NHRA to Honor all military members, veterans, first responders and community heroes

 GAINESVILLE – NHRA announced today a special “NHRA Honors” program that will take place during the 2024 season, beginning with the 55th annual Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals on March 7-10.

The program will honor all military members, veterans, first responders and community heroes and each will be celebrated throughout the race with a special presentation during the first pro qualifying session on Saturday. Introduced at last year’s In-N-Out Burger NHRA Finals, special event-specific NHRA Challenge Coins will be distributed to all service members and first responders at each race and will be available at the following locations:

  • The special VIP red-carpet box office window reserved for service members and first responders
  • Top Eliminator Club check-in
  • Ticket renewal display in the midway
  • Pep Boys All-Star Callout autograph session
  • Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge autograph session
  • Nitro Alley Stage 

The NHRA also urges fans to nominate a deserving service member, veteran, first responder or community hero as the “Community Hero of the Race.” Nominations can be made online at www.nhra.com/nhrahonors. 


Those selected will be recognized during a trackside presentation on Saturday at the national event and will be presented with a custom award as part of a special presentation for the service member, veteran, first responder or community hero of the race.


All active military members and veterans will also be acknowledged during the course of the race weekend.

An “NHRA Honors” t-shirt will also be available for purchase at the NHRA NitroMall, with proceeds going to Veterans Ticket Foundation, a veterans support organization that purchases tickets for active military, veterans and their families. That special shirt debuted at the In-N-Out Burger NHRA Finals to close out 2023 and will be updated quarterly during the 2024 NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series season.

The 2024 NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series season opens with a huge spotlight in Gainesville, Mike Salinas (Top Fuel), Matt Hagan (Funny Car), Troy Coughlin Jr. (Pro Stock) and Gaige Herrera (Pro Stock Motorcycle) look for repeat wins at the legendary track. This year’s race will air on FS1, including the Pep Boys Top Fuel All-Star Callout at 7 p.m. ET on Saturday, live coverage on Sunday from 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m., and continuing finals coverage at 9 p.m. ET on Sunday.

The Pep Boys NHRA Top Fuel All-Star Callout is back to open 2024 as well, pitting eight standouts against each other in a unique, big-money specialty race on Saturday, March 9. Local standout Josh Hart won the Callout last year. Action will also take place in the Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, the Congruity NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by LearnEV+ and Flexjet Factory Stock Showdown to open 2024.

Race fans at Gainesville Raceway can enjoy the special pre-race ceremonies for drivers racing for the prestigious Wally on Sunday and the fan favorite SealMaster Track Walk, which benefits the Darrell Gwynn Foundation in Gainesville, as well as a ring ceremony for the 2023 world champs (Doug Kalitta, Hagan, Erica Enders and Herrera) and a flyover from the U.S. Air Force. The final can’t-miss experience of any NHRA event is the winner’s circle celebration on Sunday, where fans are invited to congratulate the event winners.


The Nitro Alley Stage is a huge attraction and the main entertainment hub in the pits, hosting Nitro School, the NHRA Insider Podcast, Shirley Muldowney Q&A and meet and greets. Marching bands will also entertain the crowd each day, including the University of Florida on Sunday. As always, fans get a pit pass to the most powerful and sensory-filled motorsports attraction on the planet. Fans can see their favorite teams in action and servicing their cars, get autographs from their favorite drivers and more. They can also visit NHRA’s Manufacturers Midway, where sponsors and vendors create an exciting atmosphere of interactive displays, merchandise, food and fun.


NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series qualifying features two rounds at 2 and 4:30 p.m. ET on Friday, March 8, and the final two qualifying rounds on Saturday, March 9 at 12 and 3 p.m. Final eliminations are scheduled for 10:30 a.m. ET on Sunday, March 10.


The first round of the Pep Boys Top Fuel All-Star Callout takes place on Saturday at 1 p.m. ET and the semifinals at 2:45 p.m. The finals are slated for 4:25 p.m.


To purchase tickets to the 2024 Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals, visit www.NHRA.com/tickets. Children 12 and under are free in general admission areas with the purchase of an adult ticket. Get your tickets now for the Top Eliminator Club because these will sell out. For more info on NHRA, please visit www.NHRA.com.

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