HomeEvent Coverage2024 NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle - Gatornationals

2024 NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle – Gatornationals

2024 NHRA 55th Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway

55th Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals
Gainesville Raceway
March 9-10, 2024

PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE

At the site of his first career Pro Stock Motorcycle victory a year ago, Gaige Herrera was simply dominant on Sunday in Gainesville, capping off a spectacular day with a run of 6.636 at 204.39 on his RevZilla/Mission Foods/Vance & Hines Suzuki in the final round to get past Matt Smith.





Herrera, who was also the No. 1 qualifier, won his sixth straight race dating back to his remarkable championship season in 2023, and earned his 12th career victory and not much was in doubt on Sunday. He put together four straight runs in the 6.60s at more than 200 mph, defeating Joey Gladstone, John Hall and Angie Smith leading into the final round.

That included a track-record best of 6.629 at 204.54 in the second round, which was the second-quickest run in class history, behind only his record-setting run last year in Dallas.

“Today was good and we ran really well,” Herrera said. “The weather was really close to Dallas (last season), where I set the national record. Everyone kind of picked up in the class and we expected to as well. Overall, I had a very consistent motorcycle. We actually hurt the motor in the semifinals, so we had to swap motors for the finals. Overall, I had a very consistent, smooth motorcycle all day. As long as I didn’t miss a beat, the bike didn’t miss a beat. Even though I didn’t do any testing during the off-season, it felt like I didn’t even have an off-season and I’m glad to come home with a win.”

Matt Smith went to the finals for the 76th time in his career thanks to round wins against Chris Bostick, Mark Ingwersen and LE Tonglet.

The NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series returns to action March 21-24 with the 64th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals at In-N-Out Burger Pomona Dragstrip in Pomona, Calif.

 

ROUND 1 ELIMINATIONS

W- John Hall / 0.038 / 6.785 / 197.77
L- Hector Arana Jr / 0.067 / 6.775 / 200.83

John Hall is 0 – 10 against Arana Jr. Hector Arana Jr. is 126 – 50 in Rd. 1 overall and he was 12 – 3 in Rd. 1 last year. Hall gets out of the gate first and goes down the groove with his career best run to take the holeshot win. Arana makes his quickest pass of the weekend in the losing effort.

W- Angie Smith / 0.123 / 6.691 / 203.61
L- Jianna Evaristo / 0.547 / 15.402 / 45.78

Angie Smith wins 70% of her Rd. 1 races when she has lane choice. Jianna Evaristo is 0 – 4 against Angie Smith (and they have all been in Rd. 1 races). Smith goes down the groove with a career best pass, the track ET record, and pulls away for the win. Evaristo had problems off of the line and was off of the throttle early.

W- Marc Ingwersen / 0.019 / 6.834 / 197.16
L- Chase Van Sant / 0.067 / 6.897 / 197.31

Chase Van Sant was 8 – 5 in Rd. 1 last year. Marc Ingwersen is 14 – 27 in Rd. 1 races. Ingwersen is 1 – 0 against Van Sant in prior events. Ingwersen gets the holeshot and goes down the groove with his quickest pass of the weekend to pull away for the win. Van Sant makes a clean pass but slowed from his qualifying time.

W- LE Tonglet / 0.051 / 6.756 / 201.40
L- Bud Yoder / 0.025 / 7.049 / 186.33
LE Tonglet is 86 – 51 in Rd. 1 in his career. Bud Yoder is making his 2nd start. Yoder gets the advantage off of the line but Tonglet reels him in by the time they reach the 330 foot mark. Tonglet goes by and pulls away for the win with a career best pass.

W- Richard Gadson / 0.038 / 6.724 / 201.97
L- Kelly Clontz / 0.164 / 6.829 / 197.39

Richard Gadson is making his 3rd start. Kelly Clontz was 4 – 11 in Rd. 1 last year. This is the first time Gadson and Clontz have faced each other in eliminations. Gadson gets the holeshot and extends his lead all the way through the run. He runs a career best in the win. Clontz makes her quickest pass of the weekend in the loss.

