Josh Hart Wins Pep Boys NHRA High Gasoline All-Star Callout; B. Power, Capps, Coughlin and Herrera Qualify No. 1 at NHRA Gatornationals – Drag Illustrated

High Gasoline’s Josh Hart picked up the victory within the Pep Boys NHRA High Gasoline All-Star Callout on Saturday at this weekend’s 54th Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals, beating Mike Salinas within the last spherical to win the bonus occasion in entrance of a sellout crowd at Gainesville Raceway.

Brittany Power (High Gasoline) Ron Capps (Humorous Automobile), Troy Coughlin Jr. (Professional Inventory) and Gaige Herrera (Professional Inventory Motorbike) all certified No. 1 on the first of 21 races throughout the 2023 NHRA Tenting World Drag Racing Collection season.

Hart, a neighborhood Ocala native, put collectively a run of three.748-seconds at 331.53 in his 11,000-horsepower R&L Carriers dragster, knocking off Salinas who went up in smoke on the beginning line within the specialty race. Hart beat Austin Prock and defending world champ Power to achieve the ultimate spherical. Two years in the past, Hart gained in Gainesville in his High Gasoline debut, following it up with Saturday’s spectacular exhibiting.

“Initially, I suppose I’ll simply say that good guys don’t end final,” Hart stated. “The workforce will get all of the credit score. That consistency to get it executed each time makes me so very, very happy with the workforce. It’s an enormous, enormous accomplishment for our workforce. To exit and win a specialty race proper off the trailer is fairly superior. However I’m simply the jockey that will get to hit the gasoline.

“I don’t suppose I knew I used to be presupposed to be nervous or knew that I used to be presupposed to have butterflies two years in the past however while you style it, after which it will get taken away from you and your sophomore season you wish to get again to that place. I believe we discovered a bit of little bit of magic and Gainesville has all the time been good to us. We’ll do our greatest to get this factor within the winner’s circle extra usually.”

Power’s 3.699 at 336.99 from Friday in her 11,000-horsepower Monster Vitality dragster handed the defending world champion her forty third high spot. She’ll open eliminations in opposition to Keith Murt, whereas Steve Torrence jumped to second with a 3.723 at 331.36. Doug Kalitta is third with a 3.723 at 327.82.

“It was a bummer to lose out on the All-Star Callout, however we obtained the No. 1 qualifier,” Power stated. “We felt good going into (the Callout) and obtained to the semifinals, however we obtained beat, so our larger focus now could be raceday tomorrow. We’ll put as we speak behind us, and obtained in that final qualifying session, which was good, strong run for us.

“It’s excellent, to be in numerous circumstances run in and nonetheless be capable of run that. We missed it the one time within the Callout, however all of us really feel fairly good.”

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In Humorous Automobile, Capps opened his title protection with an excellent run to shut out qualifying, going 3.874 at 333.25 in his 11,000-horsepower NAPA Auto Components Toyota GR Supra. It offers Capps 36 No. 1 qualifiers in his standout profession, and he’ll open raceday in opposition to Terry Haddock. Capps misplaced within the last spherical of the season-opener final 12 months and ended together with his second straight world title, which has him hoping for an enormous exhibiting this weekend in Gainesville.

“All of us talked about how robust it was going to and also you noticed it within the final session,” Capps stated. “Final 12 months I find yourself profitable Indy for the primary time in my profession, then we win the Callout in the identical weekend after which we go on to win the championship and it’s only a dream 12 months. So, it’s virtually like how do you high that? However we present up right here and we come from behind and we lay down low E.T. My gosh, what a technique to begin the 12 months.”

John Power is certified second with a 3.878 at 332.59 and Robert Hight was a spot behind after his 3.879 at 333.99.

Coughlin made an enormous transfer on Saturday in Professional Inventory, leaping to the highest spot and transferring previous his teammate, Erica Enders, with a run of 6.515 at 212.29 in his Fort/Elite Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro. After a breakout season a a 12 months in the past, which included his first two skilled wins, Coughlin is off to a fast begin in 2023, taking his third profession No. 1 qualifier. He’ll open eliminations in opposition to Larry Morgan.

“I’m very happy with what we’ve executed to this point. Kudos to Elite Motorsports and everybody on our workforce,” Coughlin stated. “All of them work exhausting and we’re an entire household. The fellows within the engine store by no means cease working. I want everybody may come to our store and expertise it firsthand. It’s simply such an honor to be part of.”

Enders, the reigning world champ, certified second after going 6.515 at 211.73, simply lacking out on the highest qualifier place. Mason McGaha took third due to his run of 6.519 at 211.59.

Making his debut for Vance and Hines, rising Professional Inventory Motorbike star Gaige Herrera loved an amazing day on his Vance & Hines/Mission Meals Suzuki, delivering a 6.685 at 203.49, breaking the observe velocity report. Herrera made his PSM debut final 12 months and joined the Vance and Hines workforce within the low season. He’s made a robust impression already and can go for his first win on Sunday, opening eliminations in opposition to Ron Tornow.

“I truthfully don’t have phrases for this,” Herrera stated. “Simply being right here with the most effective workforce in Professional Inventory Motorbike is a dream after which to run 6.68 on back-to-back runs after which go 203. It’s been an superior journey to this point. It’s nonetheless not actual to me. Once I obtained that telephone name from (Vance & Hines crew chief) Andrew Hines in November it took some time to sink in. Then I obtained my new leathers and realized I’d be using the most effective bike within the class.”

Steve Johnson’s 6.746 at 198.90 stored him second and rookie Chase Van Sant took third in his first PSM race with a 6.747 at 200.80.

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Eliminations for the Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals start at 10 a.m. ET on Sunday at Gainesville Raceway.

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