The second stop on the 2021 Bongiovanni Racing tour took the team to the famed Gainesville Raceway in Gainesville, Florida for the NHRA Division 2 Lucas Oil Drag racing “Baby Gators.” Operating for over 50 years, Gainesville Raceway is one of the premiere tracks on the NHRA circuit, and this event typically draws top competitors from many divisions.
At this special event, which precedes the NHRA Gatornationals, Stock and Super Stock drivers have two chances to win; first in the heads-up Class competition, then in the main eliminator where up to 128 cars race until there is one champion per category.
Team driver Anthony Bongiovanni qualified strong for the Class competition, putting his Micro Strategies and Optima Batteries-backed Ford Performance Cobra Jet Mustang Stocker at the top of the class. He followed suit with his CJ Super Stocker, locking into the second slot.
“We qualified both cars in good position, with the Stocker running 8.76 and the Super Stocker running 8.70,” said Bongiovanni.
Bongiovanni won first round in both cars, and in second round he split, losing in the Stocker and winning in the Super Stocker. He then moved to the final in FSS/C Super Stock Class, where he faced the slightly quicker Michael Brand. When the green came on Bongiovanni produced a near-perfect .008 reaction time (Brand was .035) and that was enough for the Micro Strategies Cobra Jet to hold on for an 8.658 to 8.653 holeshot win. Amazingly, the margin of victory was just .002 of a second!
“Brand was a bit quicker then us in qualifying, so I needed to be sharp on the tree,” said Bongiovanni. “I was focused and we had the car tuned for the conditions. Fortunately, I was able to do my job. I had a solid reaction time and the Cobra Jet ran strong enough to hold on for a win.”
Moving into Sunday, Bongiovanni lost a close race to Jarrod Granier in round one of Stock, but he turned on win lights in the Super Stocker, lasting until the fourth round. “This was a good weekend. I enjoy racing at Gainesville Raceway and we came away with a Class win and points in Super Stock,” said Bongiovanni
“We’ve had good luck at this track, having won here in the past and we made a nice showing. I made a mistake in Stock that cost me a shot at the Class win, but we’re always learning so we’ll take the information and improve for the next race.”
Bongiovanni Racing will return to action in two weeks at the NMCA Muscle Car Mayhem event at Bradenton Motorsports Park, March 18-21.