The 50th Gatornationals In Focus

One of drag racing’s most iconic events celebrated half a century in 2019.

From past legends of the sport to the current day heroes, the event showcased everything great about the Gatornationals, which is held annually at Florida’s Gainesville Raceway.

The 50th version of the event will go down in history as one of the greats, with records across a number of classes, sellout crowds and amazing atmosphere.

We have curated our favorite photos from the event below for you to enjoy.

Early risers on Friday walk the pits, before the crowds arrive.
The Smith family unload their Funny Car.

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While the NHRA is often accused of cookie cutter classes, Comp is the wild exception. Here a team warms up the motor in their front engine dragster before round one.
Forty-two times Pro Stock Motorcycle winner Angelle Sampey has been given a ride by Harley Davidson this season.
Factory Stock Showdown qualifying begins under Gainesville's unique palm trees.
Reigning Factory Stock Showdown driver Leah Pritchett hangs the front end of her Dodge.
This official is either saying "Great burnout guy!" or "Stop! Stop! Stop!"
Kelly Clontz readies for Pro Stock Motorcycle qualifying.
Fans roll away some unique souvenirs.

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Pro Stock seems to have an in joke where crew members get as close as possible to the cars during the burnout.
Legend Shirley Muldowney takes in the cheers of the crowd before the 'Unfinished Business' exhibition race.
Don Prudhomme's classic Army livery was replicated on the Toyota Camry he drove in the 'Unfinished Business' race.
Pro Stock legend Warren Johnson won the 'Unfinished Business' race - taking the affair very seriously!
Don Prudhomme's championship ring.
Funny Car's eventual winner Robert Hight gets his weekend started in Q1 for the nitro divisions.

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A recently resurfaced Gainesville Raceway proved challenging on day one. The nitro cars had the unique effect of drawing up all the dust in the cracks between the concrete slabs.
Some bad shake for Dom Lagana's Top Fuel dragster.
Canadian Jeff Veale awaits a run in his injected nitro dragster.
Rookie Jasmine Salinas on her way to the staging lanes.
Troy Coughlin Jr waits patiently in the staging lanes.
Jianna Salinas, like her sister, is a rookie this season. But she has chosen Pro Stock Motorcycles.
Melissa Surber bides her time.
Matt Smith set a new Pro Stock Motorcycle speed record.
Back light isn't always good for photos, at Gainesville Raceway it has the effect of lighting up the smoke and dust from the cars at the right time. Here Dave Richards launches in Funny Car Q2. Note the dust being drawn up from the concrete cracks once again.
Scott Palmer unleashes header flames during evening qualifying for Top Fuel.

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As Saturday commenced, there was still much to see in the pits. Leah Pritchett's Dodge has this neat artwork on the intake, complete with furry mustache.
Hector Arana laughs with fans in his pit area.
Friday night's top qualifier TJ Zizzo takes a selfie with fans.
NHRA legend Don Garlits signs autographs.
Plenty of crowd engagement going on.
The wheels up nature of the Factory Stock Showdown is earning plenty of fans.
Jay Turner is one of several riders pioneering the supercharged v-twins in the Nitro Harley class.
Japan's Tak Shigematsu roared to a 6.10, the quickest pass in NHRA's Nitro Harley class since its inception.
Here Tak contemplates the machine before him.

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Pro Mod's Todd Tutterow carries the front end out a ways in the AAP Camaro.
Jose Gonzalez and Khalid alBalooshi watch a replay of an accident during Pro Mod qualifying.
Leah Pritchett once again, this time in her Top Fuel dragster.
A sell out crowd on Saturday saw the pits and staging lanes become jammed with people.
Ron Capps' crew chief Rahn Tobler navigates a busy pit area.
Lex Joon goes up in flames shortly after launching his Top Fuel dragster.
Terry McMillen and Austin Prock tear down track side by side. Note the tire distortion and contrails off Austin's wing.

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A big time boomer for Tommy Johnson Jr.
A massive crowd watches on as two Top Fuel dragsters stage up.
David Barton got into the wall during round one of Factory Stock. The Chevrolet sign in the background makes for a bit of dark humor in this photo, though it was a shame to see such a beautiful car wrecked.
Tii Tharpe has the front end flying and nitro flame burning.

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Andrew Hines, far lane, reset the oldest record in the pro books, going 6.720 to finally better his own 6.728 record set in 2012.
Terry McMillen wrinkles the tires on launch.
A crew member for Bo Butner watches on as the green light flashes.
Ron Capps loses traction, resulting in an odd flame pattern.
Alex Laughlin's team celebrates a Pro Stock semi final win.

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Elation would turn to heartbreak one run later for Laughlin when his Havoline Pro Stock lost fire after the burnout and would not restart.
Richie Crampton gets ready for the final round of Top Fuel.
Top Alcohol Funny Car racer Sean Bellemeur's crew celebrates after a win and a new record run of 5.35 seconds.
Sweet victory for Megan Meyer in Top Alcohol Dragster.
Pro Modified saw an unbelievable final between Todd Tutterow, near lane, and Stevie 'Fast' Jackson. A 5.66 holeshot from Tutterow defeated Jackson's record 5.64.
Gruff Top Fuel owner Connie Kalitta celebrates as Richie Crampton wins the final round of Top Fuel.

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The famous Kalitta Motorsport moshpit begins.
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