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Rapisarda Autosport International’s 2018 NHRA U.S. Nationals campaign ended at the hands of Californian racer Mike Salinas in round one.

Newby running a 4.47/310 km/h to Salinas with a 4.22/402 km/h.

The duel between Salinas, the number one seed and Newby who qualified on the bump spot was an entertaining, crowd-pleasing affair.

Newby was first off the line with a superb reaction time of .058 sec, to lead Salinas and looked set to take the win until smoking the tyres near half-track and surrendering the lead. Newby's hopes appeared to be dashed until Salinas proceeded to smoke his tyres.

The race then turned into a top end pedalfest with Salinas recovering the best and hanging on to take the win.

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“That’s racing,” said team owner Santo Rapisarda.

"I'm not disappointed at all. You just never know what can happen with the hot weather conditions that teams faced today. Tony Schumacher one of the all-time greats and the current NHRA champion Brittany Force both lost in first round."

"The crew and my boys did well. We did six rounds over the meeting and didn’t damage many parts. I think it was only one head that needs to be repaired.”

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