44th annual Amalie Oil NHRA Gatornationals
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Auto-Plus Raceway at Gainesville
11223 N. County Road 225
Gainesville, FL 32609
Elevation: 167 feet
Tickets: NHRATix.com; 800-884-NHRA (6472)
Group Tickets: 352-377-0046
Skybox Tickets: 352-377-0046
Radio Frequency: 88.5 FM
The traditional East Coast opener and the season’s first of 16 events for Pro Stock Motorcycle riders and first of 10 for Pro Mod racers, this event is one of the sport’s most revered with a rich tradition of history-making performances. This hallowed dragstrip has entertained spring-break-loving fans for four decades with such notable occasions as the first 260-mph Top Fuel and Funny Car runs in 1984 and the first 270-mph and 300-mph Top Fuel passes, in 1986 and 1992, respectively. Its 675-foot concrete launchpad is one of the longest on the tour.
2012 Recap: Top Fuel winner Morgan Lucas caught a break when his parachutes deployed early in the first round, and he followed that opportunity by making three of the five quickest runs in history with three straight 3.74s. Robert Hight (Funny Car) made the quickest run of every eliminations round before beating Johnny Gray in a pedalfest in the final. Mike Edwards used a near-perfect light to upset Greg Anderson on a holeshot in the Pro Stock final. Eddie Krawiec (Pro Stock Motorcycle) scored the maximum-allotted 150 points by setting a national record en route to victory.
How to Get There: The track is on County Road 225, eight miles north of Gainesville Regional Airport. If traveling north on I-75, use Exit 382, Williston Road (CR 331), and turn left (east). Williston Road will become Waldo Road (State Route 24) after it crosses U.S. 441. Continue on Waldo Road to NE 53rd Avenue, turn left, then immediately right onto CR 225 and continue 3.5 miles to the track. From I-75 north or south, use Exit 390, 39th Avenue (SR 222), go east to Waldo Road (SR 24), turn left, go to NE 53rd Avenue, turn left, then immediately right onto CR 225 and continue 3.5 miles to the track.
Visitor Information: Alachua County Visitors and Convention Bureau, 352-374-5231 or 866-778-5002, www.visitgainesville.com; Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce, 352-334-7100, www.gainesvillechamber.com