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Legendary NHRA Track Gets A Crazy Overhaul With 100% Concrete Racing Surface Ahead Of 2019 Season

Construction crews have taken over Gainesville Raceway in Florida ahead of the 50th running of the iconic Gatornationals, which will be held in just three short months. To give racers the best surface possible, the facility is pouring fresh concrete for the full 1/4 mile ahead of the national event.

According to the NHRA’s website, “Construction continues at Gainesville Raceway ahead of this year’s blockbuster 50th annual Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals with the pouring of concrete that will provide what historically has been one of the best racetracks in the country with an all-concrete racing surface that will only enhance its reputation. New asphalt will also be installed beyond the finish line.”

The 50th running of the Gators will feature many of the sports legends coming out to revisit the site of many of their quickest passes and fondest memories. Names such as Ed “The Ace” McCulloch, Joe Amato, Jim Dunn, Shirley Muldowney, and and “Big Daddy” Don Garlits are expected to be in attendance, along with Kenny Bernstein, who became the first to exceed 300 MPH in the quarter mile at Gainesville in 1992. Likely the last major MPH barrier we’ll see fall in Top Fuel in our lifetime, that moment was revisited with Bernstein and NHRA’s Lewis Bloom in the interview below.

There’s a great deal of physics involved in why many drag racing facilities have made the switch from asphalt to concrete, much of which went straight over my head. I do know that new, state-of-the-art leveling equipment allows the crews to ensure a perfectly flat surface, which certainly seems like a positive for racers and tuners, who won’t have to pull power for any known “bumps” in the track.

We will be on hand at Gainesville for the 50th Anniversary of the Gators, so look for photos from the historic event to hit the site in just over 3 months.