photo by Gary Nastase/Auto Imagery

Today at the final NHRA Arizona Nationals 2023 Pep Boys Top Fuel Allstar Callout winner Josh Hart was looking to add another historic win to his ledger. Racing the R+L Carriers Top Fuel dragster in the desert for just the second time in his career Hart and his Ron Douglas tuned 12,000-horsepower Top Fuel dragster rolled into race day as the No. 12 qualifier. Last year Hart raced to the semifinals from the No. 8 position outrunning Leah Pruett and Rob Passey before dropping a close race to veteran Clay Millican.

After two days of qualifying that saw Hart and his team battle tough track conditions that befuddled all the nitro teams Friday and Saturday he drew reigning Top Fuel champion Brittany Force in the first round. Hart held a 4-6 career head-to-head record with Force and was looking to close the gap with a win in the first round.

Both drivers staged and they each leapt off the starting line with Force moving smoothly off the line and Hart overpowering the track almost immediately. It was an issue the team had been battling for the previous two days. Force posted the quickest run of the weekend at over 336 mph. After his quick exit Hart reflected on how the team will correct the issue and move forward at the next race.

“We are creating so much power off the starting line we just overpowered the track,” said Josh Hart. “We are working on fixing that and I think (crew chief) Ron Douglas will get it figured out by next weekend. I am glad I am getting back in this R+L Carriers Top Fuel dragster in a few days.”

Hart will put the Arizona Nationals behind himself and turn his attention to the historic Winternationals at In-N-Out Dragway at Pomona which will get underway on Friday. Last season in his two appearances at the track located in beautiful Southern California, Hart raced to the quarterfinals and semifinals, respectively.

“I wish the Winternationals was starting tomorrow,” said Hart. “This is a long season and I have a great team. We will be ready for the Winternationals.”

Qualifying Results

Q1: 12.919 sec, 53.22 mph; Qual. 15

Q2: 10.946 sec, 59.31 mph; Qual. 16

Q3: 3.869 sec, 314.02 mph; Qual. 12

Bonus Points: 0

Race Results

First Round

Brittany Force, Flav-R-Pac dragster, 3.682, 336.23 mph def. Josh Hart, Ocala, Fla., R+L Carriers dragster, 10.780, 59.30 mph 

Camping World Drag Racing Series Top Ten – Top Fuel

1.            Steve Torrence                 168

2.            Mike Salinas                      157

3.            Leah Pruett                        155

4.            Justin Ashley                      145

5.            Doug Kalitta                       140

6             Shawn Langdon                128

7.            Brittany Force                   122

8.            Austin Prock                      109

9.            Antron Brown                   86

10.         Tony Schumacher             84

11.         Josh Hart                            65

11.         Clay Millican                      65

Elon Werner PR

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