GAINESVILLE, FL – In the final results from Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals Nationals and the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, Chris Demke, Valencia, Calif., and Sean Bellemeur, Placentia, Calif., took home the wins in Top Alcohol Dragster and Top Alcohol Funny Car respectively.
Demke, worked his way through the field and ran 5.305 seconds at 273.33 mph in his final round victory over Josh Hart, Ocala, Fla., who clocked in at 5.313 seconds at 270.70 mph.
Bellemeur faced off against Annie Whiteley, Grand Junction, Colo., and posted a winning run of 5.460 seconds at 268.28 mph in his Chevy Camaro. Whiteley drove to a 5.483 second, 270.43 mph lap for her runner-up finish.
BAYTOWN, TX – Royal Purple Raceway will host the second NHRA South Central Division race of the 2018 season on March 23-25 with the NHRA Texas Sportsman Challenge. The event is one of 44 scheduled across the country where drivers earn points leading to divisional and national championships as well as a chance at a share of the year-end purse of more than $519,000. Categories include Comp Eliminator, Super Stock, Stock Eliminator, Super Comp, Super Gas, and Super Street. The NHRA Sportsman Motorcycle Series will run in conjunction with the event along with the Division’s SDPC Raceshop Top Sportsman and Top Dragster classes.
Gates at Royal Purple Raceway open at 7 a.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Qualifying and time trials start at 9 a.m. Friday and Saturday with round 1 to follow in some classes. Eliminations will continue Sunday at 9a.m.
Tickets for Royal Purple Raceway are $20 Friday, $20 Saturday and $20 Sunday. Children 12 years old and under are admitted free with a paid adult.
For more information call Royal Purple Raceway, (281) 383-7223, or visit www.RoyalPurpleRaceway.com.
All the Stars and All the Cars of both NMRA & NMCA!
With the first race of the young season now in the books, the NMRA and NMCA move to Commerce, Georgia’s Atlanta Dragway for the 10th Annual NMRA NMCA All-Star Nationals presented by MAHLE Motorsport on April 5-8.
This second event of the season for both organizations combines the power of the Keystone Automotive All Ford Drag Racing Series with the NMCA Muscle Car Nationals presented by E3 Spark Plugs to create one of the largest heads-up races of the year – featuring the nation’s quickest and fastest doorslammers at the same venue.
The uniqueness of this event is obvious as racers from the NMCA and NMRA share the stage at Atlanta Dragway, offering fans a chance to see more than a dozen heads- up classes do battle in both the eighth and quarter-mile distances.
Last year’s race saw some of the wildest action of the season highlighted by huge numbers up on the scoreboards from both NMRA and NMCA racers.
Gainesville, FL – Jack Beckman capped off an amazing weekend for Mopar Dodge//SRT drivers by racing from the pole to defeat teammate Matt Hagan and take the victory in an all-Mopar Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car final round at the 49th Annual NHRA Gatornationals.
Beckman’s victory was the second for a Mopar Dodge//SRT driver this year, as well as the second from the No. 1 spot. Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) Mopar Dodge Funny Car pilots also claimed three of four spots in the semifinals, and own the top two spots in the Funny Car standings, as well as three of the top four positions.
En route to his 27th career win and his first at historic Gainesville Raceway, Beckman got down the track to make eight solid runs in his Infinite Hero Dodge Charger R/T during qualifying and eliminations, including a 3.911-second elapsed time to claim the No. 1 spot.
He kicked off eliminations by leaving first and leading all the way against fellow Dodge driver and No. 16 qualifier Jim Campbell. In round two, Beckman’s 3.973-second run at 318.54 mph helped him quickly overcome a slight starting line advantage by opponent Del Worsham. Beckman was slower in the semfiinals but his 4.478-second pass was enough to hold off Shawn Landon, who smoked the tires.
Jack Beckman Wins the NHRA Gatornationals
GAINESVILLE, FL – Jack Beckman got to cross an item off of his bucket list on Sunday afternoon – winning the NHRA Gatornationals. Entering the weekend, the drag racing veteran had 26 Funny Car event wins to his credit, but none of them were from historic Gainesville Raceway.
After making four solid qualifying runs, and setting off four win lights on Sunday, Beckman can officially add ‘winning the Gatornationals’ to his impressive resume.
“The Gatornationals came on the schedule in 1970 when NHRA went from four races to seven. That was the super season, the first year they crowned a Funny Car champion. 1970 was a big year for our sport, and [the Gatornationals have] been at this track ever since then, and I’ve never gotten close. It was such a bucket list thing,” said Beckman, who started race day from the No. 1 spot, making him the third consecutive Funny Car driver to win from the top seed.
GAINESVILLE, FL — Robert Hight and Courtney Force took John Force Racing into the quarterfinals Sunday at the 49th annual Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals. Brittany Force and John Force made clean passes but had first round exits at Gainesville Raceway.
Hight went out in the second round in spectacular fashion as both he and his opponent, Matt Hagan, blew the bodies off of their Funny Cars. Hight’s Auto Club of Southern California Chevrolet Camaro SS crossed the finish line with a 4.067-seconds at 265.53 mph following behind Hagan’s 4.027 at 291.26.
“I felt the car nose over just a taste and my initial thought was it was starting to slip a little. The track is hot and it is a little greasy out there,” explained Hight. “I couldn’t see Hagan over there and it wasn’t like it was hazing the tires or anything else. As it turns out the tires weren’t spinning at all.”
When Hight returned to the pit area and began evaluating with crew chief Jimmy Prock, it became clear his Auto Club Chevrolet Camaro was immediately wounded as it neared the finish line and an internal chain reaction led to a dramatic explosion as Hight was pulling away.
GAINESVILLE, FL – Toyota driver Richie Crampton defeated Shawn Reed to win Sunday’s Amalie Oil NHRA Gatornationals at the Gainesville Raceway. The victory is the eighth career Top Fuel win for Crampton and his first with Kalitta Motorsports.
Crampton knocked off teammate Doug Kalitta on a hole-shot in round one and then eliminated Mike Salinas in round two to set up a semi-final match-up with fellow Toyota driver Antron Brown. Both cars would smoke the tires in changing conditions that saw track temperatures rise by almost 40 degrees during the day, but it was Crampton that would come away with the victory. He then won an anti-climactic final where he would run a solo after Reed’s car broke on the starting line as the Kalitta Air Toyota driver registered the top pass over the final two rounds with a 3.854-second run.
“It was a great day for Connie and everyone with this Kalitta Air team,” said the victorious Crampton. “We had a lot of great help from Slugger (Labbe) and the TRD team trying to figure out this hot race track. We had it dialed in for the final run. The 3.85 was a heck of a run, but it was unfortunate that Shawn wasn’t able to make a pass. You hate to take a win by default like that, but I’ll take it. It feels good to win again. It wasn’t all that long ago that I was sitting on the sidelines, reminiscing about when I used to drive a Top Fuel car. So to be back in a car for Connie, Kalitta Air, DHL, Toyota and everyone, I’m just really lucky. I’m just working hard to try to make sure I deserve to drive for this team. It’s going to be a good year.”