Shawn Langdon (Top Fuel), Cruz Pedregon (Funny Car), Chris McGaha (Pro Stock) and Matt Smith were the top qualifiers in Saturday's qualifying sessions for Sunday's NHRA Mello Yello Series Amalie Motor Oil Gatornationals at Auto-Plus Raceway in Gainesville, Fla.
Langdon's hot streak continued on this weekend as he collected his second no. 1 qualifier of the season with a 3.765 at 325.45 mph in Saturday's opening session to knock Tony Schumacher off the top spot.
Spencer Massey also beat out Schumacher, running 3.793, 329.02 to take second, while Schumacher held onto third with a time of 3.796, 323.43. Brittany Force (3.817, 318.09) and Steve Torrence (3.843, 320.81) rounded out the top five.
[adinserter name="GOOGLE AD"]Langdon's no. 1 qualifier was the 18th of his career and his second straight at the Gatornationals, although he's yet to record a victory in the event.
"We wanted to come out and make a strong run in that early session," said Langdon. “We knew it was going to heat up for the later session today. We really felt that was the run to go after. Luckily it held and it was basically what we were trying to run."
Saturday's opening session was marred by a terrifying crash when Larry Dixon's dragster broke apart and went airborne just before the start-finish line. The cockpit section of the broken machine came down hard on its wheels and then slammed into the outside retaining wall before coming to a stop.
Dixon was immediately attended to by the Safety Safari and walked to the ambulance under his own power. He was later treated and released by medical officials.
Dixon had his time disallowed after debris from his dragster took out the finish-line cones but still qualified 11th for Sunday's event. His Bob Vandergriff-owned team has a back-up car available but has opted to withdraw from the event.
In Funny Car, Pedregon earned his fourth-straight Gatornationals no.1 qualifier and bested his own track record with a qualifying pass of 4.022 seconds at 312.13 mph set on Friday that went untouched in both of Saturday's sessions to earn him his 58th-career pole.
Del Worsham was second at 4.057, 312.57, followed by John Force (4.068, 315.19), Tim Wilkerson (4.080, 312.64) and Jack Beckman (4.081, 309.56)
Pedregon's run was his best qualifying effort of the season and beat out the previous track record of 4.026 seconds he himself set in 2012.
"Conditions were very similar to when we ran Friday," said Pedregon. "We were trying to be steady today and not really try to improve the time. We figured if it was there, it was there."
Chris McGaha held onto the top spot on the Pro Stock division with a low ET of 6.507 at 212.73 mph from Friday's sessions to post his first no. 1 qualifier of the season and third of his career.
“The Number one position is good," McGaha said. “Those little points do get addicting after a while. You can make up a round here or there. I've still got to win a race, I can't lose focus here. It's one round at a time."
Jason Line was the only driver in the top five to improve his position on Saturday, moving from fifth to second after posting a 6.522, 213.13 in the opening session to knock points leader Rodger Brogdon (6.526, 213.10) down to third. Shane Gray (6.526, 212.93) and Greg Anderson (6.529, 213.03) rounded out the top five.
In Pro Stock Motorcycle, Matt Smith took to the track as the final qualifier of the day and raced to the no.1 qualifier position over Angelle Sampey with a pass of 6.867 seconds at 194.02 mph to pick up his third Gatornationals pole and 23rd of his career.
[adinserter name="GOOGLE AD"]Sampey, who held the provisional pole through the first three rounds, raced alongside Smith as the final qualifying pair and saw her chance for her first top qualifier since 2008 slip away by just .005 seconds, running 6.872, 194.74 to hold onto the second spot.
Eddie Krawiec (6.873, 195.48), Andrew Hines (6.877, 195.11) and Jim Underdahl (6.883, 196.76) made up the rest of the top five qualifiers.