Ashley Force made history and made father proud all at once

Ashley Force's victory in the Southern Nationals was one for the history books as she became the first woman to win a national event in a Funny Car. For her it was a relief. For her legendary father it was the fulfillment of a dream, writes Bill Stephens.

Updated: May 6, 2008, 7:55 PM ET
By Bill Stephens | Special to ESPN.com

COMMERCE, Ga. -- Many times in the sport of NHRA POWERade drag racing, statistics become the bricks and mortar with which history is created.

Drag racing historians and statisticians frequently find themselves pouring through the record books and performance spreadsheets in fervent hopes of uncovering a little-known nugget of statistical import that sheds some kind of lasting significance upon a quarter-mile achievement.

In the murky, cloud-covered twilight of Atlanta ...

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