Top Fuel Field Set For NHRA All-Star Callout


Steve Torrence is the top seed for the NHRA All-Star Callout at Gainesville (Fla.) Raceway next month. (Toyota Racing photo)

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The lineup for the Pep Boys NHRA Top Fuel All-Star Callout is set, featuring a star-studded field of five world champions, record-breaking drivers, and a host of all-stars.

The race, which started in 2022 and pits eight standouts against each other in a unique specialty shootout, takes place on Saturday, March 9 during the opener to the NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series season, the 55th annual Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals.

With big money – including a total purse of $130,000 – a special Callout trophy and belt, and bragging rights on the line at legendary Gainesville Raceway, the top eight seeds, in order, are Steve Torrence, Doug Kalitta, Brittany Force, Mike Salinas, Justin Ashley, Leah Pruett, Antron Brown and Shawn Langdon.

With Austin Prock switching to the Funny Car ranks this year, Langdon moves into that vacated slot as the next highest-ranked driver in the Callout point standings. Combined, Torrence, defending Top Fuel champion Kalitta, Force, Brown and Langdon have 11 world titles in the loaded category.

The action gets a special FS1 broadcast at 7 p.m. ET on March 9, and with the distinctive callout format in place, first-round selections will be made at 12:30 p.m. on Friday, March 8 in the Top Eliminator Club.

Torrence, the top-seeded driver, gets the first pick to call out his opening-round opponent. If Kalitta isn’t called out, the veteran picks next, going down the line until all four first-round matchups are set.

From there, the driver who makes the quickest winning run that round selects their semifinal opponent, locking in the other matchup as well.

It’s all part of a massive, marquee weekend that will give one Top Fuel driver the chance to win the Callout and then the famed Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals the next day, adding another layer of excitement to the historic event.

Torrence won the inaugural Pep Boys NHRA Top Fuel All-Star Callout in 2022, though that race was finished in Indianapolis due to weather. The four-time world champion will look to win it for the first time in Gainesville, while Kalitta looks to stay red-hot after ending last season with his first world title.

Force won the 2022 world title after setting track and world records across the country. She also holds the quickest (3.623-seconds) and fastest (338.94 mph) runs in Top Fuel history.

Salinas, the defending Gatornationals winner, became the first driver in NHRA history to go 300 mph to the eighth-mile last year, while Ashley had a banner campaign last year by winning six races to lead all Top Fuel competitors.

Pruett is coming off a career-best season, winning two times, advancing to six final rounds, and finishing third in points. Brown is a three-time world champion and coming off another strong year that featured two wins, including a second straight U.S. Nationals victory.

Langdon, the 2013 Top Fuel world champion, will look for a quick start to his season as well. He has 17 career victories under NHRA sanction.

With three rounds of the specialty race set to take place on Saturday, it adds another thrilling attraction to the kickoff of the NHRA’s 73rd season and the first in the NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series era.

It follows two rounds of qualifying on Friday and leads into Sunday, where drivers will be eager to leave their mark at the storied facility that has played host to magical moments for more than five decades.

Last year, Salinas (Top Fuel), Matt Hagan (Funny Car), Troy Coughlin Jr. (Pro Stock), and Gaige Herrera (Pro Stock Motorcycle) all won in Gainesville, with both Hagan and Herrera also winning world titles.

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