Category Archives: Gatornationals

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Gatornationals Rescheduled for September

NHRA officials announced today that they are working with state and local officials as well as host tracks and teams on a revised Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule, which will be announced soon.  The season is expected to resume, with fans in attendance, in August, and will consist of 18 total events for 2020, including the two that kicked off the season. The Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series will continue to be contested at each Mello Yello Series event.

The revised schedule previously announced is in flux because of the fluid nature of the pandemic situation. At this time, it is certain that the events planned for June and July are postponed. Those events are the Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals on June 5-7 (Gainesville, Fla.); Mopar Express Lane NHRA SpringNationals Presented by Pennzoil on June 12-14 (Houston, Texas); NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals on June 19-21 (Bristol, Tenn.); Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals on June 26-28 (Norwalk, Ohio); Route 66 NHRA Nationals on July 9-12 (Chicago); Dodge Mile-High NHRA Nationals Presented By Pennzoil on July 17-19 (Denver, Colo.); and NHRA Sonoma Nationals on July 24-26 (Sonoma, Calif.). 

Tentative schedule announcements for the Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Series, Mickey Thompson Tires NHRA Top Fuel Harley Series, and SAMtech.edu NHRA Factory Stock Showdown series will be released following the Mello Yello Drag Racing Series announcement.

Updated 2020 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule


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NHRA Amalie Motor Oil Gatornationals Logo

NHRA to Postpone Portion of Gatornationals

GAINESVILLE, Fla.–In consideration of the ever-evolving COVID-19 pandemic and in accordance with the recommendations of the Florida governor, NHRA officials are postponing a portion of the Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals.

The sportsman categories contested on Thursday will complete competition this weekend without ticketed spectators. Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock, Pro Stock Motorcycle, Pro Mod, Factory Stock Showdown, Top Fuel Harley, Top Alcohol Dragster, and Top Alcohol Funny Car will compete at a later date to be determined.

Current tickets will be honored at the rescheduled event or ticketholders may opt to use their tickets as a credit towards the 2021 Gatornationals. NHRA will determine next steps for moving forward as additional information becomes available.

We appreciate the patience of our competitors and fans.


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GatorNats Winners

50th Annual NHRA Gatornationals Wrapped up on Sunday

The Wrap Up

GAINESVILLE, Fla.—The 50th Annual National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Amalie Oil Gatornationals wrapped up on Sunday afternoon. Below is a summary from the top fuel, funny car, pro stock, and pro stock motorcycle classes from the first east coast event of the 2019 NHRA season.

TOP FUEL
Richie Crampton scored his second straight Amalie Motor Oil Gatornationals victory, stopping Clay Millican in the final round with a holeshot effort.

Crampton’s DHL machine left first, .042 to 058, and stayed ahead of Millican’s Parts Plus dragster to light the win light first by just .003-second, 3.769 to 3.756. It’s the ninth win of Crampton’s career in 11 final-round appearances.

FUNNY CAR
Robert Hight won for the second time in three races this season to build upon his points lead, defeating Tim Wilkerson, whose mount faltered just off the starting line.

Hight’s win was also his fourth in the past eight years at the Gatornationals, having won previously in 2012, 2014, and 2016. He’s also the third straight Funny Car driver to win the Gatornationals from the No. 1 qualifying position. Wilkerson who won the Gatornationals in 2010 in his only other final-round appearance at Gainesville Raceway.

PRO STOCK
Bo Butner never really contemplated retiring from drag racing, but he did briefly consider leaving the Pro Stock class. At this point, his rivals would likely support that decision. Butner, the 2017 Mello Yello Pro Stock champion, won for the second time in three races this season. Making the occasion even more special, he shared the winner’s circle with fiancée Randi Lynn Shipp, who won the 50th Gatornationals Stock title on Saturday night.

Butner’s KB Racing prepared Butner Auto Camaro was one of the quickest Pro Stock cars in Gainesville with a string of low 6.5-seocnd runs but he didn’t need one in the final after opponent Alex Laughlin encountered a reported electrical gremlin that prevented him from making the run in his Havoline Camaro. Making a solo run to his 24th career national event title, Butner thrilled the packed house in Gainesville with a 6.505, 212.29.

PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE
Going an entire season without a win clearly didn’t sit well with five-time Pro Stock Motorcycle champion Andrew Hines so he decided to do something about it. In one of the most inspired performances of his career, Hines earned his 49th career win at the 50th annual Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals.

Racing teammate and six-time Gainesville winner Eddie Krawiec in the final round, Hines powered to a 6.752 to barley edge Krawiec’s 6.762. Krawiec had won 15-straight rounds at Gainesville Raceway dating back to 2016. Hines also topped 199-mph numerous times over the weekend, including a career-best speed of 199.94 in qualifying.


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NHRA Amalie Motor Oil Gatornationals Logo

2019 Gatornationals Preview

Gatornationals Preview

GAINESVILLE, Fla.—Gainesville Raceway will host the 50th Annual National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Gatornationals on March 14-17. The event is the third on the 2019 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series and the first east coast stop.

There’s been a year-long buildup to this event that included resurfacing the track. Entries are coming from around the globe to be able to say they were there, whether qualified to run eliminations on Sunday or not.

The event will mark the first Pro Stock Motorcycle event of the season with 23 bikes entered.

Last year’s Wally winner’s trophies were earned by Kalitta Motorsports’ Richie Crampton in Top Fuel, Don Schumacher Racing’s Jack Beckman’s Infinite Hero Funny Car, Tanner Gray in Pro Stock and Eddie Krawiec’s Screamin’ Eagle Harley-Davidson for Pro Stock Motorcycle. Of that quartet, only Tanner Gray won’t be back to defend, having left this type of racing.

In the top fuel class, there are 18 cars fighting to make it to past qualifying. Steve Torrence will look to return to his 2018 championship form after bowing out in the first round at each of the first two events of the season. Rookies Austin Prock and Jordan Vandergriff will both look to continue their early successes. Prock has advanced to the second round at both 2019 events while Vandergriff reached the semifinals in Phoenix. Chris Karamasines and T.J. Zizzio both return for the 50th Gatornationals.

In a field of 16 Funny Cars, John Force will continue looking for his 150th career victory. He will have to get past fellow JFR driver Robert Hight who won the season opener in Pomona. The four-car Don Schumacher Racing team and reigning Gatornationals champion Jack Beckman look to continue a strong start to 2019 after Matt Hagan recorded a victory in Phoenix this year.

Last season’s Pro Stock runner-up, Jeg Coughlin Jr., will have a new car on display at the event. He took the top spot in Phoenix earlier this season but teammates Erica Enders and Alex Laughlin also look to compete. The lone non-Chevrolet racers in the 17 car field will be Alan Prisiensky (Dodge) and Jeffrey Isbell (Ford).

The event will mark the first Pro Stock Motorcycle event of the season with 23 bikes entered. All three Harley-Davidson racers will be in the field with the team of Angelle Sampey, Eddie Krawiec, and Andrew Hines owning a combined 10 titles. Hector Arana Jr. completed the class’ first 200-MPH run at the Gatornationals a year ago and will look to build on that success this year. There are eight women in the field this season including newcomer Jianna Salinas, daughter of Top Fuel Racer Mike Salinas.

Sportsman action begins on Thursday, while Mello Yello qualifying starts Friday. High temperatures are in the forecast for Thursday and Friday, but cooler temperatures are expected on Saturday and Sunday. There is also the possibility of rain in the forecast as the week goes on.


Upcoming Events

  1. Test-and-Tune (Slicks and Drag Radials ONLY)

    August 15 @ 4:00 pm - 10:00 pm
  2. Summit Series Race #9

    August 22 @ 2:00 pm - 9:00 pm
  3. Friday Street Legal Madness

    August 28 @ 6:00 pm - 11:00 pm
  4. Friday Street Legal Madness

    September 11 @ 6:00 pm - 11:00 pm
  5. Summit Series Race #10

    September 12 @ 2:00 pm