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2002 Gatornationals Photo Review

All Text and Photos by Phil R. Elliott

The first thing I spotted as I entered the grounds was this Sox & Martin replica. I didn't look under the hood because it would have ruined the illusion.
On the way back to the motel following the Hall of Fame banquet, I spotted this little sweetheart -- a ‘64 Rambler Classic 4-door, with hood bump, rear spoiler, full cage, parachute, and 502ci BB Chevy! Even through six (!) mufflers, this sucker sounded potent. Owner Jimmy Lowry claimed mid-8s…
I wanna think that the whole Checker-Schucks-Kragen team would like to forget Gatornats qualifying. This incident with Johnny Gray – reportedly a loose oil line – started things, and the DNQ by Del Worsham ended things. Pretty crazy to think that Del, the most recent winner on the circuit, would DNQ here!
After disappointing early season attempts in Steve Schmidt's cars, Bob Glidden spent his Florida weekend in street clothes.
Several people have Emailed about the gold dust mentioned for Pro Stockers. During qualifying, a pair of guys rubs "rosin" into the bald spots after every pair of cars launch.
A few things in this photo… There is the new paint on Connie Kalitta's racecar, a retro look reminiscent of a couple of his FCs. Then there is the "cambot" arm that mounts the TV camera to get some of those up close and personal shots we've come to enjoy. How about that crowd? This is Saturday but all the days were great. Don Garlits' museum has premium ad space at Gainesville.
A scene inside Darrell Gwynn's pit early Thursday included 500 of John Force's pistons to be autographed and sold for charity. They covered four tables like this!
The huge crowds really responded to Pro Modified, which did its pre-gridding directly in front of the main grandstand. That's Tommy Gray's Undertaker at the head of the line.
Todd and Barry Paton showed with the #99 Camaro. They failed to break into the field but showed signs of just what these folk are capable. Look for big things from this eastern Canada entry.
Andrew Cowin made the TF field in 16th, bumping both Don Garlits and Chris Karamesines in the process. Please note that the word "Yankees" was noticeably absent in Florida.
The Creasy/Craftsman Firebird failed to make the top 16 with a best of 5.254/249, but is closing in on a competitive combo.
No argument -- the Miller Lite machine is the hottest car on the circuit. So far in 2002, Don Prudhomme, Dick LaHaie, and Larry Dixon Jr. have been enjoying Miller Time.
Among the most radical paint seen on two wheels is that on Joe DeSantis' Suzuki. He qualified 15th and lost to Angelle Savoie in R1.
John Nobile showed with new sponsorship on his New York-based previously just purple Cavalier. His 6.924/200 best gave him just 27th.
One of drag racing's favorite driver's ed teachers, Roy Hill, checked out the relative success of his alumni during Gainesville qualifying.

Flyin' Phil Elliott


Thanks for checking out the PhilZone portion of Draglist.com. If you have accolades, complaints, comments, questions, or if you want to share a story, please feel free to post it on the PhilZone Message Board. Phil

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