Gatornats Qualifying Story

GAINESVILLE, Fla. - SUMMIT FastNews - Clear skies and cool temperatures greeted racers returning to Gainesville Raceway today for the rain-delayed final qualifying rounds at the NHRA Mac Tools Gatornationals. Record performances...

GAINESVILLE, Fla. - SUMMIT FastNews - Clear skies and cool temperatures greeted racers returning to Gainesville Raceway today for the rain-delayed final qualifying rounds at the NHRA Mac Tools Gatornationals.

Record performances and career-bests were the order of the day for the professional categories. Fresno, California's Gary Scelzi led the Top Fuel Dragster field, running a 4.567 second elapsed time to eclipse the existing track record, while Texan Kenny Bernstein's 320.74mph from last weekend held up as the top speed.

In Funny Car, a resurgent Cruz Pedregon from Moorpark, California reset the national record with a stellar 4.873 second run in the final qualifying session, while Indy's Whit Bazemore's 312.39mph pass in today's earlier round was top speed of the class and a track record. The sixteen-car Funny Car field saw the top eight qualifiers with elapsed times all below five seconds.

The Pro Stock field was the quickest-ever, with Columbus, Ohio native Jeg Coughlin's 6.894 second elapsed time atop the leaderboard. Transplanted Georgian Warren Johnson took top speed honors with a national-record 201.11mph blast. It took a 6.958 second or better run to crack the sweet sixteen, leaving nineteen cars loading up and heading home tonight.

Matt Hines led the Pro Stock Bike field with a national record and quickest-in-history 7.245 second elapsed time. The Colorado-based rider also took top speed honors with his 185.60mph clocking on an earlier pass. Distaff racer Angelle Seeling was second in the field, while Stephanie Reaves came up short as first alternate in the quickest-ever field.

Final eliminations will begin tomorrow (Saturday) morning, when the event is scheduled for completion.

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Results provided by the FastNews Network, courtesy of Summit Racing Equipment ** http://www.summitracing.com/ **

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Matt Hines , Jeg Coughlin , Kenny Bernstein , Warren Johnson , Whit Bazemore , Gary Scelzi , Cruz Pedregon