Dom Lagana concludes his year with career-best run, teammate Scott Palmer out early

CHARLOTTE (Oct. 14) — Dom Lagana used his last event of his part-time season to set a career-best top-speed mark in his Magic Dry Absorbent Top Fuel dragster. After running his best pass of the year in Round 1, Lagana topped out at 329.58 mph in a close quarterfinal loss to reigning world champion Brittany Force.

“I’m so proud of all of the guys,” Lagana said. “Everyone worked so hard this season. It’s a shame it’s the last race for us but we have something good to lick our chops about for next year.

“The Magic Dry car is great. Everything is in one piece. We had a good time and we are real excited for next year. I really can’t say enough about the crew guys. They have done great. We’ve got something to build on, data to look at, and the car is gonna be even more awesome in 2019.”

Across the pit, Lagana’s teammate Scott Palmer was eliminated early by Doug Kalitta, prompting the fan favorite to consider some extreme measures to improve his luck before the next national event.

“Maybe we need to sacrifice a goat before we get to Vegas,” Palmer offered.

Lagana opened race day with a huge 3.716 at 329.42 mph to eliminate Terry McMillen, who ran a 3.780 at 324.98 mph. McMillen entered this race coming off a runner-up result in Dallas. Lagana’s run was considerably better than the 3.762 at 324.59 mph he ran in qualifying eighth on the grid.

Although he had lane choice against Force and managed to earn a .013-second reaction-time advantage, Force’s group tuned her to a 3.702 at 328.54 mph, which helped her beat Lagana’s 3.730 at 329.58 mph.

“Both rounds we had tough opponents,” Lagana said. “Brittany is obviously the reigning champ and Terry’s car been running great. We went up in first round today with a plan from our best run yesterday and everything worked perfectly except we ran a little quicker than we wanted first round, but we will take that, obviously.

“Second round we slowed down a hair. We backed it down just a little bit because the track was a little warmer and it cost us, although we made another great run. We were right there but she got us. I wish we could keep running but it’s time to go back to crewing on Billy (Torrence’s) car for the last two races.”

Defending event champion Kalitta dialed up his best run of the event to quickly catch and pass Palmer in their first-round match-up. Palmer was super sharp at the starting line with a .046-second reaction time — the best of the entire Top Fuel session — but Kalitta made up his .015-second deficit by 100 feet and cruised away for the win, running a 3.718 at 329.42 mph ahead of Palmer’s 3.788 at
326.00 mph.

“We made a good run,” Palmer said. “We went up there trying to run a 3.73, 3.74 and if we had that would have made it close at the other end with the (reaction time posted) but it still would have been hard to beat Doug.

“If you think about it, Dom’s car ran great and he won his first-round race. He ran a 3.71 also but if he had the same light and E.T. he ran against Terry, he would have lost to (Kalitta) too. It was just a tough draw for us and we came up short. It was a good race and the car ran well, we just didn’t have enough.

“Unfortunately for us, this year our first rounds have mostly been really tough like that one. We’ve just had those kinds of draws. At this race, we would have been better off being 15th or 16th qualifier because the No. 1 and No. 2 cars didn’t make it down the track first round. It just proves there is a lot of luck involved in this game.”

The NHRA tour has a weekend off before returning to action with the 18th annual NHRA Toyota Nationals, which take place Oct. 25-28 at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

The CatSpot Top Fuel dragster piloted by Scott Palmer


Dom Lagana’s Magic Dry Absorbent Top Fuel dragster

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