Scott Palmer comes within a whisper of his first final-round showing of the season

CHARLOTTE (April 28) -- After a problem-plagued two days of qualifying where he failed to get his Magic Dry Organic Absorbent Top Fuel dragster down the track under full power, Scott Palmer came to life when it mattered most, racing to a fifth-place finish at the 10th annual NGK Spark Plugs NHRA Four-Wide Nationals.

 Coming from the No. 10 qualifying position after mustering only a best of 4.103 seconds at 273.05 mph during three rounds of time trials, Palmer upset heavyweights Antron Brown and Brittany Force to lead his quad of racers in the opening round of eliminations with a 3.782 at 325.61 mph. Good friend and teammate Dom Lagana also advanced from the group with a second-best 3.796 at 320.51 mph.

The semifinal round of eight wasn't quite as lucky for Palmer, who was forced to shut off a bit early, crossing with a 4.279 at 217.53 mph, which was bested by both stablemate Steve Torrence (3.777 at 324.05 mph) and Terry McMillen (3.828 at 316.75 mph). Combined with the other foursome, Palmer ended up just outside the top four who raced for the trophy in fifth place on the day. 

In similar fashion, fellow Magic Dry racer Shane Conway was also able to rack-up an elimination-round win this weekend in Top Alcohol Dragster action. After qualifying 13th with an off-pace 5.630 at 243.06 mph, mainly due to weather shortening qualifying to just two rounds, Conway got past a -.058-second, red-lighting Robin Samsel with his best run of the meet, a 5.376 at 267.96 mph.

Conway then gave it back a round later when he jumped the start by -.038 seconds against eventual event winner Julie Nataas, who blasted to a 5.281 at 270.64 mph.

"It was great to get the win over Samsel because he runs a lot of races every year, usually like 10-11 national events and 4-5 regionals, so that's a very experienced team," Conway said. 

"We had some struggles this weekend, especially coming from Houston and thinking we were finally on the other side of the learning curve. We basically struggled with ignition stuff right off the bat. The whole weekend was rough, not just on the track but in the pit too. But, in spite of the struggles, we still made it to second round. We'll go home and get set for the Chicago race. With the JEGS Allstars that weekend, all the top cars are going to be there.”

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