Track conditions too rough after all-day rain
8:15 P.M. UPDATE: After five Top Fuel runs, conditions were determined to be too rough to continue, so the Southern Nationals will return to Atlanta Dragway at 10 A.M. Monday. No car made a clean run down the track, and Bob Vandergriff nearly flipped his car before crossing the center line. We'll have more tomorrow, but no more news from Atlanta tonight.
7:15 P.M. UPDATE: Top Fuel champ Shawn Langdon (in photo) beat rookie Richie Crampton in a messy first race, with both cars losing traction, causing officials to re-prep the rack before the second race. About eight hours late, there's racing at Atlanta. Results of all five classes later.
7 P.M. UPDATE: The Top Fuel class should begin eliminations in a few minutes. They plan two rounds of eliminations in Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock, Pro Stock Motorcycle, and Pro Modifieds -- in that order -- with the show ending about 10 p.m. THe rest of emiminations will be in Topeka next week except motorcycles, which don't race at Topeka. Their finals will likely be at Englishtown, N.J. We'll have the results later.
5:45 P.M. UPDATE: The plan is to try to start finals with Top Fuel at 7 p.m. If they get two rounds of eliminations in, they will finish eliminations in Topeka next week, and the show in Atlanta is over. If they get no eliminations in, or one round, they have to issue rain checks that will be honored by racing at Atlanta tomorrow.
5 P.M. UPDATE: Though it is still raining lightly, track drying has begun. Apparently the idea is to get one or two rounds of eliminations in tonight.
COMMERCE, Georgia -- Persistent rain, with little chance of immediate relief, is causing the NHRA to consider a couple of options at this particular time – which is just after 4 p.m. Sunday.
The four Pro categories have been ready to go, but with the rain and cool temperatures – the high 50s mostly – the track surface has not been dry enough to make a single pass today. The rain is likely to end in the evening, and at this point the NHRA is considering trying to run a couple of rounds of Pro classes today if it does, then move the finals to the site of next week’s race, Heartland Park in Topeka, Kansas.
The other option is to try and get the entire show in at Atlanta Monday. But with the teams having to go straight to Topeka, that could be a problem.
The series is still looking for the 100th win by a female driver, and the possibility was good it would happen here, with Alexis DeJoria in Funny Car and Erica Enders-Stevens in Pro Stock both at the top of the charts in qualifications. Doug Kalitta and Eddie Krawiec were fast qualifiers in the Top Fuel and Pro Stock Motorcycle classes, respectively.
Brittany Force (in photo) was sixth fastest in Top Fuel, and Courtney Force was eighth fastest in Funny Car. In Pro Stock Motorcycles, Angie Smith was 11th, and Katie Sullivan was 14th. More later if they race in Georgia – of if they don’t.