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in the lanes

PHOENIX, AZ (February 27, 2022) --- Today at the NHRA Arizona Nationals second year Top Fuel racer Josh Hart showed that last season’s success and consistency was not a fluke as he raced his R+L Carriers Top Fuel dragster to a semifinal finish in one of the toughest fields of Top Fuel competitors. The entrepreneur from Ocala, Florida, continues to break in a brand new 11,000 horsepower race car and with every pass he is getting more and more comfortable. The comfort level combined with the data gathered by crew chief Ron Douglas is also making performance improvements with every lap. As the No. 8 qualifier Hart defeated Leah Pruett and Rob Passey before coming up just short of another final round appearance in a tough semifinal loss against veteran Clay Millican.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                   

 

 

                            

 

 

“We went faster than we have ever gone in my career with the 332-mph run and I am getting a lot more comfortable in this R+L Carriers Top Fuel race car,” said Hart, who raced to four semifinal finishes in addition to two wins in 2021. “My reaction times are progressively getting better. There are no slouches out here and anything is possible. When a 3.70 flat barely gets you in the top half of the field that is saying something. Everybody out here has stepped up. Everybody deserves to be out here. You have to fight for it if you want to win.”

 

In a great first round race Hart got the jump off the starting line with a reaction time advantage of .093 to .127 and that margin was enough to keep the nose of his R+L Carriers dragster in front of Pruett’s dragster for the win. This was the third time Hart raced Pruett and he moved his record to 3-0 with the round win. His elapsed time of 3.705 seconds gave him lane choice in the quarterfinals over upset winner Rob Passey who defeated No. 1 qualifier Doug Kalitta in the first round.

 

 

 

 

 

                                                   

 

 

 

                                                    

 

 

The second round race was a clash between two racers who are doing everything right to follow their respective dreams. An hour before their  race Passey picked up his first career Top Fuel round win and he gave Hart all he could handle in the quarterfinal. This was the first time the two Top Fuel racers had met in competition. Hart’s admiration for Passey as well as any of his competitors speaks to the tenacity it takes to be competitive at the highest level of drag racing.

 

“It is a tall order to get everything here to the race track,” said Hart. “I commend everybody that participates at this level. The first thing I said to Rob was I really appreciate the saying he has on his rear wing. It says, ‘Be the Good’ and people need to take notice of that message. It doesn’t matter what your budget is. It is crazy to participate at this level.”

 

In the semifinals Hart was paired with veteran Clay Millican who started the day as the No. 13 qualifier. The drivers had excellent reaction times with Hart getting a slight edge off the line. Both race cars were welded together as they blasted down the track and just before the finish line Hart’s motor let go and Millican raced past him to get to the finish line stripe first. Hart’s losing time of 3.73 seconds was more than respectable and gave the two-time Top Fuel winner even more confidence as the season gets underway.

 

“A 3.73 gets beat by a 3.69 in the semifinals. That is an awesome race,” said Hart, at the end of the day. “That was a great drag race. All these guys bust their butts every day.”

 

The strong finish today moved Hart and the R+L Carriers Top Fuel team up to the No. 5 spot in the NHRA Camping World Top Fuel standings.

 

Qualifying Results

Q1: 8.676 sec, 73.87 mph; Qual. 14

Q2: 3.717 sec, 327.51 mph; Qual. 8

Q3: 3.700 sec, 329.75 mph; Qual. 8

Bonus Points: 0

 

Race Results

E1:  Josh Hart, Ocala, Florida, R+L Carriers dragster, 3.705, 332.10 mph def. Leah Pruett, Lake Havasu City, AZ, Sparkling Ice dragster 3.699, 330.07 mph

 

E2:  Josh Hart, Ocala, Florida, R+L Carriers dragster, 3.787, 319.14 mph def. Rob Passey, Salt Lake City, Utah, Seven 23 dragster 7.889, 85.22 mph

 

E3:  Clay Millican, Drummonds, Tenn., Parts Plus Summit dragster 3.693, 330.15 mph def. Josh Hart, Ocala, Florida, R+L Carriers dragster, 3.739, 329.02 mph

 

Camping World Drag Racing Series Top Ten - Top Fuel

1.         Mike Salinas               181

2.         Justin Ashley               159

3.         Steve Torrence           152

4.         Brittany Force             139

5.         Josh Hart                    125

6.         Austin Prock                123

7.         Clay Millican               122

8.         Tony Schumacher       104

9.         Shawn Langdon          86

10.       Antron Brown             80

 

About R+L Carriers

Based in the United States, R+L Carriers is a Global Freight Transportation and Logistics company that has remained family-owned and operated since 1965. R+L Carriers offers one of the most comprehensive networks of nationwide service centers for LTL, Truckload, Expedited and Cross-Border Shipping. In addition to its core value-added shipping solutions, R+L Carriers has a portfolio of services that extends to International Supply Chain Management, Warehousing and Customs Brokerage.

