Sandy Wilkins visited the winners circle at the Amalie Oil NHRA Gatornationals for the second year in a row after winning Top Sportsman.
GAINESVILLE- Sandy Wilkins took home the trophy after his Top Sportsman victory at the Amalie Oil NHRA Gatornationals. Wilkins drove through a tough field to earn his fourth National Event Wally on the big stage. This was his second year in a row winning the event.
Wilkins sky-rocketed to the No. 1 position in qualifying with a 6.436 at 214.25mph.
Sandy kicked off his run to the trophy with an easy first round bye. Since he was No. 1 qualifier, he earned the first-round bye on the ladder to advance to round two.
In the second round of eliminations, Wilkins lined up with previous world champion Ronnie Proctor. Sandy threw down an .010 package for Proctor to work with, but with his .020 reaction time he was mathematically ineligible.
Wilkins was given the easy third round win after opponent Michael Koebel Jr. missed the tree. Sandy was .011 and ran a 6.809 on a 6.72 dial to advance to the next round.
Wilkins and Jackie Robison squared up in the semifinal round. In Wilkins’ favor, Robison flinched and turned on the red bulb by -.092. Sandy was .016 and ran a 6.747 to advance to his eighth National Event final round.
Ron Riegel lined up with Wilkins in the final round. Riegel made it past multiple tough opponents, like Jeff Brooks, John Taylor, and David Tatum, to advance to the final round.
Wilkins had the starting line advantage, .047 to .077, and ran one above his dial-in to collect the trophy. Even though Riegel ran dead on his dial in, his late reaction time cost him the trophy.
Sandy collected his fourth NHRA National Event Wally and his second in a row at the Gators.
Congrats to Sandy and his family on their latest victory!
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.