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· 2017 NHRA: Schumacher, J Force, S Gray And Krawiec Take Home Wally Trophies Sunday At Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals (Mar 19, 2017)
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· 2017 NHRA: Schumacher, J Force, Line And Savoie Earn No 1 Qualifying Positions Saturday At Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals (Mar 19, 2017)
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2017 NHRA: Goodyear, NHRA at Gators
Posted by: newsla on Mar 20, 2017 - 06:16 AM
2017 NHRA: Goodyear, NHRA at Gators

First it was coolish, then it was warmer. But all weekend long it was fast at the NHRA’s 48th Amalie Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway. Track records fell in elapsed time for both Top Fuel and Funny Car and the speed record was broken in Funny Car.

Drivers racing on Goodyear tires won in five categories at the Gators: Tony Schumacher (in Top Fuel), John Force (Funny Car) and Shane Gray (Pro Stock) won in the Mello Yello Drag Racing Series pro categories. Justin Ashley won in the Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series Top Alcohol Dragster category and Steven Whiteley won in the J&A Services Pro Mod Drag Racing Series.

Schumacher’s victory was his fifth in this event but his first since 2010. He was the top qualifier as well. He defeated teammate Antron Brown in the final round by a margin of .061 of a second. Schumacher set a track record for elapsed time in the category at 3.682 during qualifying.

“The final round was brutal,” Schumacher said. “Everything went right. Antron has had my number for a long time.”

Leah Pritchett leads the standings with 300 points after losing for the first time this season. Schumacher is next with 279.

Force beat rookie Jonnie Lindberg in the Funny Car final, the 2,500th career round win for Force. Lindberg was making his 11th pass in a Funny Car.

“These kids are taking over this sport,” the 67-year-old Force said. Then he added, “I showed you all this old man can still do it. I found the music.”

Force set a track record for elapsed time with a pass of 3.832 seconds. Courtney Force, John’s daughter, posted a stunning 333.49 mph speed during time trials, another track record for the family. Matt Hagan leads the Funny Car standings with 308 points. John Force is next with 238.

Gray’s victory was quite unexpected. In fact, he said, his car is a development plan for his son’s car. Tanner Gray, Shane’s son, lost in the second round.

“We use the car I’m driving for a test vehicle,” the Pro Stock winner said. “I wasn’t supposed to win. We had a lucky day today.”

Greg Anderson leads the Pro Stock points standings with 319 points. Jason Line is next with 281.

Goodyear employs about 66,000 people at manufacturing plants and facilities in 22 nations. Based in Akron, Ohio, Goodyear is among the largest tiremakers in the world and is the worldwide leader in race tire innovation.

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