Learn about R+L Carriers: rlc.com | Media: media@rlc.com

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Josh Hart, R+L Carriers Top Fuel dragster, photo by Auto Imagery
Josh Hart, R+L Carriers Top Fuel dragster, photo by Auto Imagery

POMONA, CA (February 20, 2022) --- The 62nd annual NHRA Winternationals saw last year’s NHRA rookie standout driver Josh Hart and the R+L Carriers Top Fuel dragster team continue to impress. Through two days of qualifying his performance improved every run. His crew chief and business partner Ron Douglas continued to fine tune a brand-new race car that could carry Hart to his third career victory and first Winternationals title. When qualifying was wrapped up Hart was the No. 9 qualifier and looking at a first round match-up with Shawn Langdon, a driver he defeated in the final round of last year’s season opener, the NHRA Gatornationals.

 

 “I try to race myself and not the person in the other lane,” said Hart. “This race was a lot different from the Gatornationals. We have been working out the details on this R+L Carriers race car. Me getting comfortable was not as quick as last year in Gainesville. There was just a lot of fine tuning.”

 

 

In the first round Hart took off beside Langdon and was side-by-side with the 2013 Top Fuel world champion as both 11,000 horsepower land rockets accelerated down track. Hart began to pull away at half-track and flew to victory with a winning time of 3.740 seconds, his quickest run of the weekend to advance to the quarterfinals.

 

With the win Hart would face No. 1 qualifier Brittany Force in the quarterfinals. Hart defeated Force most recently in their two most previous races, the semifinals of the Carolina Nationals and the first round of the Midwest Nationals in St. Louis. Today was another close race but the outcome did not go Hart’s way.

 

 

Force was able to get off the line first and held the lead for the entire race. During his burnout Hart by his own admission was thrown off and that distraction uncharacteristically carried over into his starting line routine. The young driver was adamant about not taking anything away from Force’s victory.

 

 

“You have to give her (Force) props. She did a great job on the light,” said Hart. “My guys were awesome between rounds before that run. We had a couple problems and the team came together. It was cool to watch. It was almost magical in my opinion. Something on the burnout was a little weirder than normal and it threw me off my game a little bit. I have no excuses, she just outran us.”

 

Hart’s confidence in his R+L Carriers crew was obvious at the end of the day and the mood in his pit area was upbeat and determined. Hart knows he has a solid race team that will only continue to improve. The off-season saw significant change for a team that is entering its first full season of competition. A new race car was the biggest change and getting Hart comfortable has been a process that started almost two weeks ago during the Phoenix test session.

 

“This is a new car for me and I have learned a lot. When you see your guys come together like they did between rounds it gives me a lot of confidence going forward. We will go on to the next one,” said Hart. “Every person has their designated area of responsibility on the car. Driving is my area. I have to do whatever it takes to be sharper and faster. I will work on that.”

 

With the Arizona Nationals only a few days away Hart is ready to get back into the fight. He will leave California sitting No. 7 in the points tied with eight-time Top Fuel champion Tony Schumacher.

 

“Getting back in the car in four days will be priceless. Being able to test in Phoenix was good and I am so thankful we did that. There were a lot of adjustments we needed to make inside the new car. This race is always monumental to get back in the car in competition to see all the fans and get all the first season opener butterflies out of the way. We are comfortable and looking forward to Phoenix,” added Hart.

 

Qualifying Results

Q1: 6.874 sec, 96.20 mph; Qual. 15

Q2: 3.810 sec, 322.88 mph; Qual. 10

Q3: 3.755 sec, 323.19 mph; Qual. 9

Bonus Points: 0

 

Race Results

E1:  Josh Hart, Ocala, Florida, R+L Carriers dragster, 3.740, 327.82 mph def. Shawn Langdon, Danville, IN, DHL Kalitta Air dragster 3.920, 300.20 mph

 

E2:  Brittany Force, Yorba Linda, Calif., Monster Energy dragster 3.726, 322.27 mph def. Josh Hart, Ocala, Florida, R+L Carriers dragster, 3.728, 329.27 mph

 

Camping World Drag Racing Series Top Ten - Top Fuel

 

1.       Justin Ashley                         124

2.       Austin Prock                          96

3.       Brittany Force                       82

4.       Steve Torrence                      74

5.       Mike Salinas                          61

6.       Antron Brown                       53

7.       Josh Hart                               52

7.       Tony Schumacher                 52

9.       Doug Kalitta                          34

10.     Shawn Langdon                    33

10.     Leah Pruett                           33

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Josh Hart, photo by Gary Nastase
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Josh Hart, photo by Gary Nastase

JOSH HART STARTS SEASON WITH STRONG WINTERNATIONALS PERFORMANCE

JOSH HART RACES TO SEMIFINALS IN FIRST ARIZONA NATIONALS APPEARANCE

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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 SpringNats    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 Nats              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