Morgan Lucas - Anne Proffit photoEnlarge Photo
Morgan Lucas, who set a track record on Saturday with his No. 1 qualifier, turned in the second-quickest 1,000-foot Top Fuel pass in NHRA history - 3.743 seconds at 326.87-mph - as he defeated seven-time champion Tony Schumacher, now 0-9 in final round appearances dating back to October of 2010.
With his second final round appearance of the year, though, Schumacher took over the series point lead, 14 ahead of Lucas.
In taking his fifth career victory, Lucas defeated Brady Kalivoda and Spencer Massey on Sunday, and dispensed with Doug Kalitta in the semifinals.
"I'm just having so much fun right now, I can't imagine wanting to do anything else," Lucas said. "This team has had its ups and downs over the past few years, but I honestly love where we are now. We have great chemistry with [crew chiefs] Aaron Brooks and Rob Centorbi. Aaron's not afraid to be aggressive and I'm not sure I ever had that before."
Robert Hight - Anne Proffit photoEnlarge Photo
Both lost traction early and had a tire-smoking battle to the lights. Hight made it first at 4.866 at 236.05 with Gray a second and a half behind.
"I didn't expect that at all," Hight said of the pedal-fest. "[Crew chief] Jimmy Prock said he was going to back it off because the track was warming up, and from what I felt we backed it off too much and it was weak and shook. It shook and I had to pedal it," he confirmed. "Sometimes as a driver you want to be perfect and you want your car to be flawless, but sometimes as a driver, it's cool to win a race like that."
Mike Edwards - Anne Proffit photoEnlarge Photo
"You have to go for it when you are in the finals," Edwards said, "especially running Greg and those guys." While this was 2009 Pro Stock champion Edwards' 34th victory in the class, it was his first at the legendary Gatornationals. "I'm pretty tickled about getting my first win here," he said.
The newly renamed Auto-Plus Raceway at Gainesville, FL put on an all-Harley-Davidson final round in Pro Stock Motorcycle's first event of the season, won by reigning titleholder Eddie Krawiec, who defeated teammate Andrew Hines to take his third straight Gatornationals victory. Although he got close to the 200-mph mark in Sunday's quarterfinals, the warmer temps on Monday held Krawiec back from achieving the mark. "Unfortunately, there was no 200-mph run. If I had done that, I could have retired. I guess I was not meant to retire,” he said.
Eddie Krawiec - Anne Proffit photoEnlarge Photo
"I'd say this is a great way to start a championship defense," he said after posting 6.822 at 194.94 in defeating Hines' 6.861 at 194.55. "I had a great bike from the time we rolled it off the truck. We had low E.T. of every round except one. It was also a great way to roll out our new redesigned bikes which are based on the 2012 Harley Night Rods.
The Series returns to Las Vegas in two weeks with the SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. This race will focus on the Top Fuel, Funny Car and Pro Stock racers only.