W- Steve Johnson / 0.103 / 6.765 / 199.14
L- Ryan Oehler / 0.092 / 6.859 / 196.67

Oehler gets the advantage off of the line but Johnson is able to reel him in before they reach the sixty foot mark. Johnson pulls away with his quickest pass of the weekend and takes the win. Steve Johnson’s incremental times: 60ft-1.073 sec., 330ft-2.845, 660ft-4.339/163.73 mph, 1,000ft-5.643. Angie Smith will have lane choice over Johnson in the next round.

W- Matt Smith / 0.045 / 6.751 / 203.22
L- Chris Bostick / 0.047 / 6.867 / 196.62

Matt Smith is 28 – 3 in Rd. 1 when qualified #2. In 37 years the #15 PSM qualifier has won in Rd. 1 4 times at this event and 2 of them have been in the last 2. (The #15 PSM qualifier has never gone past Rd. 2 at this event). Smith is 10 – 0 against Bostick in prior events. A coin flip off of the line, Bostick gets the early lead. Smith gets by Bostick by the time they reach the 330 foot mark and pulls awy for the win. Both riders make thier quickest passes of the weekend on the run.

ROUND 2 ELIMINATIONS

W- Gaige Herrera / 0.035 / 6.639 / 204.35
L- Joey Gladstone / 0.046 / 6.949 / 194.16

As the #1 qualifier Gaige Herrera is 14 – 0 in Rd. 1. The #1 PSM qualifier at this event has won this race 17 times. In the last 20 years the #16 PSM qualifier is 4 – 16 in Rd. 1. Herrera is 1 – 0 against Gladstone in prior events. Herrera gets the advantage off of the line and extends his lead all the way through the run. Herrera goes down the groove with his quickest pass of the weekend and sets the track record.

W- Angie Smith / 0.051 / 6.737 / 202.12
L- Steve Johnson / 0.058 / 6.831 / 197.91

Smith is 14 – 12 against Johnson in prior events. Smith gets a small advantage off of the line, the bike sounded like it stumbled a little, but she stays with it and pulls away for the win.

W- Matt Smith / 0.034 / 6.826 / 199.40
L- Marc Ingwersen / -0.004 / 6.928 / 196.16
Smith is 7 – 1 against Ingwersen in prior events. Ingwersen just misses the tree and goes red giving the win to Smith. Smith goes down the groove with a good pass to take the win.

W- LE Tonglet / 0.042 / 6.878 / 197.80
L- Richard Gadson / -0.008 / 6.802 / 200.00

This is the first time Gadson and Tonglet have faced each other in eliminations. Gadson takes a shot at the tree and leaves a little too soon. Tonglet’s bike stumbled a little off of the line but he recovers and makes a decent pass. LE Tonglet’s incremental times: 60ft-1.112 sec., 330ft-2.916, 660ft-4.429/162.10 mph, 1,000ft-5.747.

W- Gaige Herrera / 0.035 / 6.629 / 204.54
L- John Hall / 0.033 / 6.801 / 201.37

A coin flip off of the line, Herrera gets out in front early and extends his lead all the way through the run. Herrera takes the win with the second quickest pass in history. Gaige Herrera’s incremental times: 60ft-1.032 sec., 330ft-2.777, 660ft-4.252/166.15 mph, 1,000ft-5.534. Herrera will have lane choice over Angie Smith in the next round.

SEMI-FINAL

W- Matt Smith / 0.049 / 6.722 / 201.43
L- LE Tonglet / 0.046 / 6.777 / 200.95

Smith is 15 – 14 against Tonglet in prior events. A coin flip off of the line, Smith gets out in front early and pulls away for the win.

