Gainesville Raceway in Gainesville, Florida has been the East Coast opener for the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) for 47 years. This makes the GatorNationals one of the most prestigious events on the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing circuit. For professional and sportsman racers alike, this event is one of the marquee events on their respective schedules each season. For Spradlin Motorsports this event is also the first chance to score a national event “wally” trophy and the chance to begin the chase for a national championship.
Casey Spradlin, driver of the Southeastern Hose backed Top Dragster drag racing team, started his quest for a national championship this past weekend by reaching the final round at this revered event, the third national event final of his career. The event schedule was majorly interrupted by Mother Nature in that qualifying was shortened to one shot and the entire race was run on Sunday instead of spreading the event over four days as originally planned. The Lucas Oil/NGK spark plug supported 1600 horsepower rear engine dragster traveled the quarter-mile drag strip in 6.46 seconds at over 210 MPH to qualify 6th in the field of 23 racers from around the country and even Canada.
“The wet conditions throughout the weekend put a damper on the energy level we had going into the event, but once we got started on Sunday morning with first round of eliminations, I felt I had a good shot at the win,” recalls former national event winner Spradlin. “The one shot qualifying is always nerve racking because there is no room for error. We were able to make a great pass that positioned us close to the top of the field and that set us up very well for the race.”
Spradlin was ready for the start alright, leaving the starting line just two thousandths of a second from a perfect start time during round one which appears as 0.002 on the time slip. The finish line win margin contained one more zero, 0.0002, which is less than one inch at the finish line! Those kind of tight finishes continued throughout the day. Third round, Spradlin would run dead on his index to take the win against former GatorNationals victor Lindsey Barker. Fourth round would also be decided by a mere 15 inches against Canadian Tom Orr. That would set up a final round matchup between Spradlin and Jeff Strickland who was coming off a win at the previous weekend’s Lucas Oil Divisional Racing Series (LODRS) event held at the same track. After getting the starting line advantage, Strickland would also get to the finish line first by 6 feet to take the win.
“After starting out the season at the Lucas Oil regional race the previous weekend by breaking the rear differential on the first pass of the season, then scrambling the get new parts in the week between the events…making it to the finals at the GatorNationals is just a great way to turn things around,” said Spradlin after the race. “No doubt, it is tough to lose these national event finals because they are so hard to get to, but Jeff was just having an awesome day, winning in two different classes. We are definitely thankful to have gotten to the finals.”
Spradlin Motorsports will be aiming to accumulate additional points toward the national championship at their next event, the LODRS double header race at the Atlanta Dragway in Commerce, GA. Their next national event is the 4 Wide Nationals at Zmax Dragway in Charlotte, NC.
Spradlin Motorsports is grateful for the support of great marketing partners like Southeastern Hose, Lucas Oil, Smith Brothers Push Rods, NGK Spark Plugs, TCI Transmissions, DragRacingPro.com software, Lunati Crankshafts, Jet Hot Performance Coatings, Tim Gaines Performance, Hoosier Tires provided by Jody’s Trackside Tire Service, Renegade Race Fuels provided by G.A.S. Racing Inc., Isky Racing Cams Red Zone Lifters, CP Carrillo, and Manley Valves. For more information about the team please visit our website at spradlinmotorsports.com and also our facebook page at facebook.com/spradlinmotorsports.
About Spradlin Motorsports
Based in Ranburne, AL, Spradlin Motorsports with its second generation driver, Casey Spradlin, competes in Top Dragster with his 1600 hp, 215+ MPH supercharged, dragster. Spradlin competes in Top Sportsman with a 1600 hp, 200+ MPH supercharged, ’37 Chevy Coupe. The team is a two time NHRA national event finalist, winning the 2009 SportsNationals, and a three time Southeast division points champion, twice in the NHRA and once in the IHRA. Marketing partners include Southeastern Hose, Lucas Oil, Smith Brothers Push Rods, NGK Spark Plugs, TCI Transmissions, DragRacingPro.com software, Lunati Crankshafts, Jet Hot Performance Coatings, Tim Gaines Performance, Hoosier Tires provided by Jody’s Trackside Tire Service, Renegade Race Fuels provided by G.A.S. Racing Inc., Isky Racing Cams Red Zone Lifters, CP Carrillo, and Manley Valves. Visit www.spradlinmotorsports.com for more information and also our facebook page at facebook.com/spradlinmotorsports.
About Southeastern Hose, Inc.
Established in 1963, with over 50 years in business, Southeastern Hose stands as a major factor in the Hose Assembly and Expansion Joint Industry. With over 200 years of combined experience, from welding, fabricating, sales, and administration departments, the knowledge, capabilities, and expertise of Southeastern Hose is virtually unsurpassed. Southeastern Hose is a leading fabricator of Flexible Metal, Rubber, Teflon®, and Composite Hose Assemblies and Expansion Joints, Pump Connectors, Hydraulic, Pneumatic, and Jacketed Assemblies, Chemical Transfer, Tar & Asphalt, Air, Coolant, and Stripwound Hose. Offering an assortment of Fittings, Couplings, and Adaptors, as well as components in an exceptionally wide variety of types, sizes, and materials. The Southeastern Hose, Inc. mission is simple: "Connect with Confidence". Visit www.sehose.com for more information.