David Latino doubled up in Super Stock and Stock and reigning NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series world champions Ray Miller III in Super Comp and Sandy Wilkins Top Sportsman presented by Vortech Superchargers kicked off their title defenses with victories at the Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals.
Racing in the Mello Yello, E3 Pro Mod, Top Alcohol, and SAMTech.edu Factory Stock Showdown was postponed to a later date.
Latino claimed the first half of his double -– the 41st in NHRA national event history –- by scoring in Stock with his C/SA Corvette when reigning Comp eliminator world champion Frank Aragona Jr. red-lighted with a -.023 reaction time in the final round. [Video] A short time later, Latino wheeled his GT/GA Cobalt to victory in Super Stock, defeating red-lighting Anthony Bertozzi. It was Latino's first win in nearly five years. [Video]
Bertozzi was also on the losing end of the final round in Top Dragster presented by Vortech Superchargers where Ross Laris took the win, the third of his career, running 6.194 on his 6.19 dial after a .013 reaction time that forced Bertozzi into a 6.119 breakout on a 6.13 dial. [Video]
Miller took home the win in Super Comp, the eighth win of his NHRA career, after putting together a tight .012-second package that included a .007 reaction time and an 8.905 on the 8.90 index to defeat Ken Moses' 8.927. [Video]
Wilkins, who also won last year's Gatornationals, got his title defense off to a strong start by claiming the Top Sportsman Gatornationals victory with a holeshot-aided 6.741 on his 6.73 dial to defeat Ron Riegel's closer-but-later 6.962 on a 6.96 dial. [Video]
Brad Plourd was the winner in Comp with his supercharged AA/AM roadster, defeating Wes Leopold Jr. in the final with a (-.57) 6.34 to defeat Leopold’s (-.50) 7.95. It was Plourd's 21st career win and his second in Comp after his win at the 2017 U.S. Nationals. [Video]
Jonathan Anderson was the winner in Super Gas with a 9.910 on the 9.90 class index after opponent Greg Slack ran too quick and broke out with a 9.884. It was the fifth win of Anderson's career. [Video]