Back to Back NHRA GatorNationals Final Round Appearances for Spradlin Motorsports
Gainesville, FL – This past weekend at the historic National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) GatorNationals, Casey Spradlin advanced to the final round for the second year in a row. Spradlin proves his driving versatility by performing the repeat in this year’s event in the Top Sportsman category to go along with his appearance in last year’s Top Dragster final round.
This was the season opening race for the Southeastern Hose sponsored team. The team opted to skip the traditional Lucas Oil Series “warm up” events that take place in the weeks leading up to the prestigious east coast opener for the NHRA Mello Yellow series.
“This year the GatorNationals was our season opening event so reaching the final this early is a great way to start out,” the Lucas Oil supported driver notes. “It really gets me excited about the rest of the season. We have six national events scheduled this season so reaching the final in the first event gives us confidence going into the rest of the season.”
Spradlin, in his unique supercharged ’37 Chevy Coupe, qualified in the 11th position, traveling the quarter mile racing surface in 6.78 seconds at over 208 MPH. A cold front that moved in the day before the event caused a schedule change resulting in the class only getting 2 qualifying sessions before eliminations. After a good first session, the second was almost disastrous. “After backing up from the burn out during Q2, I saw the oil pressure was 30 pounds. I initially wanted to abort the run but I decided to at least make a launch and see if it would climb as the RPMs went up. It didn’t move so I stepped off the throttle about 100 feet out past the starting line. My dad and I stayed up late checking and replacing the engine bearing. Luckily we found the oil pump strainer had clogged but that slick Lucas Oil Racing formula protected the crankshaft,” Spradlin describes.
With that issue resolved and without major damage to the Lunati crankshaft or the CP-Carillo connecting rods, Spradlin’s Ford’s Fuel Renegade Racing Fuel ignited by NGK Spark plugs burned through the early elimination rounds to meet up with former class national champion, Jeffrey Barker. Who was coming into his second final in just two weeks, as he won the previous weeks Lucas Oil Series event that took place at the Gainesville, FL facility as well.
Spradlin got the hole-shot off the starting line and the Hoosier Tires by Jody’s Trackside Tires kept him in the groove to take the finish line stripe. However, Spradlin’s second national event “Wally” would have to wait as he ran faster than his handicapped index resulting in the win going to Barker, who coincidentally also ran under his index but by less than Spradlin. “Even though we didn’t get the “Wally,” we had a great event opening event. My daughter had fun holding the gator and we enjoyed the music and the message at the Racer’s for Christ chapel service. I try to find the positives and making back to back GatorNationals finals is hard to be discouraged about,” declares Spradlin.
The Spradlin Motorsports team will again complete in the NHRA Southeast division Lucas Oil series events and also attend the Mello Yellow series events that take place within the Southeast division.
Spradlin Motorsports is grateful for the support of great marketing partners like Southeastern Hose, Lucas Oil, Smith Brothers Push Rods, NGK Spark Plugs, TCI Transmissions, DragRacingPro.com software, Lunati Crankshafts, Jet Hot Performance Coatings, Tim Gaines Performance, Hoosier Tires provided by Jody’s Trackside Tire Service, Ford’s Fuel Renegade Race Fuels, Isky Racing Cams Red Zone Lifters, CP Carrillo, and Manley Valves. For more information about the team please visit our website at spradlinmotorsports.com and also our facebook page at facebook.com/spradlinmotorsports.