LUCAS OIL NHRA WINTERNATIONALS KICK OFF NEW ERA AT NEWLY-NAMED IN-N-OUT BURGER POMONA DRAGSTRIP
POMONA, CA – A new era in the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series’ storied history in Pomona is set to begin later this month, as the newly-named In-N-Out Burger Pomona Dragstrip hosts one of NHRA’s iconic events, the 63rd annual Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals on March 30-April 2.
The facility has played host to NHRA history for more than six decades and this year’s Lucas NHRA Winternationals marks an exciting new chapter with the first official race with the In-N-Out Burger Pomona Dragstrip name. It comes as the third race in the 2023 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season, with all the top stars in Top Fuel, Funny Car and Pro Stock looking for an early-season victory at the legendary dragstrip.
The race will also feature the Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge, an exciting new special program that debuts this season and will take place on Saturday. Offering bonus money and bonus points, the challenge will feature the rematch of the semifinalists at Phoenix, with the winners meeting up in the finals. It will make for a thrilling Saturday, leading right into the must-see action of Sunday eliminations at one of the most historic venues on the NHRA tour.
DRAG AND DRIVE EXHIBITION FEATURING ALEX TAYLOR AND TOM BAILEY COMING TO CHICAGO’S ROUTE 66 NHRA NATIONALS PRESENTED BY PEAK
JOLIET, IL – NHRA officials announced today a special “Drag and Drive” eight-car exhibition as part of the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series’ return to Chicago at Route 66 Raceway for the 23rd annual Route 66 NHRA Nationals presented by PEAK Performance on May 19-21.
Featuring standout names like Alex Taylor, Tom Bailey, Steve Morris and Bryant Goldstone, plus more to be announced in the coming weeks, the Drag and Drive exhibition offers something unique for the first race at Route 66 Raceway since 2019. The street cars set to be featured in Chicago run in the 6-second range and quicker at speeds of more than 200 mph, offering a thrilling spectacle for all race fans.
Along with the stars of the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series in Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle, this exhibition will showcase some of the quickest street cars in the world. They are set to entertain fans with runs throughout the weekend, crowing a winner during eliminations on Sunday.
MATCHUPS SET FOR FIRST MISSION #2FAST2TASTY NHRA CHALLENGE AT NHRA ARIZONA NATIONALS
PHOENIX – The matchups are now set for the first Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge, which takes place at the upcoming and final NHRA Arizona Nationals on March 24-26 at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park.
The Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge brings competitive racing to the qualifying schedule at 12 regular-season events during the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series campaign, pitting semifinalists from the previous race against each other in a pair of rematches, with the two winners then matching up in the final qualifying session.
With a bonus purse and bonus points for the Countdown to the Championship on the line, drivers are thrilled to get the Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge started in Phoenix as part of the final race at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park.
“To have a race on Saturday, it’s really exciting and our guys are already talking about it,” said Funny Car star Matt Hagan, who won in Gainesville to open the 2023 season. “That’s how excited they are about it and it’s huge for all of us. I’m pumped that NHRA was able to put it together (with Mission Foods) and I think it’s going to be a big thing for everyone.”
NHRA OPENS 2023 SEASON WITH STRONG VIEWERSHIP ON FOX FOR AMALIE MOTOR OIL NHRA GATORNATIONALS
Record Gainesville viewership accompanies massive turnout at Gainesville Raceway, including Saturday sellout crowd
INDIANAPOLIS – The NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series opened the 2023 season with impressive viewership numbers on the FOX network, as coverage of eliminations from the Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals delivered a total audience of 1.12 million viewers. This marked the highest viewership for raceday at the Gatornationals during the NHRA on FOX era.
In all, 1.684 million total viewers tuned into the weekend broadcasts across FOX, FS1 and FS 2, accompanying the huge crowds in attendance all weekend at legendary Gainesville Raceway, including a sellout crowd on Saturday. The total viewership for the weekend is also a record at Gainesville since the NHRA and FOX relationship began in 2016.
“We’re thrilled to cap off the incredible display of NHRA fans in attendance at Gainesville with record-setting television viewership for the event,” NHRA Vice President of Broadcasting Steve Reintjes said. “The total viewership for our weekend of shows outpaced any previous season at Gainesville in the Fox Sports era. We were encouraged to see viewership grow throughout the entire air window during Sunday’s finals, with more than 1 million viewers tuned in for the final 1.5 hours of the broadcast.”
JUSTIN BOND WINS IN GAINESVILLE TO START FUELTECH NHRA PRO MOD DRAG RACING SERIES SEASON
GAINESVILLE, FL – Justin Bond opened the 2023 season in the FuelTech NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by Type A Motorsports win on Sunday at Gainesville Raceway, knocking off J.R. Gray in the final round at the 54th annual Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals.
