A packed house of fans were in attendance for the 35thNHRA SpringNationals and second year Top Fuel racer Josh Hart from Ocala, Florida, took advantage of the three days of Texas hospitality to improve his performance behind the wheel of the R+L Carriers Top Fuel dragster and talk about the wide variety of career opportunities open to the Texas fans. Through two days of qualifying in the Texas heat Hart made three passes with his final pass lighting up the scoreboard with a run of 3.806 seconds at 325.22 mph. It was continued improvement and set the team up to be aggressive with slightly cooler temperatures during the critical round one race today.
As the season has unfolded Hart and his crew chief Ron Douglas have been shaking down a brand-new Top Fuel dragster. After four races the duo managed to figure out several issues and entered Houston looking to accumulate valuable data that will pay dividends as the spring and summer season unfolds. The information they picked up in the final round of qualifying combined with their successful semifinal finish in Phoenix had the R+L Carriers team looking forward to a long day of racing.
In the opening round Hart was first off the starting line but shortly after that as his 11,000-horsepower dragster was accelerating down track his Goodyear slicks lost traction. The two-time Top Fuel winner was forced to watch his opponent make a smooth run in the neighboring lane. Every run yields valuable data for the race team and even in a losing effort the team now has a better handle on how aggressive they can be in the future under similar conditions.
“We looked at the conditions and they were really like Phoenix when we raced to the semifinal,” said Hart. “We just barely missed it and the good news is we are headed in the right direction. We worked through some early season issues and now Ron and the guys are just getting after it with this R+L Carrier Top Fuel dragster. I am looking forward to getting back to Charlotte this weekend. We ran well there last season and I will be looking to start a win streak in a couple days.”
Sunday was a sellout crowd for the last installment for the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series at Houston Raceway Park. The race start time was pushed back 30 minutes to allow additional time for spectators to pack and Hart made the most of this bonus time signing autographs and engaging with fans about his sponsor R+L Carriers.
“We didn’t get the win on the track, but this was one of our busiest races hosting folks and talking about R+L Carriers,” said Hart, who over three days was continually talked to fans in his pits and on the rope lines. “Our goal is to talk with as many people as possible about the amazing career opportunities R+L Carriers has for people right now. We had a constant stream of people that the recruiters and I talked to about how just coming to the races could lead to a great new career.”
Hart and the R+L Carriers Top Fuel team will leave Houston Raceway Park securely in the Top Ten in the Top Fuel NHRA Camping World Top Fuel standings. The team will be back in action April 29-May for the Circle K Charlotte Four-Wide Nationals outside of Charlotte.
Q1: 3.929 sec, 236.63 mph; Qual. 14
Q2: 4.918 sec, 137.83 mph; Qual 15
Q3: 3.806 sec, 325.22 mph; Qual. 15
Bonus Points: 0
Brittany Force, Yorba Linda, Calif., Monster Energy dragster, 3.740, 329.42 mph def. Josh Hart, Ocala, FL, R+L Carriers dragster, 4.925, 146.65
Camping World Drag Racing Series Top Ten – Top Fuel
Elon Werner PR