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Langdon, Neff Lead Fuel Fields At Gatornationals

Info Manager | , RacinToday.com Friday, March 9 2012

Shawn Langdon on top in Florida. (File photo courtesy of the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series)

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Mike Neff put his Castrol GTX Ford Mustang to the Funny Car qualifying lead at the 43rd annual Tire Kingdom NHRA Gatornationals presented by NAPAFilters.com at Auto-Plus Raceway at Gainesville.

Shawn Langdon (Top Fuel), Jason Line (Pro Stock) and Eddie Krawiec (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also lead their respective classes heading into Saturday.

Neff earned the provisional pole with a 4.080 second pass at 309.06 mph. If the defending event champ can remain on top after qualifying action Saturday it will be the fifth No. 1 of his career.

“The runs we made today will make tomorrow a whole lot easier,” said Neff. “We can concentrate on racing in conditions tomorrow that will be more like what we’re going to be racing in on Sunday.”

Reigning Pro Stock Motorcycle world champion Krawiec raced his Vance & Hines Screamin’ Eagle Harley-Davidson V-Rod to a 6.824 second pass at 196.93 mph at the season opening race for the two-wheel class to take the qualifying lead Friday. Krawiec has won the past two Gatornationals and if his time holds, it will be the 10th No. 1 of his career.

“I think this sort of sets the tone for the season,” Krawiec said. “You’re offseason is as good as the first run off the trailer and when you post a good time, all the hard work you did over the winter is worthwhile. We ran really well in testing and if we had cool air here, we could maybe have run 200 but it was a little hot and humid. Still, tomorrow should be better.”

Langdon powered his Al-Anabi Racing dragster to the No. 1 position Friday evening as the sun was setting over Auto-Plus Raceway. If Langdon holds on to the top spot it will be his second of the season and third of his career.

“The car is flyin’,” said Langdon. “The first run made me a little nervous because there was a lot of wheel speed and I over-drove it. I tried to under-steer it on this run, and I felt the clutch applying at midtrack. I felt that clunk when the clutch locked up and knew it was moving. I tried so hard to qualify No. 1 in my first three years and only did it once, and we’re starting our third race of the year with a No. 1 qualifier in Phoenix and a provisional No. 1 here. I’m very confident with this team.”

Line, the two-time Pro Stock world champ and three-time Gatornationals champion, raced his Summit Racing Pontiac GXP to the qualifying lead with a 6.545 second pass at 211.46 mph. If it holds it will be Line’s second No. 1 of the season and 26th of his career.

“This track is a great place for me,” Line said. “I’d love to make it four [wins] in a row and tie the record [held by Warren Johnson] being the low qualifier can’t hurt.”

Qualifying for the 43rd annual Tire Kingdom NHRA Gatornationals presented by NAPAFilters.com at Auto-Plus Raceway at Gainesville will continue Saturday at 11:30 a.m. (EST) with eliminations beginning on Sunday at 11 am.

Friday’s results after the first two of four rounds of qualifying for the 43rd annual Tire Kingdom NHRA Gatornationals presented by NAPAFilters.com at Auto-Plus Raceway at Gainesville, third of 23 events in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series. Qualifying will continue Saturday for Sunday’s final eliminations.

Top Fuel — 1. Shawn Langdon, 3.800 seconds, 322.65 mph; 2. Morgan Lucas, 3.825, 320.28; 3. Steve Torrence, 3.835, 320.20; 4. Tony Schumacher, 3.838, 320.36; 5. Hillary Will, 3.847, 312.50; 6. Brandon Bernstein, 3.850, 316.90; 7. Khalid alBalooshi, 3.855, 315.64; 8. Antron Brown, 3.861, 314.97; 9. Bob Vandergriff, 3.890, 318.69; 10. Clay Millican, 3.913, 302.14; 11. Dom Lagana, 3.935, 309.56; 12. Doug Kalitta, 3.938, 303.50. Not Qualified: 13. Terry McMillen, 3.959, 288.77; 14. T.J. Zizzo, 3.961, 307.86; 15. Keith Murt, 3.978, 257.97; 16. Cory McClenathan, 4.054, 290.82; 17. Ike Maier, 4.083, 242.80; 18. Chris Karamesines, 4.205, 277.49; 19. Pat Dakin, 4.856, 149.38; 20. David Grubnic, 5.543, 117.61; 21. Spencer Massey, 6.578, 86.03; 22. Brady Kalivoda, 8.365, 80.73.

