Championship contenders chasing consistency and momentum at Gateway

Just how good is Ashley Force? Another victory or final-round finish this weekend at Gateway International Raceway would go a long way to establish her as a genuine championship heavyweight, writes Bill Stephens.

Updated: May 2, 2008, 4:48 PM ET
By Bill Stephens | Special to ESPN.com

Certain laws of mathematical dynamics govern the eventual outcome of the four professional POWERade championships in any given NHRA season. Most are very familiar to drag racing fans, such as round wins and race wins, quick elapsed times, good reaction times and favorable qualifying positions. But two others may be even more crucial to a successful title quest, and they are quality of consistency and maintenance of momentum.

As the seventh national event of the 2008 NHRA ...

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