Spencer Massey claimed his first Top Fuel win of the season Sunday during the 46th annual Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals at Auto-Plus Raceway at Gainesville.

Ron Capps (Funny Car), Greg Anderson (Pro Stock), and Karen Stoffer (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also were winners at the third of 24 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series events in the season.

sun33Massey piloted his Red Fuel dragster to a holeshot victory, winning with a performance of 3.882 seconds at 320.74 mph to defending world champ Tony Schumacher’s quicker but losing 3.873 at 313.29 in the U.S. Army dragster. It was Massey’s first win in Gainesville and 18th of his career. The victory moves Massey into a tie with Shirley Muldowney and Darrell Gwynn for 12th on the all-time wins list in Top Fuel.

“Tony has been running really strong,” said Massey, who moved to third in points with the win. “I know that he can step his game up and be deadly when he needs to on the starting line. We’ve got four new members on the team, and three of four haven’t won a race. Now they’ve won the Gators.”

It was Schumacher’s second consecutive final-round appearance of 2015; he earned a victory in Phoenix in late February. With the runner-up finish, he moved to third in points.

sun32In Funny Car, Capps drove his NAPA Auto Parts Dodge Charger R/T to a performance of 4.115 at 311.05 to take the victory over first-time finalist John Hale. The win was Capps’ first of the season, third at this event, and 44th of his career (43rd in Funny Car). The win tied him for second all-time on the Funny Car wins list. Following the victory, Capps moves to second in points behind Don Schumacher Racing teammate Matt Hagan.

“When you’ve got a race car like today, you almost wait for something to go wrong,” said Capps, who last won in Brainerd last season. “I’ve driven for almost 18 years, and I feel like I find myself driving the car as if I am driving something that’s just so far behind the other cars. I think that really helped me this weekend.”

Rookie driver Hale was appearing in his first career Funny Car final in only his sixth career start. Driving the ALO Drink Dodge Charger for Jim Dunn Racing, Hale defeated 16-time world champ John Force, Alexis DeJoria, and Blake Alexander to reach the finals. It was JDR’s first final-round appearance since Seattle 2008.

sun31Anderson claimed his milestone 75th career victory and first in Pro Stock since Englishtown in 2012, when he clocked a 6.538 at 213.43 to defeat teammate Jason Line in an all-Summit Racing Chevy Camaro final round. Anderson’s third Gatornationals win moves him to sixth in the points standings.

“It’s a special day and weekend,” said Anderson, a four-time Pro Stock world champ who had off-season heart surgery prior to the start of the 2014 season. “It was my birthday yesterday, so it’s pretty darn cool. A year ago I couldn’t even come to this race [due to the surgery]. It was a great day for Greg Anderson, KB Racing, and everyone involved with us.”

Line continued an impressive start to the 2015 season with his runner-up finish. He won the season-opening event in Pomona, and this final round result was his 40th career runner-up finish. Line, a two-time world champ, sits second in points.

In Pro Stock Motorcycle, Stoffer defeated three-time world champ Eddie Krawiec in the final with a 6.900 at 195.11 on her Suzuki Extended Protection Suzuki to claim her second victory at this event. Appearing in her first race since Indianapolis in 2013, Stoffer defeated Steve Johnson, Angie Smith, and Shawn Gann en route to the final. The win was Stoffer’s first since Denver in 2011 and her seventh overall.

sun30“We had a lot of heart and a lot of passion,” Stoffer said. “We don’t have a big budget, but we certainly have a big heart. We certainly tried to get some high performance out of it, and we were able to do it. The boys worked hard, worked till about midnight each night and gave us a good bike on Sunday.”

The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series heads to Charlotte for the 6th annual NHRA Four-Wide Nationals, March 27-29, at zMAX Dragway.

Bob Rahaim raced to victory Sunday in the NHRA J&A Service Pro Mod Drag Racing portion of the event. Pro Mod racing at Auto-Plus Raceway at Gainesville was co-presented by the Real Pro Mod Association and Jerry Bickel Race Cars Inc.

Rahaim powered his ’15 TLC Waste Disposal Corvette to a 5.957-second pass at 243.99 mph, defeating Pete Farber’s 8.965 at 107.26 in his ’69 Dodge Daytona in the final. It was Rahaim’s first career Pro Mod win and seventh career race in the category. Rahaim was the No. 9 qualifier and defeated Mike Castellana, No. 1 qualifier Don Walsh, and Troy Coughlin on the way to the final.

