When one thinks of the annual NHRA Gatornationals in Gainesville, Florida, with the exception of Kenny Bernstein and his record-shattering 301 MPH blast back in 1992, the first racer that likely comes to mind is native son Darrell Gwynn. Darrell called Miami, Florida home, and as such, the venerable Gainesville facility was home to him as well. And in 1990, just weeks before the untimely crash in Santa Pod, England, it was Gainesville where he recorded his final win as a driver.
Piloting his familiar gold and white Coors Extra Gold dragster, the 28-year old Gwynn lined up alongside veteran Eddie Hill and “Nuclear Banana” under the lights for all the marbles. The pair blasted down the quarter mile and into the late evening darkness, with Gwynn crossing the finish line just a car length ahead of Hill, recording a 5.011 for his second Gators in in a row. The some 80,000 fans in attendance brought down the house for their local hero. Said Gwynn in a Sports Illustrated interview on his trip to victory lane that day: “When I got out of the van, they jumped to their feet and the place went wild,” Gwynn says. “I almost fell down, it felt so good.”