David Latino claimed his third and fourth National Event Wally at the AMALIE Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals in Gainesville, Florida.
GAINESVILLE- David Latino had a career day at the Gators. He not only won his third NHRA national event, but also his fourth just minutes later. David defeated NHRA Competition Eliminator World Champion Frank Aragona Jr. (Stock Eliminator) and Anthony Bertozzi (Super Stock).
David qualified in the No. 33 position after three rounds of qualifying. He took his C/SA stocker to -0.830 under his index, which turned out to be 10.570 on a 11.40 index.
In his first final round of the weekend, Latino left first with an .030 reaction time and was given the automatic victory after Aragona turned on the red bulb by -.023. David made the victory lap down the track running a 10.489 on a 10.51 dial-in to take home his first trophy of the weekend.
In earlier rounds, David took several red-light victories from opponents Rachelle Thibert, Larry DeForrest, and John Gray.
It was good friends Latino and Britt Cummings in the semifinals. With the starting line advantage, .020 to .038, Latino looked over his shoulder to run a 10.542 on a 10.51 dial-in. Cummings ran a 10.093 on a 10.07 dial-in, giving Latino the win by .009.
David qualified in the No. 27 position after three rounds of qualifying. He took his GT/GA Cobalt to -0.843 under his index, which turned out to be a 9.557 on a 10.40 index.
He took home his second Wally of the weekend after taking on well-know racer Anthony Bertozzi in the final round. Latino missed the tree but the stars aligned and Bertozzi left too early, turning on the red bulb by -.005.
Latino averaged an .019 reaction time through six elimination rounds and made it past big names like Robbie Draughon, Eddie Longhany, and Daniel Young to advance to the final round.
In round one and two, Latino had the starting line advantages that helped him advance on. The first round match up with Robbie Draughon and second round with Phillip Lankford were won by little hole shots in Latino’s favor.
In the third round, David and Eddie Longhany were just a coin flip apart on the tree both posting stellar .00x reaction times. Latino got to the stripe barely, by .005, to advance to round four.
The double-breakout win in the fourth round was given to Latino as he had the starting line advantage and killed enough to go closer to his dial over opponent Daniel Young.
To advance to his seventh National Event final round, Latino took out Brittany Boltz in the semifinals. He threw down an .021 package and her .030 reaction time was mathematically ineligible. This was Latino’s first double-up win of his career.
Congrats to David Latino and his family on their latest victories!
About the author: Megan Strassweg is a 22 year old Super Comp racer from Louisville, Kentucky. She races a 2015 American Dragster sponsored by Coolshirt Systems. She graduated from Western Kentucky University in May of 2020 with a degree in Photojournalism and a minor in Entrepreneurship. Megan works at Jim Butner Auto in the Finance Department. Growing up at the racetrack, drag racing is all she has known and never plans to give up on it.