GAINESVILLE, Fla. –The 43rd annual Tire Kingdom NHRA Gatornationals presented by NAPAFilters.com at Auto-Plus Raceway at Gainesville was postponed due to wet weather in the area Sunday afternoon. Eliminations will resume Monday, March 11, at 10 a.m. (EDT) at Auto-Plus Raceway. Television coverage of postponed eliminations will air Monday at 12:30 p.m. on ESPN2 HD.
Funny Car pilot Robert Hight drove his Auto Club of Southern California Ford Mustang all the way to the semifinal round before the weather delay began at 4:20 p.m. The Phoenix event winner was worried this would be a rough weekend but he managed to take out rookie Blake Alexander and Ron Capps en route to the semifinals.
“I thought the weekend was going to be really rough because I started off losing my luggage when I got here and now we’ve got rain but the plus side is that we’re running strong and I’m still in it so I’ll be here tomorrow,” Hight said. “I’ll be here for a couple more days if that’s what it takes but tomorrow looks good so hopefully we can finish this thing up tomorrow and I can put this Auto Club Mustang back in the winner’s circle.”
Hight will face Valvoline NextGen driver Jack Beckman when racing resumes while his John Force Racing teammate defending event champ Mike Neff will match up against Johnny Gray and his Service Central Dodge Charger.
No. 1 Top Fuel qualifier Morgan Lucas advanced out of the quarterfinal round with his GEICO/Lucas Oil dragster before weather delayed racing action and will face 2005 Gatornationals champion Doug Kalitta when racing resumes. Shawn Langdon, who is still searching for his first career victory in Top Fuel, will line up against four-time Gatornationals champ Tony Schumacher Monday.
The No. 1 qualifier in Pro Stock Motorcycle, Vance & Hines Scream Eagle Harley-Davidson rider Eddie Krawiec, will race Matt Smith while 2011 rookie of the year Lucas Oil rider Hector Arana Jr. will be paired up against Andrew Hines, Krawiec’s Harley-Davidson teammate.
Summit Racing driver Greg Anderson will be paired with Chris McGaha and 2009 world champ Mike Edwards will face Ronnie Humphreys.