42nd annual Tire Kingdom NHRA Gatornationals11211 N. County Road 225
Gainesville, FL 32609
Elevation: 167 feet
Tickets: www.NHRATix.com; 800-884-NHRA (6472)
Group Tickets: 352-377-0046
Radio Frequency: 88.5 FM
The traditional East Coast opener and the season’s first of 16 events for Pro Stock Motorcycle riders and first of 10 for NHRA Get Screened America Pro Mod Drag Racing Series racers moves back to the second spot on the calendar. The event is one of the sport’s most revered with a rich tradition of history-making performances. This hallowed ground has entertained spring-break-loving fans for decades with such notable occasions as the first 260-mph Top Fuel and Funny Car runs in 1984 and the first 270-mph and 300-mph Top Fuel passes, in 1986 and 1992, respectively. Its 675-foot concrete launchpad is one of the longest on the tour.
2010 recap: Tony Schumacher added a fourth Gatornationals trophy to his collection to highlight a record-setting day in Gainesville. He was joined in the winner’s circle by Tim Wilkerson (Funny Car), Jason Line (Pro Stock), and Eddie Krawiec (Pro Stock Motorcycle). Two national speed records, a national e.t. record, numerous runs that rank in the top 10 of all time, and a slew of career-best passes lit up the scoreboards at the event.
How to Get There: The track is on County Road 225, eight miles north of Gainesville Regional Airport. If traveling north on I-75, use Exit 382, Williston Road (CR 331), and turn left (east). Williston Road will become Waldo Road (State Route 24) after it crosses U.S. 441. Continue on Waldo Road to NE 53rd Avenue, turn left, then immediately right onto CR 225 and continue 3.5 miles to the track. From I-75 north or south, use Exit 390, 39th Avenue (SR 222), go east to Waldo Road (SR 24), turn left, go to NE 53rd Avenue, turn left, then immediately right onto CR 225 and continue 3.5 miles to the track.
Visitor Information: Alachua County Visitors and Convention Bureau, 352-374-5231 or 866-778-5002; Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce, 352-334-7100, gainesvillechamber.com