NHRA Sportsman Classes at Gatornationals

NHRA Sportsman Classes at Gatornationals

Randy Meyer and Ulf Leanders raced to victory in Top Alcohol Dragster and Top Alcohol Funny Car at the Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals at Auto-Plus Raceway at Gainesville on March 15.

Meyer (above) scored this seventh national event win in the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series knocking out reigning Top Alcohol Dragster National Champion Chris Demke with a lap of 5.219 seconds at 277.37 mph. The pair left the line together but Meyer slowly pulled away beating Demke by a tenth of a second as Demke clocked in at 5.330, 276.24. Meyer also won here back in 2007.

“That was our first outing (of the season),” Meyer said. “We hadn’t even started the car since Reading last year. We didn’t do any testing or anything.”

Leanders, Niksjofors, Sweden, captured his first national event win in just his second final round as he took out the reigning national champion Steve Harker, Gainesville Ga. Leanders was out first and led the whole way posting a 5.541 second lap at 261.47 mph to Harker’s 5.626, 256.80.

Joining Leanders as a first time winner was William Clark, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, in Super Gas who went 10.321, 124.67 mph in his 2000 Firebird in beating Craig Porter, Silver Spring, Md., who left early with a red light foul start.

In Comp Eliminator it was former Super Stock Champion Joe Santangelo winning over another former champion in Al Ackerman. The two were even at the start with Santangelo, Marlborough, Conn., posting at 7.745 second run at 165.33 mph in his ’34 roadster to Ackerman’s 7.971, 169.42.

David Rampy and Kevin Helms both added wins to their impressive careers with Rampy taking his 87th and Helms his 22nd at the national event level. Rampy, Piedmont, Ala., ran down Mike Crutchfield, Montgomery, Ala., in Super Stock going 10.238 at 127.57 mph in his ’87 Camaro. Helms collected a nice .021-second final round package to down Jeff Adkinson, Damascus, Ga., in Stock Eliminator. Helms, Schriever, La., was .018 at the line with an 8.923 on his 8.92 dial in.