GAINESVILLE, FL – NHRA announced today a pair of scheduling updates for the upcoming Pep Boys NHRA Top Fuel All-Star Callout, which takes place on Saturday, March 9 as part of the 55th annual Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals.
The autograph session for the participants will now take place at 12:30 p.m. ET on Friday at the Pep Boys display, while the first-round Callout selections will be made at 10 a.m. ET in the Top Eliminator Club. Steve Torrence is the top seed in the big-money specialty race and has the first pick to call out his opening-round opponent.
The rest of the current lineup, in order, includes Doug Kalitta, Brittany Force, Mike Salinas, Justin Ashley, Leah Pruett, Antron Brown and Shawn Langdon. If Kalitta isn’t called out, the veteran picks next, going down the line until all four first-round matchups are set. Then, the driver who makes the quickest winning run that round selects their semifinal opponent, locking in the other matchup.
After qualifying sixth for the Callout, there is the chance Pruett wouldn’t race in the shootout if team owner Tony Stewart, who is making his Top Fuel debut in Gainesville, is not deeply qualified in the Gatornationals field after Friday’s two qualifying sessions.
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.
HIGHT WINS PEP BOYS FUNNY CAR ALL-STAR CALLOUT; TORRENCE, HIGHT HARTFORD AND HERRERA QUALIFY NO. 1 AT DODGE POWER BROKERS NHRA U.S. NATIONALS
INDIANAPOLIS – Robert Hight claimed his first Funny Car specialty win at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park on Sunday, defeating Matt Hagan in the final round of the Pep Boys NHRA Funny Car All-Star Callout at the 69th annual Dodge Power Brokers NHRA U.S. Nationals.
Steve Torrence (Top Fuel), Matt Hartford (Pro Stock) and Gaige Herrera (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also claimed No. 1 qualifiers at the 15th of 21 races during the 2023 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season.
In the final round of the Pep Boys NHRA Funny Car All-Star Callout, Hight went 3.955-seconds at 321.58 mph in his 11,000-horsepower Cornwell Tools/AAA Chevrolet Camaro SS to slip past Hagan’s 3.979 and win the $80,000 shootout at The Big Go. The multi-time world champ had fallen short in four previous specialty event final rounds at Indy, but came through in a big way on Sunday, knocking off points leader Ron Capps and Cruz Pedregon to set up the marquee matchup with Hagan.
“It’s amazing to get this,” Hight said. “Hagan really stepped up in the final round. We made the right decisions today, went out and did the job today. There’s been a lot of double-ups at this race and I’d like to add my name to it. You’ve got to win on Sunday first to even have a chance, but we’re looking forward to Monday. We’re definitely coming around and coming together at the right time.”
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.”
PEP BOYS NHRA TOP FUEL ALL-STAR CALLOUT NEWCOMERS HART, PROCK AND MILLICAN READY TO MAKE NOISE IN GAINESVILLE
GAINESVILLE, FL – The Pep Boys NHRA Top Fuel All-Star Callout is back in 2023 to help kick off the season at the 54th annual Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway, and with it comes a trio of first-time competitors in the specialty race.
Austin Prock, Josh Hart and Clay Millican are in the Callout field for the first time, joining a loaded eight-car lineup that also includes reigning Top Fuel world champ Brittany Force, defending Pep Boys NHRA Top Fuel All-Star Callout winner Steve Torrence, Justin Ashley, Mike Salinas and Doug Kalitta.
It presents a golden opportunity for the first-time Callout drivers to start the 2023 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series on a strong note, but also win the big money on the line at the specialty race.
“There’s some elite drivers in here and to be in that same group in this Callout, that’s really special,” Prock said. “We worked hard to get in here and it’s going to be a blast. I’m looking forward to it and I’m excited for a little bit of the smack talk. I like that it’s at the first race of the year. It’s going to show who did their homework in the off-season.”
DEFENDING PRO STOCK WORLD CHAMP GREG ANDERSON READY TO DEFEND CROWN HEADING TO PEP BOYS NHRA NATIONALS
READING, PA – Two months ago, Greg Anderson likely wouldn’t have considered himself much of a threat to defend his world championship in the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series. But the longtime star has made a swift turnaround in recent weeks, vaulting back into title contention as the Countdown to the Championship playoffs open this weekend at the 37th annual Pep Boys NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway.
Anderson, a five-time world champ in Pro Stock, picked up his 100th victory at the most recent race at Indy, continuing a recent hot streak that has included three straight No. 1 qualifiers in his HendrickCars.com Chevrolet Camaro as well as final round appearances in three of the past four races.
