Gainesville: Saturday summary

Grubnic, Wilkerson, Anderson And Hines Top Qualifying At Mac Tools Gatornationals GAINESVILLE, Fla. - For the third time in his career and the second consecutive race, David Grubnic claimed the No. 1 qualifying spot in Top Fuel during the final...

Grubnic, Wilkerson, Anderson And Hines Top Qualifying At Mac Tools Gatornationals

GAINESVILLE, Fla. - For the third time in his career and the second consecutive race, David Grubnic claimed the No. 1 qualifying spot in Top Fuel during the final round of qualifying Saturday at the 35th annual Mac Tools NHRA Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway.

Tim Wilkerson, Greg Anderson and Andrew Hines also earned the No. 1 qualifying position in their respective categories at the $2 million race, the third of 23 events in the $50 million NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series.

Grubnic powered his Kalitta Air dragster down the quarter-mile track in 4.623 seconds at 311.74 mph to pace the 16-car order. The Australian couldn't help but give credit to the entire team.

"For some reason the car that I am driving seems to be sticking to the tracks well in the first couple of races," Grubnic said. "You're only as good as the guys you surround yourself with. If you surround yourself with quality people the results will come. If my guys have the opportunity, they will go after it. All the credit goes to them."

Wilkerson earned the seventh No. 1 qualifier of his career with a 4.906 run at 300 mph in his Levi, Ray & Shoup Chevy Monte Carlo to lead the Funny Car category.

The Monte Carlo body made its debut at the season-opener in Pomona, Calif. Wilkerson said the team is starting to get the setup information ready for the race day.

"That's a cool deal, getting the first (No. 1 qualifier) for the Monte Carlo," Wilkerson said. "We thump our chest pretty hard about being the only single-car team out here, so that's good for us to do that. But it keeps us hungry and keeps us happy.

"This Monte Carlo really seems like it's going to be good. Most of the time you get a new body and they're so slick and funny looking, and they're hard to drive. But this is really nice. You can see the tree good, and I think it's going to be good for everybody."

Anderson drove his Vegas General Construction Pontiac Grand Am to his 20th career No. 1 qualifying position and eighth consecutive top qualifier by setting the E.T. track record at 6.763 at 204.31. The record for consecutive No. 1 qualifiers is 23 set by 10-time NHRA Pro Stock champion Bob Glidden.

The top qualifier was more impressive given the fact that Anderson didn't make a pass during the first session on Friday. They had a mishap at the starting line and couldn't run the car.

"We struggled this weekend, missing that first run, and we did things we don't normally do," Anderson said. "We started changing too many things at once which really hasn't been our style. That one run just really messed us up. It just goes to show how important it is to make every run, and to make every run a good one to get that data. " I didn't expect to get the (No. 1 qualifying spot) on that last run because I figured it would be too hot. The car made a good run and we got the pole by a thousandth, and that's great, but the important part is that the car is that much closer to where it needs to be for (Sunday's eliminations)."

Hines earned the first No. 1 qualifying position in his career by turning in the quickest run by a Harley-Davidson. Hines went a track-record time of 7.097 at 189.43 on his Screamin' Eagle Vance & Hines Harley.

"It's great because we worked so hard in the offseason just to be competitive," Hines said. "We made new parts and found more horsepower and now we are out here to compete for a championship."

Final eliminations are set for 11 a.m. Sunday

-nhra -

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Greg Anderson , David Grubnic , Bob Glidden , Tim Wilkerson , Andrew Hines