During Saturday night’s second qualifying round of the day, Funny Car driver Robert Hight suffered a spectacular explosion that destroyed the body of his AAA-sponsored Chevrolet Camaro.
The President of John Force Racing, Hight had a slight edge over Dave Richards in the other lane when the engine blew up at about three-quarters of the way down the 1,000 foot drag strip.
“This thing was marching along pretty good,” said Hight, who was uninjured. “It didn’t give me any indication anything was wrong.”
But there was something wrong prior to the run, as Hight initially struggled to get his car started.
Just before Hight would have been forced to abandon the run per NHRA rules because it wasn’t ready to race Richards, he was able to get it going and made the run.
Through the first three qualifying rounds (one on Friday and two on Saturday), Hight is sitting eighth. Richards, meanwhile, is 14th. There will be two more qualifying rounds on Sunday.
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Two-time defending NHRA Top Fuel champion Steve Torrence took the points lead Sunday in the AMALIE Motor Oil Gatornationals, beating his father, Billy, in the final round at Gainesville Raceway.
Torrence had a 3.809-second run at 322.11 mph to win for the third time this year and 39th overall. He is now on track for another championship despite missing the season opener.
“We’ve got some good momentum and to be in the points lead, it’s a testament to how hard these guys work,” Steve Torrence said after the NHRA Gainesville victory. “We’ve just got to stay focused and concentrate on what the task at hand is, and that’s trying to win a championship. These guys give me an unbelievable race car and you just try not to screw it up.”
Ron Capps won in Funny Car, Alex Laughlin in Pro Stock and Matt Smith in Pro Stock Motorcycle.
Capps raced to his second win this year and 66th overall, beating Tim Wilkerson with a 3.937 at 323.12 in a Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat.
Laughlin topped Aaron Stanfield with a 7.068 at 204.76 in a Chevrolet Camaro for his first win this season and fourth in his career. Smith rode to his first victory in 2020 and 25th overall, topping Andrew Hines with a 6.843 at 196.99 on an EBR.