Gainesville: Lump is prepared

GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Brian "Lump" Self, driver of the Lump Cylinder Heads Chevrolet S-10, will arrive in Gainesville, Fla. for the running of the 32nd Annual Mac Tools Gatornationals looking for vindication for a race that should have been ...

GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Brian "Lump" Self, driver of the Lump Cylinder Heads Chevrolet S-10, will arrive in Gainesville, Fla. for the running of the 32nd Annual Mac Tools Gatornationals looking for vindication for a race that should have been better.

"We didn't do very well at the Gators last year," said Self of Houston, Texas. "My track record in Gainesville is not very good, but we are looking to change that this year.

Last year a blown motor in qualifying forced Self to lease a motor from engine builder Steve Schmidt. The leased motor enabled Self to race on Sunday, but exited early in round 2 to eventual race winner Randy Daniels.

"Last year in Gainesville we didn't have such a good time. When we got here we blew a motor in qualifying. We had to rent a motor from Steve Schmidt so we could race on Sunday. Then we lost to Randy Daniels in Round 2. We should have been better than that. We just could never get going. That was a race I would just as soon forget.

"The good news is that I am excited to get to Gainesville this year. I think it is going to be a different race for us this year, different for both Jeff (team-mate Jeff Naiser) and I. The way that everything has come together since we got back to the shop after Pomona is really encouraging. If the dyno don't lie, I think Gainesville will be a good race for us. I think that if we don't screw up and step on our own toes, we should be pretty fast coming off the trailer.

"I like the racetrack in Gainesville for two reasons. First, it is at sea level, just like our home track here in Houston. We do so much testing here in Houston that we have a pretty good sea-level tune up. Knowing how to tune the truck to those conditions will hopefully give us a little bit of an advantage.

"Second, the lanes in Gainesville are pretty even. My mind set is a lot better knowing you can run good in either lane. That way we are not throwing away any runs. This class is tight. If you throw away even one run you could potentially end up going home on Saturday night instead of racing on Sunday. We would rather race on Sunday.

"We are anxious to get to Florida. We know what we need to do, and we know how to race this track. We have the barometer and horsepower in our favor this time. Now we just need to get Florida and get to work.

"We are working toward a different outcome at this year at the Gatornationals. Instead of leaving after Round 2 and driving home through a swamp, we want to get a look at some of that prime Florida real estate in the winner's circle."

Qualifying at the 32nd Annual Mac Tools Gatornationals begins on Friday March 16, and continues on Sat. March 17. Eliminations will take place at 11:00 AM EST on Sunday March 18.

-Patti Miles

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Series NHRA
Drivers Randy Daniels , Steve Schmidt