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Gainesville Pre-Race Report

NHRA Gatornationals
Event No. 1 of 22
Gainesville Raceway
Gainesville, Fla.
March 12-14, 2021

Gainesville Event Highlights: 

  • 2013 event champion
  • Four-time runner-up:
    • Top Fuel: 2010, 2014, 2017
    • Pro Stock Motorcycle: 2006
  • Two-time No. 1 qualifier:
    • Top Fuel: 2010
    • Pro Stock Motorcycle: 2001

2020 Gainesville Recap:
Qualified third; Quarterfinal finish (defeated Cameron Ferre in E1; defeated by Terry McMillen in E2)

Last Event (Las Vegas II):
Qualified fourth; Event champion (defeated Tony Schumacher in E1, Clay Millican in E2, Billy Torrence in E3, Steve Torrence in E4)

Career Statistics:
441 races; 67 wins (16 Pro Stock Motorcycle); 49 No. 1 Qualifiers (11 PSM)

Noteworthy:

  • Kicks off the 2021 season as the most recent Top Fuel winner, having raced to victory at the 2020 season finale in Las Vegas
  • Made his NHRA debut at the 1998 Gainesville event, competing in Pro Stock Motorcycle

Quotable:
“Gainesville is always one of our elite races. I consider Gainesville to be our Daytona of drag racing. Florida fans are like no other. They come out of the woodwork. Florida has so much drag racing history – ‘Big Daddy’ Don Garlits is based right there in Ocala. Personally, I’ll always remember Kenny Bernstein running the first-ever 300 mph run there.

“It’s going to feel pretty cool to start out the year with the Gatornationals and we’re just going to go out and give it our all. It will be different to start on the East Coast when we normally start out west, but we’ll be able to kick things off with one of our biggest races of the year. We’re focused on just going out there and executing, and starting off the year where we finished off last year. We want to be very competitive and try to qualify in the top three each race. We’re just looking forward to pushing into 2021 and bringing home a championship for everybody – for Matco Tools, Toyota, SiriusXM, Global Electronic Technology, for Hangsterfers and all of our great sponsors that we have with us.”

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