Fuentes looking to make it two in a row in Gainesville

GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Coming into this season, not many people knew who Federal Mogul Dragster driver Joe Fuentes was. Those who did know him figured it would be a while before he got a handle on this class. Going into this weekend's Mac Tools ...

GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Coming into this season, not many people knew who Federal Mogul Dragster driver Joe Fuentes was. Those who did know him figured it would be a while before he got a handle on this class. Going into this weekend's Mac Tools Gatornationals in Gainesville, Fla., all eyes will be on Fuentes, being one of the hottest drivers in the class, and one of the favorites to win this weekend.

Last weekend, Fuentes picked up his first career win at the Division 4 race in Baton Rouge, La., and smashed both ends of the track record with a solid 5.47 second elapsed time at over 258 mph. The race before that, at the Division 4 race in Dallas, he made his first final round, only to explode a burst panel due to a clogged fuel line and lose the race. In just his first full season, much of Fuentes' early success can be attributed to veteran tuner Ora Vasquez.

This weekend, Fuentes will be looking for his first national event trophy.

"We're basically just treating it like another race," said Fuentes. "We're going to try our best to get the car tuned to the track. I've never been to Gainesville, but Ora has, so I'm sure he can put together a pretty good tuneup. We're just going to try to leave everything the same as much as possible."

At the first race of the year, the Autozone Winternationals, in Pomona, Calif., Fuentes ran a career best 5.44 e.t. With Gainesville Raceway's reputation for being a fast track, Fuentes feels more may be in store out of the J&D Racing Blown Alcohol Dragster.

"We ran that 5.47 in Baton Rouge when nobody thought that it could be possible to run that at that track," stated Fuentes. "So, anything is possible this weekend. If we get the car to hook up good, I'm pretty sure we can run in the .40's, and maybe even a .30 if the conditions are right."

The Federal Mogul Dragsters will have two qualifying sessions on Friday at 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Stay tuned to J&D Racing's award winning website (www.JoeFuentesRacing.com) for day by day updates of the racing action from Gainesville.

-J&D Racing

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Series NHRA