In a day of broken records, surprising defeats, cool temperatures and a first time winner, the Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway was filled with action and broken brackets.
The fans packed in to Gainesville Raceway, battling a cold front and left over moisture from the previous 3 days.
"I'm speechless, is gone. It's kind of sinking in a little bit," said Tatum "I never really thought about winning. I mean, it's just such a it's a lot of work so hard. It's like baby steps. It's like it's good as this car is run so early on, it's been overwhelming, and that's all because of the Capco family, and so it's just been a lot to swallow. It's a lot to it.
"I got lucky [in the final]. I could not see the Tree at all and had a .190 light, I just couldn't see it. He was out on me. I saw him till 300-400 feet. So there's a little luck involved there."
This was Tatum's first win in NHRA Top Fuel.
"It's a big day to get the first win for Tony Stewart Racing,," said Hagan. "What he and Leah have done over the winter to put this team together and keep this thing going and to have Dodge Power Brokers and Direct Connection come over and be a part of it is huge. It shows that they like our team, they like what we're doing, like the wins that are coming, and, get the return that we're trying to give them, that was big in itself. For Tony to come over here and be a part of NHRA is huge. He's married to Leah, but, you know, he ain't married me, and you can tell he wants to be here and that says a lot for our sport.
"It just was a big weekend for me personally because I've been wanting to win this race and check it off over my career box, and I think this allows me to accomplish everything I've ever set out to do in NHRA."
This was the third start for Hagan under the Tony Stewart Racing banner.
“The Pro Stock category so tough; it’s awesome right now,” said Glenn. I didn’t think I missed the Tree, but the sun was right in my eyes. I can’t thank RAD Torque Systems enough for their support. They’re already talking about next year but I want to focus on winning some races this season.”
Dallas earned the fourth national event title of his short career.
“Gainesville is like my second home,” said Stoffer. “My first team owner was based here and I love to come back every year. It’s a great place to kick off the season and to have three wins here is huge.”
Along with winning the Wally, Karen also captured the fastest run earlier in the day for Pro Stock Motorcycle.
See the full recap by NHRA National Dragster staff:
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Photo: NHRA National Dragster