After a thrilling opening round at the Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals, NHRA has announced that the semifinals and final round of the inaugural event will now be completed at the Dodge Power Brokers NHRA U.S. Nationals.
Saturday-morning rain at Gainesville Raceway forced a late start to the day’s action and falling afternoon temperatures precluded the opportunity to run any more rounds.
The final two rounds will now take place at the U.S. Nationals, concurrent with qualifying.
When the $80,000-to-win race resumes, Brittany Force will be asked to choose her semifinal opponent from the other first-round winners: Steve Torrence, Mike Salinas, and Justin Ashley.
Force earned the right for the callout after she had low e.t. of the first round, pounding out a 3.684 at a slamming 337.75 mph – the third fastest speed in NHRA history – with her David Grubnic-tuned Monster Energy car, handily defeating tire-smoking Antron Brown.
World champ Torrence, the No. 1 seed in the Callout, clocked a 3.697 to defeat Leah Pruett, who ran into trouble on her run.
Doug Kalitta, a three-time winner in previous NHRA specialty events, pulled the trigger too soon against Ashley, red-lighting away a better 3.718 ahead of Ashley’s 3.722 in the Phillips Connect dragster.
Things didn’t go much better for Kalitta’s teammate, Shawn Langdon, whose CMR Roofing entry faltered on the burnout then backfired on the launch, giving Salinas’ 3.709 an easy pass to victory. Just before the round, Salinas unveiled a new Pep Boys livery on his Scrappers Racing dragster, then followed with a new track speed record pass of 332.10 mph, which was later shattered by Force.