Gainesville: Saturday summary

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Mark Pawuk recorded his third career No.1 qualifying effort Saturday at the Mac Tools NHRA Gatornationals, ending a streak of 183 races since he held Pro Stock's top qualifying position. John Force, Gary ...

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Mark Pawuk recorded his third career No.1 qualifying effort Saturday at the Mac Tools NHRA Gatornationals, ending a streak of 183 races since he held Pro Stock's top qualifying position. John Force, Gary Scelzi, Antron Brown and Randy Daniels will lead their respective pro categories into Sunday's 11 a.m. eliminations for the $2 million race, the third of 23 events in the $50 million NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series. Pawuk, whose last No. 1 came at the 1992 Winternationals in Pomona, Calif., drove his Summit Pontiac Grand Am to a Gainesville Raceway record run of 6.846 seconds at 200.68 mph to claim the top spot in the first NHRA Pro Stock field to feature runs over 200 mph from all 16 qualifiers. "We've been working hard on the first part of the racetrack and it's showing," said Pawuk, the '95 Gatornationals runner-up. "We don't have the most power out here -- we're not running a tremendous amount of speed -- but we're running very fast to the eighth-mile. We're making consistent runs. If I can continue to drive like I have at the first two races, then we may be able to go some rounds." Force posted his quickest run under the 90-percent nitro rules, logging a 4.812 at 316.08 in his Castrol GTX Ford Mustang to take the 101st No. 1 qualifying position of his career. Chuck Etchells anchored the quickest Funny Car field in NHRA history with a 4.960 second blast and will face Force in the first round. "We're running good numbers and the car isn't hurting itself," said Force, who will go for his seventh Gatornationals victory tomorrow. "We're just going to watch the conditions and maybe soften the hot rod up a little for the first round." Scelzi scored his 29th career No. 1, and first of the season in his Team Winston dragster as no one improved on his Friday-best of 4.576 at 322.58. Brown claimed his first career No. 1 qualifying effort by leading the quickest Pro Stock Motorcycle field in NHRA history. Brown clocked a track record 7.208 at 188.94 on a Suzuki and will face first round opponent Michael Phillips, whose 7.398 second effort anchors the quickest field. Defending Gatornationals winner Daniels posted a track record 7.431 at 181.30 in a Chevy S-10 to take the top spot in Pro Stock Truck for the fourth time in his career. Greg Stanfield qualified second with a 7.440-seconds at a national record speed of 182.08 mph.

-NHRA

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Series NHRA
Drivers Antron Brown , Mark Pawuk , John Force , Gary Scelzi , Randy Daniels , Chuck Etchells , Greg Stanfield , Michael Phillips