2020 Top Fuel Gatornationals preview

By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher

The National Hot Rod Association returns to Gainesville, Florida for the first-time in six-months. However, this time, unlike last time, there will be a national event with the professional classes.

Back in March, the coronavirus caused the NHRA to shut down through July when they were able to return at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis in Brownsburg, Indiana.

Top Fuel Dragster pilot Richie Crampton racing on Sunday at the 2019 Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals
Richie Crampton racing on Sunday at the 2019 Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals (Photo by the NHRA)

Richie Crampton was the last Top Fuel winner at the 50th annual Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway in Gainesville, Florida. He won the race while driving for Kalitta Motorsports.

In August, Crampton was in a very bad accident with fellow Top Fuel Dragster pilot Dom Lagana and Torrence Racing crew member Jacob Sanders. Both Sanders and Crampton were able to leave the hospital a short-time after the accident.

Related: Richie Crampton returns home after bad accident in Indiana

However, Lagana is still battling for his life at Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Hospital in Indianapolis, Indiana. He suffered a brain injury and severe burns in the crash, according to statements from the family.

During Labor Day weekend, Shawn Langdon won the last Wally in Top Fuel at the Denso Spark Plugs NHRA U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway. This was the second-time in his career that Langdon won the prestigious U.S. Nationals.

At this delayed Gatornationals event, there will be a new Wally winner. And only 15 Top Fuel Dragster teams will be competing at the event, which means they all will make eliminations on Sunday.

Capco Contractors duo Steve and Billy Torrence will be competing for the Gatornationals Wally. Langdon and his points-leading teammate Doug Kalitta will also be in Florida.

Amalie-sponsored Top Fuel pilot and ambassador of the event, Terry McMillen, will visit Florida with his team. Tennessee native Clay Millican has made the trip with his Parts Plus Top Fuel Dragster team.

Don Schumacher Racing teammates Antron Brown, Leah Pruett, and Tony Schumacher will be there. Strutmasters.com Top Fuel pilots Justin Ashley and Doug Foley will also be competing in the Florida sun.

Part-timers Joe Morrison, Arthur Allen, Todd Paton, and Cameron Ferré will all be there. Ferré is back in Terry Haddock’s Top Fuel Dragster after filling in for Morrison in the Leverich Racing ride for the U.S. Nationals.

Allen is making his Top Fuel debut at this event.

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