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B. FORCE, HIGHT, BROGDON AND HINES NO. 1 QUALIFIERS AT 50TH ANNUAL NHRA GATORNATIONALS

Brittany Force set the Gainesville Raceway track record during the fourth qualifying session of Top Fuel to become the first woman to qualify No. 1 at the Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals since Shirley Muldowney 40 years ago.

Robert Hight (Funny Car), Rodger Brogdon (Pro Stock) and Andrew Hines (Pro Stock Motorcycle) are also No. 1 qualifiers in their respective categories at the third of 24 events on the 2019 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule.

COX UNINJURED BUT WRECKS BRAND-NEW CHEVY IN TAFC ELIMINATIONS

 

Top Alcohol Funny Car D.J. Cox was unhurt Saturday at Gainesville (Fla.) Raceway in a crash during the first round of eliminations at the NHRA Gatornationals.

MONGOOSE M.I.A. IN GAINESVILLE, SNAKE CARRIES TORCH

 

If longtime drag-racing fans ever forgot the scene at the U.S. Nationals when Tom “The Mongoose” McEwen scored an upset final-round victory over Don “The Snake” Prudhomme days after losing his young son Jamie to leukemia, they had a movie to remind them how Snake crawled up under McEwen’s raised body at the top end and shared a poignant moment with his pal. What no one else but Prudhomme got to see was the last one they ever had.

Prudhomme received a phone call one morning last June at his home near San Diego and learned that McEwen had passed away in his sleep.

MULDOWNEY HAS EDGE ON GARLITS

 

Drag-racing icons “Big Daddy” Don Garlits and Shirley Muldowney had matched-raced against each other dozens of times throughout the country in their heydays, but their head-to-head record in NHRA competition, surprisingly, was five and five.

After Friday’s first round of “Unfinished Business” pairings in a showdown of the sport’s legends at the 50th edition of the Gatornationals at Florida’s Gainesville Raceway, it’s Advantage Ms. Muldowney.

In identically prepared Toyota Camrys, Muldowney scored a runaway victory. She’ll meet six-time champion and 97-time winner Warren Johnson, “The Professor of Pro Stock,” in Saturday’s semifinal round. He beat Pro Stock Motorcycle class founder Terry Vance, co-owner of the Vance & Hines two-wheeled empire.

HIGHT KEEPS IT REAL, SAYS HIS 3.92 WON'T HOLD

If anything, Robert Hight is a realist.

Hight drove his way to the provisional No. 1 spot in Funny Car at the NHRA Gatornationals with a 3.928-second pass at 305.15 mph despite running the car to the 1,000-foot mark on seven cylinders.

PART-TIMER ZIZZO SPEEDS TO TOP FUEL PROVISIONAL NO. 1 AT GAINESVILLE

No, that's not a typo on the Top Fuel qualifying sheet. That really is TJ Zizzo at the top of the chart after the second qualifying session for the Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals Friday at Gainesville Raceway.

The part-driver with his part-time team made a stellar pass of 3.762 seconds at 323.35 mph to lead Doug Kalitta (3.776), Brittany Force (3.800), Steve Torrence (3.800) and the rest of the 18-car field. Zizzo doesn't have a No. 1 qualifier in his career, nor has he ever been provisional No. 1.

GONZALEZ TOPS FRIDAY GATORS PRO MODIFIED QUALIFYING

 

Jose Gonzalez sits atop the NHRA Gatornationals Pro Modified field courtesy of a 5.726 elapsed time at 255.15 miles per hour pass after two sessions on Friday. This weekend marks the first race of the season for the Pro Modified entries.

ZIZZO, HIGHT, BUTNER AND M. SMITH CURRENT NO. 1 QUALIFIERS AT 50TH ANNUAL NHRA GATORNATIONALS

Part-time Top Fuel racer T.J. Zizzo sits atop of the field after qualifying on Friday at the 50th annual Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway.

Robert Hight (Funny Car), Bo Butner (Pro Stock) and Matt Smith (Pro Stock Motorcycle) are also No. 1 provisional qualifiers in their respective categories at the third of 24 events on the 2019 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule.

SISTER ACT: JASMINE AND JIANNA SALINAS MAKE GATOR NATS DEBUT

 
If their NHRA national event debuts were going to come at one of the biggest races of the season, Jasmine and Jianna Salinas wanted to make sure they did it together. That will happen at this weekend’s 50th annual NHRA Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway, and both Salinas sisters can’t wait to take in what will surely be a memorable experience.
 
Jianna will make her Pro Stock Motorcycle debut, while Jasmine makes her first national event appearance in Top Alcohol Dragster, a week after running in the Baby Gators. But debuting together on the national stage was always part of their plan and now that it is here, the Scrappers Racing teammates and sisters are filled with excitement to tackle the weekend in tandem. 
 ith excitement to tackle the weekend in tandem. 

STEVE MATUSEK IS BACK IN A TURBO MUSTANG

 

A busy off-season and a particularly frenzied final week is about to be all worth it for Steve Matusek and the Elite Motorsports Pro Mod team.
 
The veteran will debut his new turbocharged Mustang at this weekend’s 50th annual NHRA Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway, but it is not the typical new car debut. Matusek and the impressive brain trust around him, a group that includes tuner Shane Tecklenburg, Justin Elkes and Modern Racing and the Elite Motorsports team, have gone radically different in bringing this new car to life. 
 
From wiring to electronics to technology, everything about Matusek’s 25th anniversary Aeromotive Mustang is outside-the-box and he is excited to bring it to life in Gainesville.

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