Mar 12, 2023; Gainesville, FL, USA; NHRA top fuel driver Steve Torrence during the Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

NHRA Gatornationals Roar Into Town

Burning rubber, screaming engines and cheering fans are all a part of the mix at the Amalie Motor Oil National Hot Rod Association Gatornationals.

The legendary Gainesville Raceway hosts the annual east coast opener for championship drag racing. It has been witness to numerous records in various categories of racing.

The event hosts 15 different types of races, including Top Fuel Dragster, Super Comp and Pro Stock Motorcycle.

This year’s edition of the event began Thursday and will continue through Sunday.

Young Female Driver Continues to Impress

Highlighting a stacked roster of drivers is Super Comp driver Camrie Caruso. Despite starting just two years ago, Caruso has already made her mark on the NHRA scene.

In 2022, as a rookie, Caruso was named NHRA Rookie of the Year and advanced to the final round of competition in Houston.

In 2023, competing in the Pro Stock division, Caruso won her race in Phoenix, Arizona, becoming just the second female Pro Stock winner in NHRA history.

Caruso joined Sports Scene to provide insight into what it’s like to be an NHRA driver.

Dominance on the Bike

Another racer to watch out for is Gaige Herrera. The reigning Pro Stock Motorcycle champion looks to continue his dominance at the Gatornationals, where it all began last season.

In 2023, Herrera finished as the No. 1 competitor in the opener and went on to do so in 14 of his 15 competitions.

“Coming back to Gainesville as now the defending champion, I feel like there’s more pressure now than there was last year,” Herrera said. “I raised the bar for myself very high last year. I have a lot I have to live up to. All in all, I’m very excited.”


NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series qualifying features two rounds at 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. on Friday and the final two qualifying rounds on Saturday noon and 3 p.m. Final eliminations are scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Sunday.

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