HART, TODD, ANDERSON AND M. SMITH PICK UP WINS AT AMALIE MOTOR OIL NHRA GATORNATIONALS TO OPEN 2021 NHRA CAMPING WORLD DRAG RACING SERIES SEASON
GAINESVILLE, FL – Rookie Josh Hart won in his Top Fuel debut on Sunday, powering to the victory at the season-opening 52nd annual AMALIE Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway in his first career NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series start.
J.R. Todd (Funny Car), Greg Anderson (Pro Stock) and Matt Smith (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also won in their respective categories at the first race of the 2021 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season.
Hart, an Ocala, Fla. native, became the first driver to win in their first NHRA start since the late Darrell Russell did it 20 years ago to open the 2001 season, going 3.826-seconds at 323.66 mph in his 11,000-horsepower Burnyzz/Technet dragster to beat Shawn Langdon in the final round. Hart reached the final round thanks to victories against Clay Millican, three-time defending world champ Steve Torrence and Justin Ashley, staying in the low 3.80s in the second and third rounds. He was spectacular on the starting line in the final round and cruised to the historic win at his home track to become the 110th driver to win in Top Fuel.
GAINESVILLE, FL – Steve Torrence maintained his top spot in Top Fuel on Saturday, as the three-time defending NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series world champ qualified No. 1 at the season-opening 52nd annual AMALIE Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway.
Ron Capps (Funny Car), Greg Anderson (Pro Stock) and Angelle Sampey (Pro Stock Motorcycle) are also No. 1 qualifiers in their respective categories at the first race of the 2021 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season.
Torrence qualified No. 1 for the 28th time in his career after his impressive run of 3.699-seconds at 324.90 mph in his 11,000-horsepower Capco Contractors dragster from Friday held up. After a string of three straight dominant seasons, Torrence appeared to keep his momentum going to open 2021. He will take on Joe Morrison to open eliminations, looking to repeat his Gainesville triumph from last season.
CAPPS, TORRENCE, ENDERS, SAMPEY PROVISIONAL NO. 1 QUALIFIERS TO OPEN 2021 NHRA CAMPING WORLD DRAG RACING SERIES AT AMALIE MOTOR OIL NHRA GATORNATIONALS
GAINESVILLE, FL – Even with two new crew chiefs, Ron Capps started his 2021 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season on a high note on Friday, powering to the provisional No. 1 spot in qualifying in Funny Car at the season-opening 52nd annual AMALIE Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway.
Steve Torrence (Top Fuel), Erica Enders (Pro Stock) and Angelle Sampey (Pro Stock Motorcycle) are also provisional No. 1 qualifiers in their respective categories at the first race of the 2021 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season.
Capps put together a pass of 3.895-seconds at 329.02 mph in his 11,000-horsepower NAPA Auto Parts Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat. It would be the former world champ’s 26th career No. 1 qualifier if it holds, and a noteworthy one after longtime crew chief Rahn Tobler retired in the off-season. Capps is working with Dean Antonelli and John Medlen in 2021, a pair of proven crew chiefs in the Don Schumacher Racing camp who helped send Capps to the top on Friday.
BACK-TO-BACK E3 SPARK PLUGS NHRA PRO MOD DRAG RACING SERIES CHAMP STEVIE “FAST” JACKSON LOOKS FOR FIRST WIN IN GAINESVILLE
GAINESVILLE, FL – It’s been a spectacular run the last two seasons for Stevie “Fast” Jackson, as the fan-favorite driver has picked up back-to-back world titles in the highly competitive E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by J&A Service.
The magnitude of that accomplishment isn’t lost on Jackson, who has won six races and advanced to 10 finals over the past two years. He’s excelled in his blown Bahrain 1 Racing Chevrolet Camaro, but Jackson isn’t taking that success for granted heading into this weekend’s season opener as part of the 52nd annual AMALIE Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals at historic Gainesville Raceway.
“It’s been very special, but the pressure is real to try and have a three-peat,” Jackson said. “We keep trying to go faster and there’s a lot of pressure. You don’t want to disappoint our fans, so it’s all hands on deck trying to win three in a row. Like always, we’re going to keep trying to come up with ways to make our program better.”
ERICA ENDERS AND MATT SMTIH START NHRA CAMPING WORLD DRAG RACING SERIES TITLE DEFENSES AT AMALIE MOTOR OIL NHRA GATORNATIONALS
GAINESVILLE, FL – Erica Enders made more history a year ago by becoming the first female in NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series history to win four world titles. It was the second straight Pro Stock championship for Enders, who now has a goal to try and win three in a row and claim an impressive fifth world title.
A great start at this weekend’s 52nd annual AMALIE Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals at historic Gainesville Raceway would be ideal, especially considering it’s one of the few facilities where Enders, a 29-time event winner, hasn’t won in her Melling Performance/Elite Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro. Knowing the rich history the race has, it’s something she hopes to change.
“It’s definitely a cool time,” Enders said. “I’m really excited to head to Gainesville. It’s a really prestigious race, right up there with Indy. I’ve been a runner-up at Gainesville three times and never won, so I’m hopeful to check that off my bucket list. There’s no better time than now. We’ve got a great group and we’re going to give it our all. I’m excited about it.”
NHRA CAMPING WORLD DRAG RACING SERIES NITRO STARS EAGER TO START 2021 SEASON AT AMALIE MOTOR OIL NHRA GATORNATIONALS
GAINESVILLE, FL – Steve Torrence’s first win in Gainesville came a year ago and helped him to his third straight NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series world title. With the race back in its traditional spot, the Top Fuel star will look to start his 2021 season impressively at this weekend’s 52nd annual AMALIE Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals at historic Gainesville Raceway.
The race took place in September last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic and Torrence delivered a strong showing, winning the race while sporting a Don Garlits throwback look in his Capco Contractors 11,000-horsepower dragster. With the historic nature of the race, Torrence is just as motivated for a repeat performance this weekend.
“Everybody is on this team because they want to win and they want to do well,” Torrence said. “The more you do well, the more it motivates you. In this group, we consistently want to do better and accomplish more. We’re always pushing. That was instilled in me by my father and everyone on this team shares the same mindset.”
Race fans are fascinated by the fast times and awed by the action year after year in Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock, Pro Stock Motorcycle, Pro Mod and other categories.
And now, preparations are underway for this year’s event, the 15th Annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals, June 24-27. Nighttime qualifying for the enthralling NHRA categories that Friday will take things up a notch, and a full fireworks show and flames flying from Bob Motz’s jet engine-powered truck will put the exclamation mark on the evening.
When the global pandemic caused the cancellation of last year’s event, Summit Motorsports Park promised fans that their tickets would be honored at this year’s event. That, coupled with statewide capacity limits currently in place, means that a limited number of tickets are available for fans who don’t already have them.