in the lanes

CHARLOTTE, NC (September 25, 2022) --- Racing in his first Countdown following a breakout rookie campaign in 2021 Josh Hart is building momentum with four races remaining in the playoffs. With one final round to his credit this year, the defending Betway NHRA Carolina Nationals Top Fuel champion was looking to race to back-to-back wins at zMax Dragway. The R+L Carriers Top Fuel dragster was one of the quickest dragsters on the property through two days of qualifying entering race day as the No. 6 qualifier. They rolled off the trailer and posted the second quickest pass of the first day of qualifying and Hart wrapped up the final session with a 3.696 second pass.

Hart and his R+L Carriers team lined up beside eight-time Top Fuel champion Tony Schumacher with lane choice and the confidence of a team ready to secure their first win over the winningest Top Fuel driver of all time. Before the NHRA officials gave the signal to start Hart’s team was furiously working to adjust the blower tension. Schumacher’s team waited, returning the sportsmanship Hart showed him in Brainerd when they held up in the second round to allow Schumacher to reach the starting line. Today Hart jumped off the starting line and never trailed in the race advancing to the quarterfinals. His winning time of 3.708 seconds was just slightly off his quickest qualifying time.


In the quarterfinals Hart drew veteran Clay Millican, who recently became part of NASCAR team owner Rick Ware’s stable of motorsports teams. A resurgent Millican, who qualified No. 3, was also looking to make a statement in the Countdown. Hart was not taking him lightly grabbing a solid starting line advantage with a .043 second reaction time against Millican’s .062. As his R+L Carriers dragster began to launch it smoked the tires while Hart watched Millican was on a smooth run. It was a tough way to wrap up his Betway Carolina Nationals title defense.


“There is no doom and gloom over here with this R+L Carriers team,” said Hart. “It takes an army to get here. It takes so much effort from everyone on the team to compete at this level. You can’t shy away from that. It is truly a blessing to be able to do this and I will never forget that. Of course, we want to be better and that is what we are going to try and do. We are going to put it in God’s hands and go on to the next one.”

The opening round win was enough to keep Hart in seventh place in the Camping World Drag Racing Series Top Fuel point standings. He is just 28 points out of fifth place which is barely over a round of racing. With four races left in the Countdown there is plenty of time for Hart to make a move for his first Top Fuel championship.


“We are going to leave here and regroup,” said Hart. “There are a lot of things about the Countdown that are challenging. We are going to come out fighting, clawing and battling in St. Louis.”


The NHRA Midwest Nationals at World Wide Technology Raceway outside of St. Louis will begin next Friday.


Qualifying Results

Q1: 3.702 sec, 328.38 mph; Qual. 2

Q2: 4.846 sec, 148.56 mph; Qual. 2

Q3: 3.696 sec, 331.04 mph; Qual. 6

Bonus Points: +2 (2nd quickest of Q1)


Race Results


First Round

Josh Hart, Ocala, Fla., R+L Carriers dragster, 3.708, 322.19 mph def. Tony Schumacher, Austin Tex., SCAG dragster, 3.736, 296.76 mph


Second Round

Clay Millican, Drummond, Tenn., NurtecODT/Parts Plus dragster, 3.681, 332.59 mph def. Josh Hart, Ocala, Fla., R+L Carriers dragster, 7.510, 94.70 mph


Camping World Drag Racing Series Top Ten - Top Fuel

1.         Justin Ashley               2272

2.         Antron Brown             2229

3.         Brittany Force             2220

4.         Mike Salinas               2218

5.         Steve Torrence           2167

6.         Doug Kalitta                2140

7.         Josh Hart                    2139

8.         Austin Prock                2129

9.         Clay Millican               2125

10.       Leah Pruett                 2094



Feb. 18-20   Lucas Oil Winternationals    Pomona, Calif.        Auto Club Raceway at Pomona

Feb. 25-27  Arizona Nationals                Chandler, Ariz.        Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park

March 11-13. Amalie Oil Gatornationals.    Gainesville, Fla.        Gainesville Raceway

April 1-3     Four-Wide Nationals             Las Vegas                 The Strip at LVMS

April 22-24  Mopar Express Lane SpringNationals  Baytown,Texas  Houston Raceway Park

April 29-May 1  NGK Four-Wide Nationals.    Concord, N.C.             zMax DragwayM

May 13-15 Virginia Nationals                        Dinwiddie, Va.          Virginia Motorsports Park

June 3-5 New England Nationals             Epping, N.H.              New England Dragway

June 17-19  Thunder Valley Nationals.       Bristol, Tenn.              Bristol Dragway

June 24-26 Summit Racing Equip. Nationals  Norwalk, Ohio  Summit Racing Equipment Park

July 15-17   Dodge SRT Mile-High Nationals  Morrison, Colo.          Bandimere Speedway

July 22-24  Sonoma Nationals                 Sonoma, Calif.              Sonoma Raceway

July 29-31  Flav-R-Pac Northwest Nationals  Kent, Wash.           Pacific Raceways

Aug. 12-14  Menard’s Nationals                  Topeka, Kan.           Heartland Motorsports Park

Aug. 19-21  Lucas Oil Nationals                  Brainerd, Minn.            Brainerd Int’l Raceway

Sept. 2-5   Dodge SRT U.S. Nationals        Indianapolis, IN        Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis

Sept. 16-18. Mopar Express Lane Nationals  Mohnton, Pa.               Maple Grove Raceway

Sept. 23-25  Carolina Nationals               Concord, N.C.                    zMax Dragway

Sept. 30-Oct. 2 Midwest Nationals              Madison, Il       World Wide Technology Raceway

Oct. 14-16 Texas FallNationals                  Ennis, Texas                  Texas Motorplex

Oct. 28-30 Dodge SRT Nationals                  Las Vegas                  The Strip at LVMS

Nov. 11-13  Auto Club Finals                       Pomona, Ca         Auto Club Raceway at Pomona