6.574, 212.09 def. Line, 6.562, 211.53; Skillman, 6.560, 212.49 def. Delco, 7.217, 167.45;

SEMIFINALS — Gray, 6.549, 212.16 def. Skillman, 6.560, 211.96; Enders, 6.553, 212.73 def. Butner, 6.533, 212.33;

FINAL — Enders, 6.534, 213.16 def. Gray, 6.550, 212.06.

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UPDATED POINT STANDINGS:

TOP FUEL: 1.  Leah Pritchett, 809; 2.  Antron Brown, 775; 3.  Steve Torrence, 746; 4.  Tony Schumacher, 712; 5.  Doug Kalitta, 571; 6.  Brittany Force, 528; 7.  Clay Millican, 466; 8.  Troy Coughlin Jr., 379; 9.  Terry McMillen, 359; 10.  Scott Palmer, 328.

FUNNY CAR: 1.  Ron Capps, 827; 2.  Matt Hagan, 748; 3.  Courtney Force, 564; 4.  Robert Hight, 561; 5.  John Force, 555; 6.  Jack Beckman, 537; 7.  Tommy Johnson Jr., 533; 8.  J.R. Todd, 413; 9.  Tim Wilkerson, 393; 10.  Del Worsham, 341.

PRO STOCK: 1.  Bo Butner, 750; 2.  Tanner Gray, 715; 3.  Greg Anderson, 682; 4.  Jason Line, 630; 5.  Jeg Coughlin, 627; 6.  Erica Enders, 547; 7.  Drew Skillman, 470; 8.  Vincent Nobile, 466; 9.  Chris McGaha, 421; 10.  Shane Gray, 382.

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F1 2017 driver review: Lance Stroll

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Team: Williams

Car No.: 18
Races: 20
Wins: 0
Podiums: 1
Best Finish: P3 (Azerbaijan)
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Points: 40
Championship Position: 13th

Lance Stroll’s arrival in Formula 1 at the start of the 2017 was a far from smooth one despite a significant private testing program being undertaken in the months leading up to his grand prix debut.

Even with older hand Felipe Massa at Williams, Stroll looked uneasy behind the wheel of the FW40 car through the opening run of races as he failed to reach the checkered flag in any of his first three starts.

The Canadian was left deflated after his first decent effort in Bahrain was cut short after a clash with Carlos Sainz Jr., calling it his “rock bottom” moment – but things would turn around on home soil.

Stroll produced a stunning fight through the field to take an excellent P9 in Canada, proving his talent seen in Formula 3 the previous year and shushing many of his critics.

Better would follow two weeks later in Baku when Stroll became the youngest rookie in F1 history to score a podium, dodging a crazy race to finish third. It would have been second had he not lost a drag race against Valtteri Bottas to the line.

Stroll’s form then fluctuated greatly. He was sublime on occasion, the best examples being Monza, when he started a remarkable P2 on the grid and ended as the top midfielder in P7, or Mexico where he took a brilliant sixth.

But there were too many weekends he was a little anonymous. Sure, Williams didn’t have the best car this year, but perhaps a little better was expected from Stroll.

2018 will be an even bigger challenge as he looks to the lead the team when a new teammate arrives – and at only 19, it is a lot to handle. Nevertheless, there are positive signs to be found; you just need to look for them a little.

Season High: Taking a shock podium in Baku after dodging chaos in front.

Season Low: A poor opening two races in Australia and China.