From first career wins to milestones reached for the first time, magical moments have always been a part of Gainesville Raceway’s illustrious history. So, what comes next in 2024?
Odds are, something incredible will happen on March 7-10 during the 55th annual Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals to add to the amazing accomplishments that have taken place at the legendary facility.
To help prepare for the start of the 2024 NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series, let’s look at some of the historic happenings that have made Gainesville so special for so many years:
FIRST PROFESSIONAL WINS COMING AT THE GATORS: It’s happened the last three years, in fact, with a standout racer picking up their first NHRA professional win at Gatornationals. Eventual world champ Gaige Herrera did it last year en route to his record-breaking year, Tripp Tatum picked up his first Top Fuel win in 2022 and, in 2021, Josh Hart rolled to the Top Fuel win in his first career start (one of only eight drivers to do that in NHRA history).
AUSTIN PROCK EAGER TO ADD TO FAMILY’S GAINESVILLE FUNNY CAR SUCCESS AT AMALIE MOTOR OIL NHRA GATORNATIONALS
GAINESVILLE, FL – When Austin Prock stages his 11,000-horsepower Cornwell Tools Chevrolet Camaro Funny Car for John Force Racing during his first official NHRA Funny Car pass during the opening round of qualifying at the 55th Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals on March 7-10, he’ll have lots of Gainesville Raceway memories and thoughts.
After all, his grandfather, Tom Prock, was the Gatornationals Funny Car runner-up at the 1975 event and his father, Jimmy, has won the race four times with Robert Hight, for whom the younger Prock is subbing while Hight addresses some medical concerns. Gainesville Raceway is also the track where Austin made his first pass in any kind of Funny Car, back in 2008 at the Frank Hawley Drag Racing School.
“I’ve always seen the success my dad had there, and, before his, my grandfather, and that place has a special place in my heart,” he said. “It’s also where we lost my good friend Eric Medlen [former John Force driver who died in a testing incident in 2007]. Eric was a great friend of mine, and a mentor to me. He took me under his wing and took care of me and taught me things, like how to paint helmets. It’d be cool to get the job done for that and my family’s legacy.”
LUCAS OIL DRAG RACING SERIES 2024 SEASON SET TO OPEN IN ORLANDO, ONE OF 37 LODRS RACES TO STREAM FOR FREE
2024 Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series season also set to feature several exciting items in place for racers throughout the year
INDIANAPOLIS – The NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series opens its 2024 season on Feb. 15-17 Orlando Speed Dragway, and with several initiatives set in place for the series and its race teams, excitement is high for the upcoming year.
This weekend’s race from Orlando will also be streamed for free on NHRA.tv and the NHRA YouTube page, the first of a comprehensive free coverage plan for the upcoming divisional season. In all, the NHRA will stream 37 Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series events on either NHRA.tv or the NHRA YouTube page for free during the 2024 campaign.
This weekend’s race in Orlando gives fans a chance to take in the first NHRA racing action of the year for free, and the season-long free coverage will include events from all seven NHRA divisions throughout the course of the Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series season. To watch the select divisional races for free, fans simply need to sign up for a complimentary account on NHRA.tv.
NHRA YOUTH AND EDUCATION SERVICES (YES) PROGRAM TO TAKE PLACE AT 21 NATIONAL EVENTS, ALONG WITH TWO PILOT PROGRAMS
INDIANAPOLIS – NHRA officials are pleased to announce the NHRA Youth and Education Services (YES) Program will host 15 live events during the 2024 NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series season, as well as six virtual programs during the summer portion of the upcoming season.
The NHRA YES Program will also hold two “Pilot Program” events during the 2024 season at a pair of NHRA Member Tracks: April 15 at Kansas International Dragway in Wichita, Kan., and May 17 at Toronto Motorsports Park. The pilot program events will allow the two NHRA Member Tracks to host YES Programs for local schools in the community.
The event at Toronto Motorsports Park also marks the first NHRA Yes Program that will take place outside of the United States.
The NHRA YES Program is the only full-time education program in motorsports providing quality educational content and activities for schools and youth organizations nationwide. The YES Program invites students to NHRA national events to see first-hand the career chances within the motorsports field, bringing thousands of students to the track each year, while the pilot programs offer those same opportunities at tracks without a national event.
SWAMP RAT ALLEY RETURNS AT AMALIE MOTOR OIL NHRA GATORNATIONALS WITH 5 HISTORIC CARS FROM NHRA LEGENDS
GAINESVILLE, FL – One of the marquee attractions from last year’s Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals is back in 2024, as the special “Swamp Rat Alley” returns to Gainesville Raceway on March 7-10 for the 55th edition of the race, featuring historic cars from legendary driver “Big Daddy” Don Garlits and others.
