Duane Shields Makes it to the Semifinals at Gainesville but was Looking for More

Discussion in 'Pit Buzz' started by Rich Bailey, Mar 18, 2019.

  1. Rich Bailey

    Rich Bailey Member

    Sep 10, 2018
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    Gainesville FL - Duane Shields, a three time Gatornationals Champion, looked like he was bound for another trip to the Winner's Circle at the 50th Annual Amalie NHRA Gatornationals. But out of the blue, his A/Fuel Dragster uncharacteristically lost traction in the semifinal round. "I'm taking this loss a bit harder than most. We wanted to win the 50th annual race more than any other event in the past two years but it wasn't meant to be" Duane said following the conclusion of the race.

    Duane qualified in the top half of the field with an impressive 5.20 at 275 MPH to land in the number 4 spot. In Saturday's opening round, Duane faced Jered Dreher. Duane had no trouble defeating Dreher by two tenths of a second as he scored a fine 5.23 at 274 MPH over Dreher's 5.46 at 260 MPH.

    In the quarterfinals, Duane was matched up with Tom Fox. This would be a much closer race than the opening round as both cars left the starting line close to the same time with Duane getting a slight edge with an .081 to Fox's .089. The PEAK Dragster never trailed and beat Fox by less than a car length with a 5.27 at 275 MPH to Fox's valiant 5.30 at 271 MPH to advance to the final four.

    The PEAK Team had to wait until Sunday for their semifinal match up against Mike Bucher who had qualified on the bump and thus far was having a hey day in eliminations. As the lights came down, Duane lost traction just as he hit the throttle and was forced to abandon the run. Meanwhile, Bucher was on a trouble free run and took the win with a 5.36. Duane was not happy with the results. "There was no reason for our car to have smoked the tires. We had the same set up in it from Saturday when we ran consistently in the 5.20's. We had a conservative tune up and the conditions were nearly the same. We felt really good going into Sunday believing we could win this race. It was just a different day" Duane said.

    The PEAK team will be off for several weeks before returning to action at the Four Wide NHRA Nationals, April 26-28. "With the next race being a month a way we will have time to analyze and evaluate why it lost traction" Duane said. Duane would like to thank PEAK Antifreeze and Motor Oil, Final Charge, Blue Def, NGK Spark Plugs, GRP Connecting Rods, Brad Anderson Enterprises, Hot Wheels Car Care Products, SRI and Clean Boost for their incredible support.

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