NHRA pros at Gainesville, Florida

Gatornationals marks first wins of season for four racers

It’s the Gators, baby!

Tony Schumacher raced his way to the Top Fuel victory Sunday, March 19, at the 48th annual Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway. John Force (Funny Car), Shane Gray (Pro Stock) and Eddie Krawiec (Pro Stock Motorcycle) were also winners in their respective categories at the third of 24 events on the 2017 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule.

Larry Dixon had a fire on Friday.

Some of the most exciting action occurred before the racing, when NHRA refused to let Larry Dixon compete with a logo of the World Series of Drag Racing on his new Top Fuel dragster. Dixon had been named to an IHRA drivers’ advisory board (along with Melanie Troxel and Whit Bazemore) just days before the Gatornationals were to begin. Keeping with a long-standing precedent of not allowing the IHRA name to appear in advertising or editorial in National Dragster, the NHRA management team evidently found the logo for the race now put on by the IHRA to fall in the same category. And, by making a point of it, they turned it into a “big deal” that probably would not have been noticed by many had they just left it alone.

As it turned out, Dixon’s dragster lost power after the burnout in his first-round match with Brittany Force, who got the single.