Recent IHRA event runner-up Lagana last competed at an NHRA event in Richmond in 2007 and hopes to run six Full Throttle events this season with his brother, 24-year-old Dom Lagana, as crew chief. During Sunday's pre-race ceremony, reigning NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle world champ Krawiec received his leather champion's jacket and a huge diamond-encrusted gold ring. [...] it's heavy enough to slow the bike down, Krawiec joked.
40th annual ACDelco NHRA Gatornationals, March 12-15, Gainesville Racing at the Gatornationals is always unpredictable, and there was at least one surprise semifinalist in each Pro class: Top Fuel’s Bobby Lagana Jr. (right) beat Spencer Massey and points leader Antron Brown, Matt Hagan (above) reached his first Funny Car semifinal by beating Robert Hight and Ashley Force Hood, Rickie Jones (above right) upset low qualifier Mike Edwards in round two of Pro Stock, and Shawn Gann (left) reached the Pro Stock Motorcycle final four for the first time since the 2005 Memphis event. “We figured it would be easier to qualify the NOTEBOOK Top Fuel Recent IHRA event runner-up Lagana last competed dragster than the Funny Car out here,” said IHRA Funny Car champ Terry Haddock before the first qualifying session Saturday. “We blew it up in the first session, but if we run good in the first round today, we’ll bring out the Funny Car with Jack Wyatt Though he has at an NHRA event in Richmond in 2007 and hopes driving.” amassed 30 national to run six Full Throttle events this season with his Unfortunately for event wins in 18 brother, 24-year-old Dom Lagana, as crew chief. “It Haddock — and years of competition, was an unbelievable weekend and a good showing Wyatt — it wasn’t runner-up Cory for [sponsor] Tire Kingdom; I hope they want to meant to be; McClenathan has yet come back for more. It was a pleasure to be back Haddock had to score in here racing NHRA and competing against these trouble in the final Gainesville. “This is guys. I couldn’t ask for a better weekend.” two sessions and one that’s eluded missed the field. me,” said A second consecutive first-round loss left gregarious McClenathan. “I knew Clay Millican eager to race again. “The car got Fans were surely thrilled to be in the presence of that when the Al-Anabi team got it figured out quicker on every run, but we weren’t able to fix the Chicago resident Chris “the Golden Greek” they’d be tough to beat, and we were glad to be in problem of getting the car to leave the starting line Karamesines, now in his sixth decade of nitro the final and have a shot. I’m not done yet. I’ll harder,” said Millican, who didn’t get down the racing. Though he missed the field, Karamesines come back next year and try again.” track during the first two qualifying sessions. “It and his crew feel runs so well from half-track to the finish line. Now, confident that Antron Brown made his Pro debut in Gainesville we just need to get it moving earlier.” they are on the aboard a two-wheel machine in 1998 and entered way to working this year’s event as the Top Fuel points leader, fresh Brandon Bernstein, whose father, Kenny, eclipsed the out the bugs in a off his Phoenix victory. Brown drove the Brian 300-mph barrier in Gainesville 17 years ago, honored car that is new Corradi/Mark Oswald-tuned Matco Tools rail to a the family name with a class-best 312-mph effort in this year. quarterfinal finish, where he suffered a bad case of qualifying and bettered it to keep top speed of the Karamesines, tire shake and was upset by Bobby Lagana Jr. meet with a 315 blast in round two of eliminations. whose first NHRA 4 Gatornationals Pro Stock victories for KB Racing in the last six years 22 ✦ National DRAGSTER 4 drivers (Cory Mac, Bob Tasca III, Allen Johnson, Hector Arana) who made their first Gatornationals final-round appearances 7 finals at this event for Larry Dixon in 15 Top Fuel seasons 11 runner-ups in 21 Pro Stock Motorcycle finals for Matt Smith Top Fuel event was in 1963, last Before competed in Gainesville in 2007. arriving in Gainesville, Terry McMillen brought out his gator- Jeff Arend themed Amalie Oil/Wolverine Boots and the & Apparel Top Fuel dragster to Kalitta compete in his first NHRA event of team the season with Doug Kuch turning decided to the wrenches. “We hope to run 11 burn one events this year,” said former Top of just four testing days available Alcohol Funny Car racer McMillen, during the 2009 season and headed who made the Top Fuel field twice to Palm Beach Int’l Raceway to try last season but is yet to gain a out an new combination for their
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