Powell to drive Hofmann Racing Funny Car LOS ANGELES (Nov. 9, 1999) - Team owner Helen Hofmann announced today that Cristen Powell will drive the Hofmann Racing Pontiac Firebird Funny Car for the 2000 NHRA season. â€œI sat down, weighed all...
Powell to drive Hofmann Racing Funny Car
LOS ANGELES (Nov. 9, 1999) - Team owner Helen Hofmann announced today that Cristen Powell will drive the Hofmann Racing Pontiac Firebird Funny Car for the 2000 NHRA season.
“I sat down, weighed all of my options and came to the obvious conclusion that Cristen was the best person for the job,” said Hofmann. “Cristen’s an excellent driver who will continue to get better every time she gets in a Funny Car. She's intelligent, she's personable, she has a tremendous work ethic and she has the desire to be successful in this sport. In other words, she's the total package.
“I'm confident that Cristen Powell is one of the future stars of NHRA drag racing, and she's precisely the kind of person I want driving the car. I'm very excited that Cristen will be racing our Pontiac Firebird next year."
Although she's just 20 years old, Powell has become an accomplished drag racer in her years on the NHRA tour. In 1995, she made her inaugural NHRA appearance in Richmond, Va. During the next three months, Powell competed in seven races at the Super Comp level. In September, Powell upgraded her competition license to the Top Alcohol dragster category at her home track in Woodburn, Oregon. A week later she competed in her first national event at the 1995 Sears Craftsman Nationals, taking the No. 1 qualifying spot with an elapsed time of 5.70 seconds at 241 mph.
In 1996, Powell competed in over 30 races, qualifying at 12 national events with four of those in the No. 1 spot. She also set six new track records. At the Sears Craftsman Nationals in Topeka, Kan. Powell set a new alcohol dragster national elapsed-time record with a run of 5.44 seconds. The record stood for over a year and a half.
In 1997, at the age of 17, Powell began competing in the Top Fuel category and quickly established herself as a championship-caliber contender. On her first run, she set a record for the quickest elapsed time for a rookie in history. She went on to win the Mopar Parts Nationals in Englishtown, N.J., but had to skip her senior prom to do so.
At the 1998 Prolong Northwest Nationals in Seattle, Powell became the quickest woman in NHRA history with a run of 4.590 seconds. Her career-best speed of 307.69 mph came that same year at the Autolite Nationals in Sonoma, Calif.
In August 1999, she received her Funny Car certification prior to the running of the 45th annual US Nationals with a final licensing run of 4.91 seconds at 309 mph. In doing so she became the first woman Funny Car driver to cover the quarter mile in less than five seconds and over 300 mph. Powell also became the first woman to compete at the US Nationals in Indianapolis in the Funny Car category when she drove her Pontiac Firebird to the No. 7 qualifying position with an elapsed time of 4.987 seconds at 301.60 mph.
“This is a great opportunity and I'm looking forward to driving for Helen Hofmann,” Powell said. “There's a lot that I want to accomplish in this sport, but winning in the Funny Car division and competing for the Winston championship next year are at the top of the list. With this team we have the potential to do just that.”