“We hadn’t even won a round of competition before yesterday,” Rahaim said. “First round of eliminations, we were fortunate enough to take that win. We didn’t beat ourselves. I guess the consistency of going down the track every time won this event for us.”

Farber entered eliminations as the No. 6 qualifier. He defeated Mike Knowles, Eric Latino, and Troy Coughlin Jr. on the way to the final. Farber has one career win in four career finals.

Updated 3/15/2015 (Following the third of 24 events; Season victories in parentheses) 
Place Driver Points
1. Shawn Langdon, Indianapolis, Knuckle Sandwich/AJPE dragster (1) 281
2. Tony Schumacher, Austin, Texas, U.S. Army dragster (1) 268
3. Spencer Massey, Fort Worth, Texas, Red Fuel/Sandvik dragster (1) 250
4. Antron Brown, Indianapolis, Matco Tools dragster 241
5. Doug Kalitta, Ypsilanti, Mich., Mac Tools dragster 184
6. Richie Crampton, Indianapolis, GEICO/Lucas Oil dragster 159
7t. Larry Dixon, Indianapolis, C&J Energy Services dragster 140
7t. Brittany Force, Yorba Linda, Calif., JFR dragster 140
9. J.R. Todd, Indianapolis, Red Line/Kalitta Air dragster 139
10. Steve Torrence, Kilgore, Texas, Capco Contactors dragster 121
1. Matt Hagan, Christiansburg, Va., Mopar Express/Rocky Boots Dodge Charger (2) 267
2. Ron Capps, Carlsbad, Calif., NAPA Auto Parts Dodge Charger (1) 241
3. Del Worsham, Villa Park, Calif., DHL Toyota Camry 213
4. Robert Hight, Yorba Linda, Calif., Auto Club Chevrolet Camaro 177
5. John Hale, Addison, Texas, USD Dodge Charger 173
6. Tommy Johnson Jr., Avon, Ind., Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger 172
7. Alexis DeJoria, Austin, Texas, Patron XO Cafe Incendio Toyota Camry 162
8t. Courtney Force, Yorba Linda, Calif., Traxxas Chevy Camaro 157
8t. Cruz Pedregon, Brownsburg, Ind., Snap-on Tools Toyota Camry 157
10. Tim Wilkerson, Springfield, Ill., Levi, Ray & Shoup Ford Mustang 145
1. Rodger Brogdon, Tomball, Texas, RoofTec Chevy Camaro (1) 284
2. Jason Line, Mooresville, N.C., Summit Racing Equipment Chevy Camaro (1) 277
3. Drew Skillman, Bargersville, Ind., Ray Skillman Chevy Chevy Camaro 229
4. Chris McGaha, Odessa, Texas, Harlow Sammons of Odessa Chevy Camaro 220
5. Erica Enders-Stevens, New Orleans, Elite Motorsports Chevy Camaro 217
6. Greg Anderson, Mooresville, N.C., Summit Racing Equipment Chevy Camaro (1) 203
7. Shane Gray, Mooresville, N.C., Gray Manufacturing Chevy Camaro 166
8. Allen Johnson, Greeneville, Tenn., Team Mopar Dodge Dart 142
9. Larry Morgan, Newark, Ohio, FireAde Chevy Camaro 121
10. Vincent Nobile, Dix Hills, N.Y., Mountain View Tire Chevy Camaro 119
PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE (following the first of 16 events)
1. Karen Stoffer, Gardnerville, Nev., Suzuki (1) 115
2. Eddie Krawiec, Brownsburg, Ind., Screamin’ Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson 98
3t. Shawn Gann, Stoneville, N.C., Pirana Z Racing Buell 72
3t. LE Tonglet, Metairie, La., Nitro Fish Suzuki 72
5. Angelle Sampey, Mathews, La., High Performance Lubricant Buell 66
6. Andrew Hines, Brownsburg, Ind., Screamin’ Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson 59
7. Hector Arana, Milltown, Ind., Lucas Oil Buell 54
8. Angie Smith, King, N.C., Kandy Racing Victory 51
9. Matt Smith, King, N.C., Nitro Fish Victory 43
10t. Steve Johnson, Birmingham, Ala., Build You Future Suzuki Suzuki 34
10t. Jim Underdahl, Forest Lake, Minn., Bad Boy Buggies Suzuki 34


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