GAINESVILLE, Fla. (February, 25 2020) – Tom Bailey and Rod Tschiggfrie, two of the best street car racers on the planet, will participate in the NHRA Street Car Showdown at the Gatornationals, a special grudge match held during the 51st annual Amalie Motor Oil Gatornationals, March 12-15 in Gainesville, Fla. Bailey will take his “Beast Mode” ’69 Camaro up against Tschiggfrie’s radical Sorceress ’84 Hurst Olds Cutlass, driven by veteran chassis builder Don Speer. Both vehicles are licensed, registered, and legal for street use.
Bailey, of Lake Orion, Mich., made headlines last year during Hot Rod Magazine’s Drag Week, when he uncorked a 5.99 run on the final day of the event at Virginia Motorsports Park. Since then, he has since improved upon his career-best with a 5.77 elapsed time during pre-season testing at Bradenton Motorsports Park in Florida. NHRA fans who attended last year’s U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway got a glimpse of Bailey’s Pro Mod-style Camaro when he made exhibition runs alongside fellow Drag Week competitors.“We had such a good time doing the [exhibition race] last year at Indy, I’m happy that we were able to put something together with NHRA for Gainesville,” said Bailey. “This is the big show, and it’s cool to be able to match race against Rod’s car. I’ve never raced against Rod, but I’ve met him a couple of times and his car is impressive. His car is tuned by [fuel injection expert] Shane Techlenburg, who certainly knows what he’s doing.”
Bailey enters the Gatornationals match race brimming with confidence following his recent five-second performances. He is hoping to run similar numbers in front of a packed house at Gainesville Raceway.
Tschiggfrie, of Dubuque, Iowa, built his innovative Hurst Olds as a dual-purpose street/strip car and so far, it has lived up to that billing including a stunning 260-mph performance last November at the Street Car Supernationals in Las Vegas. The Oldsmobile is the first car that Tschiggfrie owned, and it retains its original VIN number and taillights, however nearly everything else has been replaced including a carbon fiber body and chrome moly steel chassis. The car is powered by a 640-cid engine fitted with a pair of 98mm turbochargers.
“I always wanted a really cool car, so I took this Olds and made it fit that dream,” Tschiggfrie said. ““This deal in Gainesville is also a dream come true,” said Tschiggfrie. “We’ve never really been able to race in front of a big crowd like this. It’s the big stage and to run against Tom Bailey, the king of [street legal racing] is really awesome. I respect him a lot as a person and it’s truly an honor to line up next to him. I’ll be honest; we are the underdog. He’s more decorated than I am but I do think we have a fighting chance. Not to demean anyone, but Tom has a Steve Morris engine, and a proven chassis, and he’s been at this thing for 15 years. He truly is a master at what he does. Under this format in Gainesville, we have three runs and by Sunday, I hope we have something for him.”
The schedule for the NHRA Street Car Showdown calls for both competitors to make one time trial run each day on Friday March 13 and Saturday March 14, with their epic grudge battle scheduled for Sunday, March 15.
To purchase general-admission or reserved seats, call (800) 884-NHRA (6472) or visit www.NHRA.com/tickets. Kids 12 and under are free in general admission areas with a paid adult. For more information about the NHRA visit www.NHRA.com.
AMALIE Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals
WHAT: 51st annual AMALIE Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals, the third of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series. Drivers in four categories – Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock, and Pro Stock Motorcycle – earn points leading to 2020 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series world championships.
WHERE: Gainesville Raceway, Gainesville, Fla. Track is located on 11211 North County Road 225 in Gainesville.
WHEN: Thursday through Sunday, March 12-15SCHEDULE:
THURSDAY, March 12 – LUCAS OIL SERIES qualifying
FRIDAY, March 13 – LUCAS OIL SERIES eliminations
MELLO YELLO SERIES qualifying at 2:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.
SATURDAY, March 14 – LUCAS OIL SERIES eliminations
MELLO YELLO SERIES qualifying at 12:45 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.
SUNDAY, March 15 – Pre-race ceremonies, 9:45 a.m.
MELLO YELLO SERIES eliminations begin at 11:00 a.m.TELEVISION: Friday, March 13, FS1 will televise one hour of qualifying coverage at 2:00 a.m. (ET).
Saturday, March 14, FS1 will televise one hour of qualifying coverage at 1:00 a.m. (ET).
Sunday, March 15, FS1 will televise three hours of finals coverage starting at 9:30 p.m. (ET).2019 EVENT WINNERS:
Richie Crampton, Top Fuel; Robert Hight, Funny Car; Bo Butner, Pro Stock; Andrew Hines, Pro Stock Motorcycle
Warren Johnson, PS, 9; John Force, FC, 8; Eddie Krawiec, 6, PSM; Don Prudhomme, 5, FC; Tony Schumacher, 5, TF; Joe Amato, 4, TF; Greg Anderson, 4, PS; Kenny Bernstein, 4, FC/TF; Larry Dixon, 4, TF; Don Garlits, 4, TF; Jason Line, 4, PS; Ed McCullock, 4, FC; Dave Schultz, 4, PSM; Terry Vance, 4, PSM
Top Fuel – 3.680 seconds by Brittany Force, March ’19; 331.28 mph by Clay Millican, March ‘18
Funny Car – 3.828 seconds by Robert Hight, March ’17; 334.82 mph by Hight, March ‘17
Pro Stock – 6.473 seconds by Mike Edwards, March ’12; 214.69 mph by Erica Enders, March ‘14
Pro Stock Motorcycle – 6.720 seconds by Andrew Hines, March ’19; 201.76 mph by Matt Smith, March ‘19
Top Fuel – 3.623 sec. by Brittany Force, Sep. ’19, Reading, Pa.; 338.17 mph by B. Force, Nov. ’19, Las Vegas, Nev.
Funny Car – 3.793 sec. by Robert Hight, Aug. ’17, Brainerd; 339.87 mph by Robert Hight, July ’17, Sonoma, Calif.
Pro Stock – 6.455 sec. by Jason Line, March ’15, Charlotte, N.C.; 215.55 mph by Erica Enders, May ’14, Englishtown N.J.
Pro Stock Motorcycle – 6.720 sec. by Andreew Hines, March ’19, Gainesville, Fla.; 201.76 mph by Matt Smith, March ’19, Gainesville, Fla.
TICKETS: For tickets call 800-884-NHRA (6472), of visit www.nhra.com/tickets/.
Photos courtesy of NHRA
Headquartered in Glendora, Calif., NHRA is the primary sanctioning body for the sport of drag racing in the United States. NHRA presents 24 national events featuring the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series and E3 Spark NHRA Plugs Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by J&A Service. NHRA provides competition opportunities for drivers of all levels in the NHRA Summit Racing Series and the NHRA Drags: Street Legal Style presented by AAA. NHRA also offers NHRA Jr. Street program for teens and the Summit Racing Jr. Drag Racing League for youth ages 5 to 17. NHRA’s Youth and Education Services (YES) Program reaches over 30,000 students annually to ignite their interest in automotive and racing related careers. In addition, NHRA owns and operates four racing facilities: Atlanta Dragway in Georgia; Gainesville Raceway in Florida; Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis; and Auto Club Raceway at Pomona in Southern California. For more information, log on to www.NHRA.com, or visit the official NHRA pages on Facebook, YouTube & Twitter.