W- Gaige Herrera / 0.023 / 6.684 / 202.27
L- Angie Smith / 0.060 / 6.735 / 202.91
Herrera gets out of the gate first, Smith starts making up ground but Herrera is able to hold her off and take the win. Gaige Herrera’s incremental margins: 60ft(0.105), 330 ft(0.102), 660ft(0.096), 1,000ft(0.091). MOV: 0.0886 seconds (approximately 26 feet). Gaige Herrera’s incremental times: 60ft-1.038 sec., 330ft-2.796, 660ft-4.282/164.47 mph, 1,000ft-5.578. Angie Smith’s incremental times: 60ft-1.106 sec., 330ft-2.861, 660ft-4.341/165.52 mph, 1,000ft-5.632. Herrera is going to his 13th final round. He will have lane choice over matt Smith in the final round.

 

 

FINAL

W- Gaige Herrera / 0.062 / 6.636 / 204.39
L- Matt Smith / 0.054 / 6.748 / 200.83

Herrera is 3 – 1 against Smith in prior events and Herrera is 1 – 0 against Smith in prior final rounds. Smith gets the advantage off of the line but Herrera goes around him before they reach the 60 foot mark.


POINTS

1. Gaige Herrera, 127
2. Matt Smith, 103
3. LE Tonglet, 77
4. Angie Smith, 74
5. (tie)
Steve Johnson, 566
Richard Gadson, 54
John Hall, 54
8. Marc Ingwersen, 52
9. Chase Van Sant, 33
10. (tie)
Hector Arana Jr, 32
Kelly Clontz, 32
Jianna Evaristo, 32


SATURDAY SCHEDULE

Gaige Herrera improved on Friday’s two runs, taking his 10th straight No. 1 qualifier on his RevZilla/Mission Foods/Vance & Hines Suzuki with a run of 6.746 at 200.50. It continues a remarkable run for the defending event winner, who won his first race in the class a year ago in Gainesville. He’ll look to repeat that on Sunday, opening eliminations against Joey Gladstone.

“I’m very pleased and we were happy to improve a little bit,” Herrera said. “I’m feeling comfortable and confident going into tomorrow. It’s very cool to come back here and start off where we left off to end last year. I’ve got to give all the credit to my team. They haven’t missed a beat, so it feels good to come back here and basically start like we did last year.”

Matt Smith improved to a 6.768 at 202.45 to stay second, while LE Tonglet qualified third with a 6.771 at 197.88.

01. Gaige Herrera / 6.746 / 200.5
02. Matt Smith / 6.768 / 202.45
03. LE Tonglet / 6.771 / 197.88
04. Steve Johnson / 6.804 / 195.7
05. Angie Smith / 6.809 / 197.74
06. Richard Gadson / 6.817 / 198.32
07. Chase Van Sant / 6.825 / 198.23
08. John Hall / 6.825 / 196.39
09. Hector Arana Jr / 6.857 / 197.22
10. Marc Ingwersen / 6.899 / 196.59
11. Kelly Clontz / 6.935 / 197.45
12. Jianna Evaristo / 6.965 / 195.82
13. Ryan Oehler / 6.966 / 191.95
14. Bud Yoder / 6.973 / 190.27
15. Chris Bostick / 7.019 / 193.02
16. Joey Gladstone / 7.097 / 186.56
Not Qualified
17. Hector Arana / 7.230 / 191.24
18. Wesley Wells / 7.323 / 184.62


FRIDAY QUALIFYING

Herrera picked up right where he left off in Pro Stock Motorcycle, both from his championship-winning 2023 season and last year in Gainesville, going to the No. 1 spot with a run of 6.752 at 198.64 on his RevZilla/Mission Foods/Vance & Hines Suzuki. Herrera dominated the 2023 campaign, winning 11 races and grabbing 14 No. 1 qualifiers – both single-season records in the category – and showed no signs of slowing down Friday in Gainesville. The defending event winner made the quickest runs of both sessions as he looks to repeat at the site of his first NHRA win.

“We started where we left off and all the credit goes to my team,” Herrera said. “They’ve worked really hard in the off-season. I’m very happy with how I ran today. Everybody in this class has been working and it shows. This season is going to be very exciting and I’m really looking forward to it. Andrew (Hines, crew chief) works day and night in the shop and that’s where we shine. He keeps pushing and pushing, and this team never stops working.”

Matt Smith went 6.785 at 199.55 to go into the second spot, while Steve Johnson is currently third after going 6.804 at 195.70.

01. Gaige Herrera / 6.752 / 198.64
02. Matt Smith / 6.784 / 199.55
03. Steve Johnson / 6.804 / 195.7
04. LE Tonglet / 6.814 / 198.23
05. Richard Gadson / 6.817 / 198.32
06. John Hall / 6.825 / 196.39
07. Hector Arana Jr / 6.857 / 197.22
08. Chase Van Sant / 6.893 / 194.72
09. Ryan Oehler / 6.966 / 191.95
10. Marc Ingwersen / 6.983 / 193.9
11. Jianna Evaristo / 6.997 / 192.03
12. Chris Bostick / 7.043 / 192.66
13. Bud Yoder / 7.111 / 186.43
14. Hector Arana / 7.230 / 191.24
15. Wesley Wells / 7.323 / 184.62
16. Kelly Clontz / 7.437 / 186.69
Not Qualified:
17. Angie Smith, broke
18. Joey Gladstone, broke


ABOUT NHRA

The National Hot Rod Association, the largest auto racing organization in the world, has come a long way since Wally Parks founded it in 1951.

Though it has grown into a global sports-entertainment business, NHRA has not lost sight of Parks’ original goal: to provide competitors a place to race. But now those places are deluxe supertracks in major U.S. markets, and the racing runs the gamut from 11,000-horsepower Top Fuel dragsters to 5-horsepower Jr. Dragsters. Drag racing’s journey through the decades has been sometimes swift, sometimes rocky, but always exciting and always worth the trip.

In the 1950s, top performance marks were 140 mph in 9 seconds. Today, they’re more than 330 mph in less than 3.7 seconds. Back then, winners earned little more than a trophy and bragging rights. Today’s racers compete for trophies and bragging rights as well as a share of more than $3 million in prize money.

In 2024, NHRA joined forces with Mission Foods to present the world’s fastest motorsports attraction as the flagship sponsor of the national touring series, the NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series.

Under the leadership of President Glen Cromwell, NHRA raced forward in 2020 with a number of key initiatives, including a multiyear partnership with FOX Sports to televise NHRA events from the NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series, the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, and the Pro Mod Drag Racing Series. FOX Sports networks aired more than 500 hours of programming throughout the year, highlighted by 22 race-day shows, including eight on FOX’s national network, in addition to primetime Friday night qualifying shows, and fans are in for more of the same this year.

NHRA has extremely loyal fans that are committed to the sport they love, and it’s easy to see why. They continue to have the best access to the behind-the-scenes action of racing. NHRA’s open-pits policy allows fans to get an up-close-and personal view of how teams rebuild engines. Drivers are often found in their pit areas, signing autographs and chatting with fans, who have the rare opportunity to get behind the wheel themselves in a variety of racing simulators in the Nitro Alley Fan Zone. Those are just a few reasons NHRA fans continue to be some of the most loyal in any sport.

For more information, log on to NHRA.com, or visit the official NHRA pages on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.


About Mission Foods

Great food is a great motivator. It brings everyone to the table and inspires us to explore all kinds of delicious destinations. At Mission®, it drives us to seek the freshest ingredients, simple recipes, diverse flavors and wholesome products that help us discover all the places our tortillas can go. There are better-for-you destinations like with our high protein, low carb, or gluten-free tortillas. Of course, tacos and nachos are favorite stops. We are always up for those. www.missionfoods.com

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