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Dave Richards and Versatran / BlueBird Ready to Start Full Season Campaign at Gatornationals

Dave Richards and the Versatran / BlueBird Funny Car team head into the 2024 NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series season-opening Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway with nothing but optimism.

After racing part-time for 10 years, Richards will be taking on the full NHRA Mission Foods schedule. Knowing he has the full season ahead of him keeps everything in perspective for the Florida native.

“I couldn’t be more excited to get the season started. Coming into Gainesville, the season opener, knowing that we are racing the full season, it’s a different feeling,” Richards said. “I’m anxious, I think the whole team is. But we’ve put in the work, the long hours, I think there will be a sigh of relief once we finally get going on Friday.”

Richards and his Versatran / BlueBird Funny Car qualified in the No. 15 spot for the Gatornationals last year but had a first-round loss to legend John Force. Richards, who lives in Wellington, Florida, is hoping to continue his nine-year streak of qualifying for the competitive Funny Car field at what is his hometown national event.

“We aren’t taking the opportunity we’ve been given lightly. Our goal is to be competitive, to give the rest of these Funny Car teams a run for their money. I have no doubt we’ll be right there with everyone. It might take some time, but we have the time and we have the resources thanks to SCAG Racing, Versatran and BlueBird. We’re in a great spot and we’re ready to show what we can do for our partners.”

The Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway will feature two rounds of Funny Car qualifying on Friday at 3 and 5:30 p.m. and two sessions on Saturday at 1 and 4:30 p.m. Eliminations will take place Sunday starting at 10:30 a.m. Television coverage of the event will begin with qualifying Saturday at noon ET on FOX Sports 2 (FS2) with a second qualifying show Sunday at 8:30 a.m. ET on FS1. Eliminations shows will air Sunday at 10:30 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. ET on FS1.

This story was originally published on March 8, 2024. Drag Illustrated

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