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2014 Amalie Oil NHRA GatorNationals preview

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The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series heads to Gainesville, Florida for the third event on the 2014 schedule, the 45th running of the historic Amalie Oil NHRA GatorNationals, taking place Thursday through Sunday, March 13th through 16th at Auto Plus Raceway at Gainesville. The Top Fuel, Funny Car and Pro Stock categories will be joined for the first time this season by Pro Stock Motorcycle, as well as the Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series and the NHRA Pro Mod Series.

Defending race winners Antron Brown (Top Fuel), Allen Johnson (Pro Stock) and Hector Arana Jr. (Pro Stock Motorcycle) will return to Gainesville to defend their titles, while Funny Car winner Johnny Gray turned his wheels over to Tommy Johnson Jr. for the 2014 season.

The NHRA will host a Nitro Pit Party and Press Conference on Friday, March 14th at 10:30 a.m. ET in the Nitro Pits. Throughout the weekend, fans can check out the Hot Rod Junction display, featuring nostalgia dragsters, race cars and hot rods, including vintage machines that were driven by "Big Daddy" Don Garlits, K.S. Pittman, "Big John" Mazmanian, and Bruce Larson; there will also be several Legends of Drag Racing autograph sessions throughout the weekend.

On Sunday morning, there is a special Track Walk at 10 a.m. ET with popular legend Darrell Gwynn – to participate in the Track Walk, make a $20 donation to the Darrell Gwynn Foundation to support its ongoing work in providing education about spinal cord injury prevention, offering support to those afflicted by spinal cord injuries and debilitating disease, and raising funds to help find a cure.

Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series qualifying gets underway Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET, continuing Friday with qualifying and eliminations. Pro qualifying gets underway Friday at noon and 2:15 p.m. ET, followed by Pro Mod qualifying at 1:45 p.m. ET. The Sportsman classes take to the track again on Saturday at 8 a.m. ET, followed by Pro Mod qualifying at 11:30 a.m. and 1:45 p.m. ET; pro qualifying continues at noon and 2:15 p.m. ET. Sportsman eliminations begin Sunday at 9 a.m. ET, followed by pro eliminations at 11 a.m. ET.

Tickets are still available for the NHRA Gatornationals – find out more at www.autoplusraceway.com and purchase tickets at www.nhratix.com. Stay up-to-date with the NHRA at www.nhra.com.

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