Baby Gators Photos: NHRA Divisional Sportsman Drag Racing Action Shots

Baby Gators Photos: NHRA Divisional Sportsman Drag Racing Action Shots

(Words and Photos by Joe Grippo) The main reason for my wife and I deciding to flee the northeast winter and head to sunny Florida last month was to get in some Drag Racing. Florida in March, you may be thinking Gainesville, and you would be correct, sort of. We went to Gainesville Raceway, yes, but we went the week before the infamous Amalie Gatornationals. We choose to hit up the NHRA Division 2 Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series event better known as the Baby Gators. The Baby Gators is a regional event for the NHRA sportsman classes. Divisional categories contested include Alcohol cars down through the list to Stock Eliminator. This is my favorite type of drag racing, the Camping World Pros are cool but give me Stock and Super Stock all day, every day. The big show Gatornationals only accept around 50 each of the sportsman classes and, for example, there were over 100 Stockers racing at the Baby Gators. There were well over 600 race cars on the property at Gainesville Raceway!

As I have said, Stockers and Super Stockers are my bag, so the galleries are heavy with them. Don’t sleep on the Top Alcohol cars, the diversity of Competition Eliminator, the insanely fast dial-in classes of Top Dragsters and Sportsman and all the .90 stuff. All these cars are like a rolling car show and are painted, polished and super detailed. The engineering of these machines is something to behold, if you find yourself at one of these deals get out in the pits and dig into these things and talk to the owners, you will get and education and perhaps a new respect for what it takes to field a car in these classes.

Stock and Super Stock are full of Muscle Cars, old and new. You could see a Hemi Dart chasing down a FWD Mercury Tempo or a 2020 super charged Cobra Jet Mustang give a 5 second head start to a SBC powered 1969 Kingswood Wagon. Big Block Camaros are everywhere. Modern day DragPak Challengers and vintage 6-Pack Challengers compete side by side. A BangShifters paradise, for sure.

Dig into galleries for all the pit and on-track action.
Be sure to check out a Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series event near you.


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