Gainesville FL - Duane Shields, didn’t make it to the NHRA Gatornationals Winner's Circle this time but still had a good weekend by making it to the semi-finals before getting stopped by a loss of traction. “I’m disappointed. We were on a roll and thought we were heading for another final round appearance but it didn’t work out this time” Duane said.
Duane qualified the PEAK A/Fuel Dragster in the top half of the field with a scorching 5.22 at 274 MPH. His qualifying run was good for 4th in the final run order of the Top Alcohol Dragster class.
In round one, Duane easily disposed of Robin Samsel. Duane was on his game and won the round at both ends of the track as he beat Samsel off the line with an 0.053 to his 0.084. At the finish line it was Duane taking the win with a 5.29 at 271 MPH to Samsel’s valiant 5.34 at 264 MPH.
In round two, Duane faced off with Jordan Vandergriff. At the hit, Vandergriff got the stating line advantage but didn’t have the power to over come the PEAK Dragster as Duane made up for his slight starting line deficit instantly with a potent 5.23 at 276 MPH to Vandergriff’s slower 5.37 at 273 MPH.
In the semifinals, Duane raced Josh Hart. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the close race that everyone was expecting. Hart got the starting line advantage and never looked back as he scored the victory with a 5.27 at 273 MPH. Sadly for Duane, he immediately went up in smoke at the tap of the throttle and had to reluctantly conceded the race. “The weather warmed up and the track got a little tricky and we lost traction. Some of the cars that were running hard all weekend began to smoke the tires as well” Duane said.
The PEAK team will take a brief break after three races in a row and then return to action April 20-22 when they move on to Virginia Motorsports Park for a Lucas Oil Regional event. Duane would like to thank his great sponsors: PEAK Antifreeze and Motor Oil, Final Charge, Blue Def, NGK, GRP and Brad Anderson Enterprises for their continued support.
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