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Are you jealous yet, NASCAR?

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Are you jealous yet, NASCAR?

Once again -- and without any kind of deck-stacking or any media hype about faux femme fatales who have done little but star in suggestive television advertisements -- women drivers continue to excel in drag racing. Notice that's plural -- women.

No fewer than four National Hot Rod Association female drivers reached the final rounds of their respective classes in Sunday's eliminations at the O'Reilly Auto Parts Nationals at zMAX Dragway at Concord, N.C.

No. 2 qualifier Leah Pruett, driving a turbocharged ProCare Rx Mustang, beat R2B2 Racing team General Manager Melanie Troxel in the Pro Modified final round. Troxel, in the In-N-Out Burger turbo Corvette, was No. 1 qualifier for the second straight Get Screened America Pro Mod Series event.

Troxel is a bit of a Pro Mod mentor to Pruett, who won the NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Series Nostalgia Funny Car championship last year. They work in Duluth, Ga., for team owner Roger Burgess, who earlier this month received the 2011 Opportunity Award from Lyn St. James' Women In The Winner's Circle Foundation.

(At that Sept. 1 celebration dinner, NHRA legend Shirley Muldowney was presented the Mildred Marcum Pioneer Award, Funny Car crew chief Kim La Haie Richards was named the winner of the C&R Racing Woman in Technology Award, and NHRA and International Hot Rod Association racers Samantha Coughlin, Alexis DeJoria, Erica Enders, Peggy Llewellyn, Taylor Myers, Karen Stoffer, Pruett, and Troxel.)

Gardnerville, Nev.'s Stoffer, who has advanced to four final rounds this season and led the standings in two separate stretches, was runner-up Sunday to Eddie Krawiec in the Pro Stock Motorcycle class. She trails Krawiec by merely 22 points in the bike-class standings with five races remaining in NHRA's Countdown to the Championship playoffs.

Michelle Furr, of Galax, Va., won the Super Comp class final and was runner-up in the Super Street class Sunday. Her daughter, Madilyn, 12, competes in Jr. Dragster, and the two have a goal of becoming the first mother-daughter combo to win trophies at the same race.

So female racers simply are part of the NHRA landscape of winners -- and they thrive without the benefit of any diversity program, while all of the Sorority of Speed largely goes unnoticed by the same media who drool over Danica Patrick (a driver who is far from "the first" in the championship-car ranks and has yet to distinguish herself in a sustained meaningful way.)

Furthermore, Enders is fifth in the NHRA Pro Stock standings, 83 points off leader Jason Line's pace.

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