Funny Car — 1. Mike Neff, Ford Mustang, 4.080, 309.06; 2. Robert Hight, Mustang, 4.082, 312.78; 3. Bob Tasca III, Mustang, 4.083, 309.06; 4. Jack Beckman, Dodge Charger, 4.102, 299.26; 5.Cruz Pedregon, Toyota Solara, 4.105, 311.77; 6. John Force, Mustang, 4.121, 299.80; 7. Ron Capps, Charger, 4.140, 287.11; 8. Matt Hagan, Charger, 4.142, 304.46; 9. Jeff Arend, Solara, 4.154, 305.08; 10. Johnny Gray, Charger, 4.170, 283.55; 11. Alexis DeJoria, Toyota Camary, 4.173, 302.35; 12. Courtney Force, Mustang, 4.188, 290.19. Not Qualified: 13. Tony Pedregon, 4.196, 291.51; 14. Bob Bode, 4.222, 292.39; 15. Jim Head, 4.279, 248.71; 16. Todd Lesenko, 4.726, 186.74; 17. Tim Wilkerson, 4.945, 167.55; 18. Dale Creasy Jr., 5.326, 145.93; 19. Blake Alexander, 7.081, 87.23.

Pro Stock — 1. Jason Line, Pontiac GXP, 6.545, 211.46; 2. Allen Johnson, Dodge Avenger, 6.545, 210.77; 3. Erica Enders, Chevy Cobalt, 6.555, 210.54; 4. Mike Edwards, GXP, 6.556, 210.87; 5. Greg Anderson, GXP, 6.571, 210.28; 6. Ron Krisher, GXP, 6.578, 210.64; 7. Larry Morgan, Ford Mustang, 6.578, 210.41; 8. Vincent Nobile, Avenger, 6.578, 210.31; 9. Rickie Jones, GXP, 6.596, 209.43; 10. Shane Gray, GXP, 6.597, 208.65; 11. Jeg Coughlin, Avenger, 6.598, 209.82; 12. Ronnie Humphrey, GXP, 6.599, 210.64. Not Qualified: 13. Rodger Brogdon, 6.599, 209.33; 14. Steve Kent, 6.604, 208.71; 15. Greg Stanfield, 6.610, 207.69; 16. V. Gaines, 6.626, 209.14; 17. Warren Johnson, 6.627, 208.65; 18. Chris McGaha, 6.639, 208.26; 19. Mark Martino, 6.639, 207.78; 20. Grace Howell, 6.649, 206.89; 21. Kurt Johnson, 6.654, 207.94; 22. Gary Gregory, 6.726, 206.26.

Pro Stock Motorcycle — 1. Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 6.824, 197.54; 2. Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 6.843, 195.14; 3. LE Tonglet, Suzuki, 6.894, 192.93; 4. Matt Smith, Buell, 6.927, 192.99; 5. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 6.939, 191.57; 6. Karen Stoffer, Suzuki, 6.969, 192.19; 7. Hector Arana, Buell, 7.004, 188.44; 8. Shawn Gann, Buell, 7.009, 190.89; 9. John Hall, Buell, 7.012, 188.89; 10. Hector Arana Jr, Buell, 7.025, 189.12; 11. Joey Gladstone, Buell, 7.035, 188.41; 12. Michael Ray, Buell, 7.035, 186.85. Not Qualified: 13. Scotty Pollacheck, 7.038, 185.54; 14. Jim Underdahl, 7.043, 190.00; 15. Michael Phillips, 7.044, 189.02; 16. James Surber, 7.096, 185.49; 17. Anne Hansen, 7.110, 187.47; 18. Redell Harris, 7.127, 186.64; 19. Wesley Wells, 7.150, 187.36; 20. Mike Berry, 7.246, 186.00; 21. Justin Finley, 7.658, 157.43; 22. Jerry Savoie, 8.289, 111.75; 23. Charles Sulivan, 16.949, 42.04.

Info Manager | , RacinToday.com Friday, March 9 2012
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