Ashley Force beats her father 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 as Robert Hight ran to his seventh career victory 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.
"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 Hight taking advantage of some late tire smoke from Mike 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 John Force-owned 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.
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