NHRA and Garlits, one of the most iconic drivers in drag racing history, again teamed up to feature “Swamp Rat Alley” inside the Hot Rod Junction. This year’s display will feature a pair of famous Garlits cars, as well as vehicles from “Jungle Jim” Liberman, Dick LaHaie and Ray Godman. The cars will be displayed all weekend at Gainesville Raceway, giving fans the unique chance to check out historic cars driven by legendary names in the sport. Garlits will also be on hand throughout the weekend at Gainesville Raceway to meet with and sign autographs for fans.
Loaded field for the big-money specialty race at Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals features five world champions
GAINESVILLE, FL – The lineup for the Pep Boys NHRA Top Fuel All-Star Callout is set and it’s a star-studded field that includes five world champions, record-breaking drivers and a host of all-star drivers.
The race, which started in 2022 and pits eight standouts against each other in a unique specialty shootout, takes place on Saturday, March 9 during the highly-anticipated opener to the 2024 NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series season, the 55th annual Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals.
With big money, including a total purse of $130,000, a special Callout trophy and belt, and bragging rights on the line at legendary Gainesville Raceway, the top eight seeds, in order, are Steve Torrence, Doug Kalitta, Brittany Force, Mike Salinas, Justin Ashley, Leah Pruett, Antron Brown and Shawn Langdon.
INDIANAPOLIS – The NHRA announced today that the NHRA Summit Racing Series, the world’s largest motorsports program when it comes to racer participation, will hold its first Eastern Canadian E.T. Finals in 2024, with the race taking place Sept. 6-8 at Napierville Dragway in Quebec.
The NHRA Eastern Canada Summit E.T. Finals Championship adds an eighth Summit Racing Series E.T. Finals to the 2024 schedule, with the first Eastern Canada bracket champions in NHRA history set to be crowned this year.
“Summit Racing’s support of the E.T. bracket series will give Canadian racers an opportunity to compete at higher levels here at home,” said NHRA Canadian representative Glenn Grow. “By making the bracket racing foundation stronger it will allow Canadians to build a powerful racing future in all NHRA classes.”
GAINESVILLE, FL – An incredible season-opener to the 2024 NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series season deserves an equally memorable kickoff party and fanfest and that’s precisely what will take place leading into the famed 55th annual Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals at legendary Gainesville Raceway.
For the second straight year, the Gatornationals Kickoff Party and Fanfest will take place at Top Fuel driver Josh Hart’s Burnyzz Speed Shop in Ocala from 6-9 p.m. on Wednesday, March 6. That leads right into the Gatornationals on March 7-10 and the free event promises to leave fans excited for the weekend after an epic fanfest.
The incredible facility will play host to an event that features a massive car show, live music, food trucks, giveaways appearances from NHRA stars and an autograph session. Fans will also get a chance to see the special “Golden Gators” trophy that will be given to winners on Sunday and celebrates the Gatornationals 55th anniversary. Last year’s inaugural kickoff party and fanfest was a massive success at Burnyzz Speed Shop, featuring more than 500 cars in addition to Hart’s extensive collection, and this year promises to be even bigger.
INDIANAPOLIS – NHRA officials announced today that GETTRX™, powered by Global Electronic Technology and the fastest name in credit card processing, has been named the Official Credit Card Processor of NHRA as part of a multi-year agreement.
GETTRX™ was founded by Steve Bryson nearly 30 years ago and has become an industry leader in the FinTech space. The company is building on a successful 2023 with the launch of GETTRX One™, a major platform improvement showcasing exciting developments for customer payment processing needs. GETTRX has also built a strong reputation throughout the industry for its strong customer support and family-first attitude, which has also translated well to its growing partnership with NHRA.
“Fans trust NHRA events to deliver speed, and as the fastest name in credit card processing, our customers know GETTRX™ is all about speed, too. We’re proud of our increased presence with the NHRA,” GETTRX™ Founder and CEO Steve Bryson said.
GAINESVILLE, FL – Celebrating the start of the 2024 NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series season in grand fashion, the 55th annual Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals promises to be one of the biggest races in the event’s long and heralded history.
Taking place March 7-10 at legendary Gainesville Raceway, the kickoff to the first event in the Mission Foods era promises to add even more history at a track and for a race that has featured so many incredible moments. This year’s version promises the unforgettable sights and sounds of 11,000-horsepower, 330-mph racing action, new faces in the professional ranks – like legendary racer and now Top Fuel rookie Tony Stewart – the Pep Boys NHRA Top Fuel All-Star Callout, pre-race festivities, and a host of events and action off the track to ensure fans will have a weekend to remember.
Along with the stars in all four professional classes (Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle), the additional entertainment on tap helps make it one of the most massive Gatornationals in NHRA history, and includes the following: