A record-tying 11 women competed in professional categories at the 50th annual Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals, and a record-setting eight battled it out in Pro Stock Motorcycle. Women also captured titles in the Top Alcohol Dragster and Stock classes, while a total of five women competed in Top Alcohol Dragster.
Brittany Force took the Top Fuel pole for the first time in 2019 just two seasons removed from snagging her first world championship. She and fellow competitor Leah Pritchett stood out as the women competing in the long-wheelbase nitro machines. Pritchett also raced in the SAMTech.edu Factory Stock Showdown class, where she began the defense of her 2018 championship.
Erica Enders, a two-time Pro Stock world champion, qualified in the No. 9 position with a 6.518-second elapsed time. She’s the only woman to win a Pro Stock world championship. Enders also completed in the Pro Mod class.
Eight women competed in Pro Stock Motorcycle, including Angelle Sampey, Melissa Surber, Karen Stoffer, Kelly Clontz, Angie Smith, Katie Sullivan, Jianna Salinas, and Andie Rawlings. Sampey, who owns three world championships (won in consecutive years from 2000-02), had the best outing, qualifying sixth with a 6.814 on her new Harley-Davidson ride.
Megan Meyer captured the Top Alcohol Dragster crown, and made the second fastest pass in class history, and was joined in the category by fellow women Julia Nataas, Jackie Fricke, Jasmine Salinas and Cherissa Smallwood; all but Smallwood qualified for the 16-car field. Randi Lyn Shipp also captured a Sportsman victory, the sixth of her career, in Stock.