Gainesville Raceway was finally able to see some action Saturday afternoon after days of rain and dropping temperatures.
Top Fuel, Funny Car and Pro Stock were all able to complete a round of qualifying while Pro Stock Motorcycle failed to complete a round before bitter and unseasonable cold hit the track.
Tripp Tatum earned his first career number one qualifying position while both Robert Hight and Aaron Stanfield kept there hot streaks alive.
“This is not even close to sinking in yet. It's just a whirlwind,” said Tatum. “We were just talking about slowing it down, just to get down the racetrack, conditions being as they are, and not really knowing the racetrack. And the Safety Safari, doing what they did, was just amazing. I mean, the racetrack ended up being far better than we thought it would be."
“As soon as I left the starting line, I'm like, ‘This thing's kind of running good,’ and it went right down there. This thing was trying to run pretty good at the end of last year, too, so the Capco team are very methodical about what they do and how they do it, just peck at it a little bit, learn, and then go from there.”
“Honestly, I wasn't expecting to be Number 1,” said Hight. “I talked to Jimmy before the run; he came back to the tow vehicle and told me the track was good out there, but he said, 'We backed this thing down, we just need to make a good run so that we have a solid baseline for tomorrow.’ When they told me it ran .83, and it shook really bad and almost didn't make it. I was surprised."
“Good job by the Auto Club team but really, who deserves an attaboy is the NHRA. If you'd seen that racetrack this morning, it was bald after all the rain that's fallen on this thing for the last three or four days, and to get this thing to where you could run a Funny Car 3.83 - Pretty amazing, so good job to them."
“Wow. It’s been a while since Pro Stock cars ran that fast,” said Stanfield. “We have great weather, but the track is a little tricky so I’m sure the crew chiefs were a little worried."
Due to dangerous temperatures and unsafe racing conditions, Pro Stock Motorcycle was unable to complete a round of qualifying and the field will be set by 2021 points.
Leah Pruett, Antron Brown & Shawn Langdon all missed the field in Top Fuel.
See the full recap by the NHRA National Dragster staff: