“We put three full laps on the board, and got better with each one of them,” said Arend. “We reset my career best speed for one thing, but the most important part of it was just how consistently well the car was running. We expected to do very well on Sunday, and I won’t deny the fact I really thought we had a good chance of winning the race.”
Arend pulled away from the tree by nearly 6-hundredths of a second. That lead evaporated before the 60-foot time, as Arend’s K&N/CSK car smoked the tires almost instantly.
“I will admit that I didn’t think it was a good thing to have Ashley Force in the first round,” said Arend. “She’s doing a great job driving that car, and it’s a very fast Funny Car. They’re doing great and they have all the resources of John Force Racing behind them. It truly was just a matter of time until she started reeling off wins, and I just wanted to make sure she got the first one off of someone else. It didn’t work out for us, but we’re leaving Florida with a good car and some more good runs under our belt.”
Arend will race the K&N car at the O’Reilly NHRA Spring Nationals at Houston Raceway Park March 30 through April 1. “The Houston race will be a big one for our entire team,” said Worsham Team Manger Bob Wilber. “We’re spending every hour we have available getting ready for it. The special-edition K&N car performed extremely well in Gainesville. We qualified 4th in a very strong field, and it was even in the No.1 spot for a bit before being bumped down to 4th by three of the strongest cars in the sport. That was our best qualifying effort of the year, and I think it shows that we’re on the right track and we’re getting better. Now, we need to take it to the next level and put both the K&N and the Checker, Schuck’s Kragen cars high up into the field in Houston. We hope to win some rounds there and hopefully the race. We know, with our K&N Oil Filters on the cars, that we can have confidence in our lubrication system, and that’s critical to success in this high-performance sport.”
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