HAGAN, SALINAS, COUGHLIN AND HERRERA OPEN 2023 WITH WINS AT AMALIE MOTOR OIL NHRA GATORNATIONALS
GAINESVILLE, FL – In a matchup of the last two Funny Car winners at the 54th annual Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals, Matt Hagan drove past J.R. Todd in the final round on Sunday to kick off the 2023 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season, also giving Tony Stewart a second straight victory at Gainesville Raceway.
Mike Salinas (Top Fuel), Troy Coughlin Jr. (Pro Stock) and Gaige Herrera (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also won at the first of 21 races during the 2023 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season.
Hagan powered to a run of 3.926-seconds at 329.34 mph in his 11,000-horsepower Dodge Direct Connection Charger SRT Hellcat, winning the Gatornationals for the second straight season. Both Hagan and Todd posted identical reaction times on the starting line, but Todd ran into trouble late in the run and Hagan claimed his 44th career win. He also defeated Tim Wilkerson, Bob Tasca III and Alexis DeJoria, making three straight runs in the 3.80s to reach the final round. After going his entire career without winning in Gainesville, Hagan, a three-time world champ, now has back-to-back wins at the historic race.
“For this team, we were just running strong, and to come out and win the first race of the season, it’s just amazing,” said Hagan, who is fourth all-time in Funny Car wins. “I’m just in awe of our team right now.
B. FORCE, TASCA, ENDERS AND JOHNSON TAKE PROVISIONAL NO. 1 SPOTS AT AMALIE MOTOR OIL NHRA GATORNATIONALS
GAINESVILLE, FL – Reigning world champ Brittany Force opened the 2023 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season in impressive fashion, racing to the provisional No. 1 qualifier on Friday at the 54th Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway.
Bob Tasca III (Funny Car), Erica Enders (Pro Stock) and Steve Johnson (Pro Stock Motorcycle) are also the provisional No. 1 qualifiers at the first of 21 races during the 2023 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season. The second qualifying session in Top Fuel and Funny Car on Friday was cancelled due to inclement weather
Force, who posted 10 No. 1 qualifiers in her championship season a year ago, went 3.699-seconds at 336.99 mph to kick off the season in her 11,000-horsepower Monster Energy dragster. Force’s first career victory in Top Fuel came in Gainesville in 2016 and she’s eager to repeat that to start her championship defense.
“It felt really good to come out at the first race and the first run of the season and go to the top,” Force said. “It was incredible. We spent a lot of hours and a lot of days testing this off-season, and we kind of picked up where we left off last year. It’s the same group of guys and it’s a great start to the season.
AFTER FANTASTIC 2022, FUNNY CAR’S RON CAPPS NOT BACKING DOWN HEADING TO AMALIE MOTOR OIL NHRA GATORNATIONALS
GAINESVILLE, FL – It was a historic season in many respects for Ron Capps last year, as the veteran Funny Car standout won his second straight world championship in the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Season.
But it was also his first as a team owner, becoming the first back-to-back world champ in Funny Car in 20 years. It gives Capps plenty of momentum going into 2023 in his 11,000-horsepower NAPA Auto Parts Toyota GR Supra, where he remains as motivated as ever to succeed at the legendary Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway.
Fresh off a season that included five wins, six No. 1 qualifiers and nine final rounds, there were plenty of incredible moments for Capps, a three-time world champ, to enjoy in 2022. But in kicking off the new year, Capps remains driven to succeed, in part because of the stellar competition around him in Funny Car.
TOP FUEL WORLD CHAMP BRITTANY FORCE LOOKS TO OPEN 2023 IN A BIG WAY AT AMALIE MOTOR OIL NHRA GATORNATIONALS
GAINESVILLE, FL – Fresh off a record-breaking season and her second world championship in the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Season, Top Fuel star Brittany Force has no plans of letting up – or slowing down.
The fastest female in sports, Force broke numerous track records and made the fastest run in Top Fuel history (338.94 mph) during the 2022 season en route to the world title. She hopes to kick off the 2023 campaign on a big note, too, including picking up her second career win at the legendary Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway.
Force is also competing in the eight-car Pep Boys NHRA Top Fuel All-Star Callout on Saturday, which is a specialty race with big money on the line, putting a premium on a great start in her 11,000-horsepower Monster Energy dragster – especially as the reigning world champ.
Drivers and Winners Celebrated at Inaugural Gatornationals FanFest, March 8
NHRA, 2021 Gatornats Top Fuel Champion Josh Hart host car show, autograph session, live music and more
OCALA, FL – The 2023 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series will start at historic Gainesville Raceway for just the second time in nearly seven decades with the Gatornationals, March 9-12. In advance of this epic event the NHRA is joining Ocala, Florida, based Top Fuel driver and 2021 Gatornationals Top Fuel winner Josh Hart in hosting the inaugural Gatornationals FanFest on Wednesday, March 8, from 6:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. at Burnyzz Speed Shop (1 Aspen Road, Ocala, Florida).
The free to attend event will feature a car show, live music, food trucks, and a driver autograph session from 7:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. that will include former Gatornationals winners and current NHRA professional drag racing stars. Proceeds from the event will be donated to Racers For Christ.
“We are excited to host this kick-off event with the NHRA to start the Gatornationals,” said Hart, multi-time Top Fuel winner. “Our goal is to have as many former Gatornationals winners and current drivers as possible for the free autograph session and to continue to grow this event to highlight the Gatornationals. This is one of the most historic motorsports events in the country and we are excited to have it in our backyard and celebrate with everyone from Ocala and around central Florida. I want to thank everyone at Burnyzz Speed Shop for supporting this great first time event.”