Points leader Erica Enders remains the favorite in the class thanks to a dominant season that’s included six victories and eight final rounds, but Anderson is coming on strong and he can’t wait for the six-race playoffs to begin this weekend in Reading.
INDIANAPOLIS – Eliminations for the prestigious Dodge Power Brokers NHRA U.S. Nationals take place on Monday at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park, but the competition starts even earlier for four Top Fuel standouts.
Points leader Brittany Force, four-time defending world champ Steve Torrence, Mike Salinas, and Justin Ashley are still alive in the Pep Boys NHRA Top Fuel All-Star Callout, which will get completed this weekend at the Big Go after starting earlier this year in Gainesville.
The thrilling and unique specialty race takes place on Saturday, with Force getting her selection of semifinal opponents after making the quickest winning run of the first round back in March. She’ll make that selection at 7:20 p.m. ET on Friday, automatically setting the other semifinal matchup, but Force knows there are no easy decisions with the three Top Fuel standouts looming.
“We’re excited to get to Indy and that’s the exciting part with the callout. We don’t have to wait until Sunday, we dive right in,” Force said. “We’re looking at all the drivers, but there’s no easy team to pick. Everyone’s tough, everyone has a great car, a great driver, and a great team, so it’s not going to be easy.”
EIGHT FUNNY CAR STANDOUTS SET FOR THRILLING DUEL IN PEP BOYS NHRA FUNNY CAR ALL-STAR CALLOUT AT INDY
INDIANAPOLIS – During what could be the best season in his standout Funny Car career, points leader and three-time world champion Robert Hight has the opportunity to add another special moment during this weekend’s Pep Boys NHRA Funny Car All-Star Callout.
The specialty race takes part on Sunday during this weekend’s prestigious Dodge Power Brokers NHRA U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway Indianapolis Raceway Park, pitting eight of the top Funny Car drivers against each other.
The unique twist is Hight, who is seeded first among the eight drivers, will get the first selection among the drivers for his first-round opponent. Defending world champ Ron Capps, who is seeded second, would get the next pick if he is not called out, followed by Matt Hagan and John Force until all the opening round matchups are set. Cruz Pedregon is seeded fifth, with Bob Tasca III, who has three wins in the last four races, Alexis DeJoria, and Tim Wilkerson round out the field.
So, who will Hight pick for his first-round opponent? Even the six-time event winner in 2022 isn’t sure of that answer yet.
Pep Boys NHRA Top Fuel All-Star Callout also set to finish at the Big Go
INDIANAPOLIS – The field of eight star Funny Car drivers is now set for the upcoming Pep Boys NHRA Funny Car All-Star Callout specialty race, which will take place on Sunday, Sept. 4 as part of the prestigious 68th annual Dodge Power Brokers NHRA U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park.
Funny Car points leader Robert Hight, who has six wins in 2022, clinched his spot as the No. 1 seed and he will get the chance to call out his first-round opponent from the other seven drivers, who are all competing for big money and a memorable win in the unique specialty race at the Big Go. In order, that includes defending world champ Ron Capps, three-time world champ Matt Hagan, two-time world champ Cruz Pedregon, 16-time world champ John Force, Brainerd winner Bob Tasca III, Alexis DeJoria, who has six career wins, and defending U.S. Nationals winner Tim Wilkerson, who clinched the final spot in the callout last weekend in Brainerd.
After Hight’s initial pick for his matchup, Capps would get the next selection if he is not called out by Hight, followed by Hagan until all the first-round matchups are set for the thrilling specialty race that includes an overall purse of $130,000, with $80,000 going to the winner.
MATCHUPS SET FOR PEP BOYS NHRA TOP FUEL ALL-STAR CALLOUT, RACING ACTION CANCELLED ON FRIDAY IN GAINESVILLE
GAINESVILLE, FL – The first-round matchups for the Pep Boys NHRA Top Fuel All-Star Callout specialty race were made on Friday at Gainesville Raceway, as racing action for the Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals was cancelled due to weather.
Top seed Steve Torrence, the four-time defending world champ and driver of the 11,000-horsepower Capco Contractors dragster, chose Leah Pruett, who is driving for the first-year Tony Stewart Racing team, to race in the first round of the eight-car specialty event on Saturday that features a total purse of $130,000.
“We gathered up as a crew and I got with my crew chiefs,” Torrence said. “I thought about it, they thought about it, the fans thought about it. LP has been one of our fiercest competitors for years, and we’ve gone at it head-to-head, so to put on a show for all these fans, that’s awesome. We’ll have a good time between us and we’ll put on a good show for you guys, and it’ll be a lot of fun.”