in the lanes
HOUSTON (April 19, 2022) --- For almost 35 years Houston Raceway Park has been making NHRA history with record setting performances and some of the most exciting racing action in the southwest. This weekend they will host their final NHRA national event and professional drag racing at the track located in Baytown, Texas, just 20 minutes from Houston, will turn on its final winlight Sunday afternoon. Second year Top Fuel racer Josh Hart will be looking to erase the memory of a tough outing when he returns driving his R+L Carriers Top Fuel dragster.
Last season persistent rain showers washed away two of the three qualifying sessions, so Hart was only given one shot at the track. He qualified No. 7 and lost a tough first round race to Shawn Langdon, who he had previously defeated to win the 2021 Gatornationals. Hart’s R+L Carriers Top Fuel dragster lost a motor in dramatic and frustrating fashion for the then rookie driver.
“My only experience in Houston was not good,” said Hart. “I would love to go out on a positive note. You hate to see a track go away but hopefully it is onward and upwards for the series. Having the last race in Houston is awesome and terrible at the same time.”
Since that tough turn of events last season Hart closed out the year with three more semifinal finishes and a win at Caroline Nationals during the NHRA Countdown. The post-Houston success propelled Hart into a Rookie of the Year contention and one of the strongest back-halves of the season in the Top Fuel category.
Over the off-season Hart’s operation built a new Top Fuel dragster and added components to make his first full-time run for the Top Fuel championship. The 2022 NHRA season has been a continued learning curve for the business owner form Ocala, Florida. Hart opened the season with quarterfinal and semifinal finishes at the Winternationals and Arizona Nationals, respectively. Some early season and new car gremlins have slowed his progress, but he knows this season will be a marathon not a sprint. The two weeks away from the track have been tough to swallow for the competitive Top Fuel driver.
“This has been two weeks to sit and stew with a lot of should haves and could haves,” said Hart. “Bottom line they don’t call it winning they call it racing. I will go on to the next one and do the best we can in Houston.”
With four races completed the Top Fuel class could not be anymore up for grabs. There have been four different winners and each final round, including the final quad at the Las Vegas Four-Wide Nationals has been comprised of completely different drivers. At the beginning of the season there was much talk about this category being hyper-competitive and those predictions appear to be playing out. Less than five rounds of racing separate the top eight drivers, which includes Hart.
“Everyone knew the Top Fuel class would be tough this year,” said Hart. “We have had some success but need to build some consistency. We have two races in a row coming up. This weekend in Houston would be a great chance for us to make a positive move with the R+L Carriers Top Fuel dragster.”
One area where Hart and his team are making positive strides at every race is through his relationship with R+L Carriers and their at-track presence. Throughout every event Hart and his R+L Carriers team engage with guests and NHRA fans about the diverse career opportunities available right now. R+L Carriers recruiters utilize trackside meet and greets at nearly all NHRA events to speak to interested candidates about the career opportunities which allows fans to enjoy the race day experience up close and hear firsthand from employees about the R+L Carriers career advantages.
Hart will get his race weekend started on Friday evening at 7:00 p.m. with the first of three weekend qualifying sessions. Saturday’s qualifying sessions will run at 2:00 p.m. and 5:15 p.m. with final eliminations beginning at 11 a.m. on Sunday.
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.
JOSH HART LOOKING TO REVERSE FORTUNE AT FINAL NHRA SPRINGNATIONALS
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