Shane Tucker knows he has a mountain to climb as he pursues his first NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro Stock world championship. The 34-year-old driver from Australia is making his second appearance at the historic Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway. After two qualifying sessions Tucker and his Auzmet/StructGlass Chevrolet Camaro sit No. 15 on the strength of his 6.706 second, 205.57 mph pass. The speed was his fastest of 2019 and showed his tune up is headed in the right direction.
“Everything is new. We have new motors from Nick Ferre and we are just trying to find where they are happy,” said Tucker from his pit area at the end of the day. “We are also getting everyone to gel and work together. It was a mad thrash all week to get here. We missed a couple of days of testing so that cost us probably eight runs. We are making up time here at the race which is tough. We are running smart and trying to not hurt parts.”
“Looking at the data from the first session to the second session we think we can pick up the performance ever more in the third qualifying session. I think we can be there on Sunday and have a chance to run really well. It is just a case of getting everything caught up quick enough,” added Tucker.
The impact of potentially qualifying for the 50th annual Gatornationals is not lost on Tucker who grew up racing in Australia and has chased his dream in the U.S. as he built a successful architectural company in Dallas.
“I was here in 2014 and we just missed the field,” said Tucker. “It has been a while since we have been in Florida but the weather is beautiful. This weather is similar to Australia with the heat and humidity. The fans have been fantastic and this 50th anniversary is a big deal for everyone. I am looking forward to putting on a good show.”
In the first qualifying session Tucker powered his Auzmet/StructGlass Chevrolet Camaro to the provisional No. 14 position on the strength of his fastest pass of the year, 204.94 mph, at 6.817 seconds. Tucker was making his first run of the season with Nick Ferri power under his hood and as the team dissected the data they saw some promising results which they used to….
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NHRA ON TV
Sunday, March 17 7:30pm – 10:30pm ET FS1
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SHANE TUCKER, 34, Auzmet Architectural/StructGlass Chevrolet Camaro SS
Q1: 14th at 6.817 sec, 204.94 mph
Q2: 15th at 6.706 sec, 205.57 mph
Bonus Qualifying Points: 0
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Saturday, March 16
Qualifying noon and 3:30 p.m.
Sunday, March 17
Final Eliminations 11:00 a.m.
Tony Fay Public Relations