Gainesville FL - Duane Shields in the PEAK A/Fuel Dragster improved over last week’s runner up finish to grab a big win at the NHRA Lucas Oil Regional event held one week prior to the Mac Tools NHRA Gatornationals contested at the same track. The win ends a long drought for one of drag racing’s more popular stars in the Top Alcohol Dragster category. “I hate to say how long it’s been since we won last, but it feels really good to get the win for my team and my sponsors" Duane said after the event.
Duane qualified 6th in a very competitive field with a 5.29 at 276 MPH. “It didn’t start out well, there were some delays so we only got two chances to qualify. We had to abort the first run so on the second run we had to concentrate on just getting into the show. It was a really tough field with seven cars in the 5.30’s or better” Duane said.
In round one, Duane took on Jackie Fricke fresh off her win over Duane last week in Belle Rose. At the hit, Duane got off the line first with a 0.063 to Fricke’s 0.073. Duane never trailed and took the stripe with a stout 5.23 at 276 MPH over Fricke’s competitive 5.34 at 270 MPH. “We stepped it up in the first round and kept the same tune up in the car the rest of the race” Duane explained.
In the semifinals, Duane raced Justin Ashley. As the cars left the starting line, Ashley had a great 0.021 light but that was it as he had problems and shut off early. Meanwhile, Duane kept his consistency going with a 5.24 at 275 MPH to win the round and go on to the finals for the second week in a row.
In the final round, Duane faced Jeff Veale who was also having a very consistent weekend. On paper, it looked to be a very tight race as both teams had similar performances throughout the day. As the lights came down, Veale made the most of it with an 0.017 reaction time to Duane’s decent 0.023. As predicted, it was a close race all the way to the finish line with Duane getting a well deserved win with a 5.27 at 274 MPH to Veale’s close 5.34 at 280 MPH. "It was a good race and there was a lot of maintenance after every round. Dana, Josh and Jason worked really hard to be sure we were ready for each round all weekend” Duane said.
The PEAK team will be looking forward to the Gatornationals coming up later this week. "Between the win today and the runner up finish last week we have a lot of momentum going into the Gators" Duane pointed out. The PEAK Race team would like to thank their sponsors PEAK Antifreeze and Motor Oil, Final Charge, Blue Def, NGK, GRP and Brad Anderson Enterprises for their continued support.
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