Romine Uninjured in Qualification Incident at Gatornats

GAINESVILLE, FL -- CARQUEST Top Fuel driver Paul Romine, 50, of Indianapolis, was uninjured in a Friday first session qualifying attempt at the NHRA Mac Tools Gatornationals. Attempting a qualification run in the right lane, Romine’s ...

GAINESVILLE, FL -- CARQUEST Top Fuel driver Paul Romine, 50, of Indianapolis, was uninjured in a Friday first session qualifying attempt at the NHRA Mac Tools Gatornationals.

Attempting a qualification run in the right lane, Romine’s dragster did a wheelstand off the starting line. After Romine aborted the run, the front end crashed down, breaking the front end of the CARQUEST dragster. With no front steering, Romine was along for the ride as his dragster veered across his lane and hit the left retaining wall. The impacted bent the front half of the CARQUEST dragster beyond repair and Romine will be unable to make the last qualifying session.

“After struggling last weekend with some engine gremlins, we tested Tuesday in Bradenton (FL.),” said Romine, the 1997 IHRA Top Fuel World Champion. “At the test session we solved our engine problem and today’s problem was just the track was so good. When the front wheels came up, it was right there where I had to make a decision to stay in it or lift. It has carried the wheels like that before and usually they settle right down, but this time the track was so good, they weren’t coming down. When I aborted, it was too late and the front wheels collapsed. With a little more downforce or weight on the front engine we would have been all right because she was ready to run a number.”

Romine and the CARQUEST team will return to Indianapolis Sunday to begin repairs on their new McKinney chassis while they also freshen up their backup car in anticipation for an IHRA race in Bradenton, Florida in two weeks.

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Series NHRA
Drivers Paul Romine