Josh Hart and the R+L Carriers Top Fuel dragster team were racing the shadows of a major distribution hub for his primary sponsor this weekend at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals. Last year Hart raced to a runner-up finish and the owner of Burnyzz Speed Shop in Ocala, Florida, was looking to grab one more win light this year. Through two days of qualifying Hart entered race day at the No. 6 qualifier with a strong racecar.
“We lost a session on Friday because of the rain, but we got two shots at the track yesterday,” said Hart. “We are tracking down a few issues with the R+L Carriers Top Fuel dragster and I felt good going into race day. There are no easy rounds so we were ready for Spencer Massey in the first round.”
In the opening session both dragsters left the starting line and Massey almost immediately overpowered the racetrack. Hart made a smooth run that got him to the finish line 3.785 seconds after he launched at 326.643 mph. His winning effort set up a quarterfinal race with the reigning Top Fuel champion Brittany Force.
Hart was first off the line but as he was accelerating Force pulled beside him and eventually pulled away for the win. She made the quickest pass of the round and matched the track speed record on her pass. Hart crossed the finish line with a 3.774 second pass at 328.54 mph just behind Force’s 3.729 second run.
“We are fighting an issue with our clutch and that had hurt us the past couple of races,” said Hart. “The good news is we have some time before the Western Swing starts for the team to figure it out. I feel really comfortable in the car and I know once we get past this issues we’ll be in good shape. We were right there in the Chicago final and we have made good runs in Bristol and here in Norwalk.”
The R+L Carriers Top Fuel team will be back in action at Bandimere Speedway for the final Mile-High Nationals, July 14-16, in Morrison, Colorado.