Usually on Thursdays leading up to a National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Mello Yello Drag Racing Series event, MoparInsiders takes an in-depth look at the Mopar-based teams going into the event. While we did have an article scheduled, the NHRA sent out a press release postponing this weekend’s Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals in Gainesville, Florida, due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus (also known as COVID-19) pandemic. Like a lot of other major sporting bodies, the NHRA is playing it safe this weekend and giving teams and fans some information before the event was scheduled to start.
The NHRA released the following statement earlier today…
In consideration of the ever-evolving COVID-19 pandemic and in accordance with the recommendation of the Florida governor, NHRA officials are postponing a portion of the Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals. Some Sportsman racing will be contested this weekend without ticketed spectators, but the majority of the event has been postponed to a later date.
In consideration of the ever-evolving COVID-19 pandemic and in accordance with the recommendation of the Florida governor, NHRA officials are postponing a portion of the Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals.
The Sportsman categories of Comp, Super Stock, Stock, Super Comp, Super Gas, Top Dragster presented by Vortech Superchargers, and Top Sportsman presented by Vortech Superchargers will be contested on Thursday at Gainesville and will complete competition this weekend without ticketed spectators.
Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock, Pro Stock Motorcycle, Pro Mod, Factory Stock Showdown, Top Fuel Harley, Top Alcohol Dragster, and Top Alcohol Funny Car will compete at a later date to be determined.
Current tickets will be honored at the rescheduled event or ticketholders may opt to use their tickets as a credit toward the 2021 Gatornationals.
NHRA will determine next steps for moving forward as additional information becomes available.
We appreciate the patience of our competitors and fans. – NHRA
The Mopar-backed Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) teams had a lot to be excited about going into this weekend’s race. Driver Tommy Johnson Jr. was going into the weekend as the most recent Funny Car winner on tour after having raced to victory at the previous event in Phoenix. Matt Hagan and his Mopar Dodge Charger Funny Car team were seeking their third consecutive Funny Car No. 1 qualifier. “Fast Jack” Beckman who won the season-opener in Pomona and finished as the runner-up in Phoenix, currently leads the Funny Car point standings.
Leah Pruett was scheduled to pull double-duty in Gainesville, competing in both the Top Fuel and Factory Stock Showdown categories. The Gatornationals was to be the first of eight Factory Stock Showdown events of 2020. DSR’s Dodge Challenger Drag Pak duo is comprised of Mark Pawuk, and 2018 FSS series champion Leah Pruett.
We will let you know when the information breaks about a possible rescheduling date for the 2020 NHRA Gatornationals.