Josh Hart’s victory in Best Fuel wasn’t the only revelation at the NHRA Gatornationals


Move over, KC Spurlock

Not all new professionals will need to upgrade.

Josh Hart, owner-driver of Top Fuel, became the fourth driver in NHRA history to win in his first professional appearance and the first to do so in two decades. KC Spurlock (pictured) did it in a Funny Car at the 1990 Winternationals in Pomona, Calif., And Gary Scelzi followed suit in Top Fuel in 1997. Hart is the first to accomplish the feat since Darrell Russell won his first race 20 years ago. (2001).

With guidance from team leader Ron Douglas and members of his team, Hart knocked out an intimidating roster. He faced and finished six-time IHRA Champion and always dangerous Clay Millican, NHRA Dominator Torrence, 2020 NHRA Rookie of the Year and lightning-fast outgoing Justin Ashley, and finally Top Champion. Fuel 2013 Shawn Langdon.

“Ron Douglas is awesome. And the group of guys, they did it all. This is where the real magic happens, ”Hart said. “Ron is almost like the Babe Ruth of the drag race – he was almost calling his shot, which was a little scary, but he did. It was awesome. ”

Hart, who grew up in Indiana but moved to Ocala, Fla. A few years ago, and created a large and growing classic car business that is less than 10 miles from the store and the drag racing legend museum. Big Daddy »Don Garlits. Hart and Garlits struck up a friendship, and Garlits endorsed Hart, even signed his competition license, and was a Hart client, Burnyzz. He was there last weekend to encourage and advise Hart. Her reassurance, though vague, to the 35-year-old newcomer was, “Sometimes it’s just your day.

And who can chat with “Big Daddy” Don Garlits?

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