Mar 15, 2015; Gainesville, FL, USA; Funny car winner Ron Capps (left) and NHRA top fuel driver Spencer Massey celebrate together after winning the Gatornationals at Auto Plus Raceway at Gainesville. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

NHRA GatorNationals Kicks Off

With the Fan Fest and Media Day behind us, all that’s left is racing. The Sportsman Qualifying for the GatorNationals starting this morning at 8:30 a.m. The real fun starts on Friday, as the Midway opens at 10 a.m. There is Pro Stock, Funny Car, and Top Fuel as the racing continues until the last day on Sunday. Pro stock starts Friday at 12:00 p.m. as Top Fuel and Funny Car begin at 12:45 p.m.

Last year’s GatorNationals winner in Top Fuel was Spencer Massey, and Don Schumacher Racing teammate Ron Capps won the Funny Car category. Greg Anderson was the winner in Pro Stock. The event this weekend is the East Coast’s opener, and is known for the first 260-mph Top Fuel and Funny Car runs, and the first 270-mph and 300-mph Top Fuel passes.

A new face has emerged this year, as Leah Pritchett became the eleventh woman to win a Top Fuel event as she outdrove Brittany Force for her first career victory at Phoenix three weeks ago. It was the first all-female final in Top Fuel in 34 years, and fourth all-time.

Pritchett says she may now have a target on her back after coming off a victory.

The track is the Auto-Plus Raceway on County Road 225, eight miles north of Gainesville Regional Airport.

Last year’s winner Massey could not follow his 2015 GatorNationals win, as he has not collected another victory since.

If you can’t make it out, TV coverage of the event will be on FS1 Friday and Saturday night, and Sunday 1-4 p.m.

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