The event, which was powered by Type A Motorsports, was the first of 10 races during the 2023 season in the FuelTech NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by Type A Motorsports. Bond went 5.732-seconds at 250.74 mph in his Bahrain 1 Racing Camaro to get past Gray and pick up his fourth career win.
Bond also knocked off Dwayne Wolfe, Doug Winters and defending world champ Kris Thorne to reach the final round, posting reaction times of .016 or better during the first three rounds. Bond followed with a fantastic run in the final round to start his 2023 season off on a high note.
“It’s my mom’s birthday and she’s 82 today,” said Bond. “I’ve missed her last five birthdays while Pro Mod racing. My kids flew in on Friday and we always do good when they come. When made a little video this morning for her and this win is for her.”
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.
Josh Hart Pockets $80,000 for Pep Boys All-Star Callout Win
Gainesville, FL – Ocala, Florida resident and Top Fuel standout driver Josh Hart drove his R+L Carriers Top Fuel dragster to Pep Boys Top Fuel Allstar Callout victory and an $80,000 payday on Saturday at Gainesville Raceway. It was Hart’s first appearance in a big money specialty race and the 2021 Gatornationals winner took out Austin Prock, Brittany Force and Mike Salinas enroute to the win to start the 2023 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season.
“It’s a huge, huge accomplishment for our team, we have prepared like no other through December, January and February,” said Hart, in the Norm Froscher media center. “To go right out and win a specialty race right off the trailer is awesome. This R+L Carriers crew are the ones that should be sitting in the seat talking about this win. I’m just the jockey that gets to hit the gas. All the credit goes to the team. This is obviously off the charts awesome. But you have to not take anything like this for granted because it can go away just like that. Savor the moment.”
“I’ll just say that nice guys don’t finish last,” said Hart, a two-time Top Fuel national event winner. “When you go up against Prock, you gotta be deadly on the tree and I was off my game a little bit in that first round. It was my first competitive pass with this R+L Carriers Top Fuel dragster. I was kind of nervous about staging. (Crew chief) Ron Douglas and the team saved me on that one.”
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.
FUELTECH NHRA PRO MOD SERIES SET FOR BIG 2023 DEBUT IN GAINESVILLE AT EVENT POWERED BY TYPE A MOTORSPORTS
GAINESVILLE, FL – With plenty of momentum from a number of major announcements in the off-season, the FuelTech NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by Type A Motorsports is set to open the 2023 season as part of this weekend’s Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals at historic Gainesville Raceway.
It is the first of 10 races during the 2023 season and this weekend’s event is powered by Type A Motorsports as well. The company is owned by Marty Robertson, with the veteran racer set to make his NHRA Pro Mod debut in Gainesville.
“Type A Motorsports is a race team that also specializes in buying and selling race cars, racing components and support vehicles, boasting a strong inventory for its customers,” Robertson said. “We’re proud to join the NHRA for opportunities to build recognition for our brand. It is the right place at the right time to launch our business and support for racers as we go what should be an incredible 2023 year in the class.”
Fans Pack NHRA Gatornationals FanFest at Burnyzz Speed Shop
OCALA, FL – In advance of the 54th NHRA Gatornationals NHRA and Top Fuel team owner and driver Josh Hart hosted a massive car show and FanFest at Burnyzz Speed Shop in Ocala, Florida. The first time event featured nearly two dozen NHRA drivers, over 300 classic cars, a live band, food trucks and ticket giveaways for the thousands of fans in attendance. Proceeds from the event which included a 50/50 raffle and entry fees will be donated to Racers For Christ. The entire staff of Burnyzz Speed Shop pulled together to execute the three hour free event that kicked off four days of racing action beginning today at Gainesville Raceway.
“I have to thank my team as well as the Ocala Street Cruisers and Citrus Corvette Club for coming out and supporting this event,” said Hart, the 2021 Gatornationals Top Fuel champion. “We wanted to host an event to get fans excited about the Gatornationals and give back to our racing community. I want to thank all my fellow drivers who came down and signed autographs and spent time with the fans. It was a great first-time event and we are already looking at how we can make it bigger and better for next year.”
In addition to Hart there were six additional Gatornationals winners in attendance including Top Fuel winners Don Garlits, Larry Dixon Jr., Spencer Massey, and Brittany Force along with Funny Car winners Frank Hawley, John Force and Cruz Pedregon. Rookie of the Year winners Camrie Caruso, Justin Ashley, Austin Prock, and Antron Brown were also present.