Vibrating Reality – The 2010 NHRA Gator Nationals in Gainesville FL

Top Fuel Dragsters

It sounds like a dinosaur from far away, a dinosaur that is going to kill something prehistoric and large, the roar from the Top Fuel Dragsters and Funny Cars is out of this world and to witness it firsthand is to feel your bones and organs vibrate deep within your being.

The power these cars and drivers harness is reality shattering and even with your earplugs in the force behind them will blur, vibrate and distort everything before your eyes.

At least that’s how I would put it after attending The 2010 NHRA Gator Nationals where I couldn’t help but see and feel this vibrating ripple of force as I bore witness to numerous record setting runs at the Gainesville Raceway in Gainesville Florida.

Perhaps it was just the fluid in my eyeballs vibrating with the 8000+ horsepower that these drivers launch themselves with to achieve speeds in excess of 320mph in less than 4 seconds as they cover 1000 feet of a drag strip in blazing fashion.

Or perhaps maybe the air surrounding all in attendance really does ripple with the power and force of these Top Fuel Drag Racing Machines. But whatever happens scientifically speaking one thing that is for certain is that Top Fuel Drag Racing is beyond wild.

Don’t ever pass up the chance to attend a Top Fuel NHRA Event for you will be in awe of how everything around you vibrates as the experience literally goes right through your entire body as a spectator.

I just happened to be down here in Gainesville Florida with a Drag Racing Fanatic who came to renew his NHRA license while attending Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School. He’s nuts about Drag Racing and dedicates his life and much of his expendable finances to it.

He’s just back from trip to Indianapolis to meet Steve Schmidt of  Steve Schmidt Racing who recently finished building a motor for him so that he could run 8’s in his Door Slammer, The Monza.

Drag Racing is a sport of pure passion focused on doing one: driving 1000 feet as fast as you can.

I’ve attended Drag Racing events before but never a National Event and what shocked me most about this experience was the power behind it and the women who are pushing the limits of the sport.

Just as we all saw the media frenzy around Danica Patrick and what she did for the sport of Nascar while driving with the boys of the Nationwide Series a few weeks back there are women in Drag Racing proving to have just as much influence and hardened skill.

One of Drag Racing’s Top Women is Ashley Force Hood who drives The Castrol GTX Top Fuel Funny Car for John Force Racing the most dominant race team in the sport.

Ashley is not only the first women to win an NHRA Funny Car Race, but she also became the first to lead the Funny Car points, the first to make the NHRA Funny Car playoffs and the first, not only to qualify for the U.S. Smokeless Funny Car bonus race, but the first to earn the No. 1 starting spot.

My Drag Racing Buddy had the chance to speak with her briefly after Saturday’s race and to say he was spellbound would be an understatement. To witness Ashley interact with her fans and sign endless photographs while posing for pictures helped me realize I was witnessing something really special about the sport and its what keeps it going.

Its something I have become aware with while following Nascar over the last few years and that is the willingness of the drivers and teams to interact with lifeblood of their professions, the fans.

Its wonderful as a writer to bear witness to the moment where the dedication and dreams of the drivers and race teams meets that of the fans, its an inspiring moment that I hope to see again and again.

I could write a lot more about this weekend as there was so much to experience, and maybe I will come back to the sport of Drag Racing in the future, perhaps even interview Ashley and other top NHRA Drag Racers for Ultimate Race Day, but for now I have to bring my focus back to some other work that requires my attention.

In closing I just want to offer a special thanks to John Force and Robert Hight who also took the time to speak and sign autographs for my Drag Racing Buddy as well as countless numbers of their other fans back at the team trailers.

You guys are wonderful..

Be Back Soon,

CJFinch

P.S. Check out these Top Fuel Dragster burnouts. Its not the best quality because I was using a point n shoot camera but it will most certainly give you an idea about the prehistoric roar of  8000+ Horsepower..

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3 Comments on “Vibrating Reality – The 2010 NHRA Gator Nationals in Gainesville FL”

CJ,

I recently have gotten back into drag racing as I attended Nitro-Jam in PBIR and also attended 2010 Gatornationals. A good way to describe standing by and watching these beasts take off is that it literally has the hair on your neck stand straight up and sends chills down your spine. Its an incredible feeling and I will definately be back for more.
Tom

Great article! The Gatornationals are probably the largest event in Gainesville next to Gator football, and they really go all out! Even if you’re not a racing fan you should go at least once for the experience. You will have a great time!

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