GAINESVILLE, Fla. (March 15) — After a quick tune-up at last weekend’s regional event, newly-crowned Super Gas champion Mia Tedesco returns to Gainesville Raceway for the 48th annual Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals, which begins Thursday and run through Sunday at the historic central Florida speedplant.
“I feel really good, really excited, and we are definitely prepared for the weekend,” said Tedesco, who races both the CARS Vehicle Service Contracts/VP Racing Fuels Super Gas Chevrolet Cavalier and the CARS Vehicle Service Contracts/Schepel Motors/NGK/Lucas Oil Top Alcohol dragster. “We made some really nice runs here at the regional race and we feel like both cars are working well.
“We made it to the third round in Super Gas and then my car died. Up to that point I was really happy with my driving and the tune-up Jason (Lynch, crew chief and teammate) put in the car. We just had a minor glitch end our day a little early. That’s been fixed. In the dragster we just lost a really close semifinal race by .02 seconds. That happens all the time.”
Growing up in Pennsylvania, Tedesco and her father Michael, who owns Pittsburgh Raceway, have been escaping the snow up north and
racing the Gatornationals for as far back as Mia
can remember.
“My entire family in Pittsburgh loves coming down here,” she said. “Plus, we have a lot of extended family that live in Florida so this race always is a big reunion for us. We have a blast wherever we go but the Gators might just set the high mark.
“I’ll definitely be thinking a lot about my Uncle Carmen this weekend also. This was his favorite race and even though we lost him two years ago he’s always with us in spirit. I’d love to get a win here and dedicate it to Uncle Carmen. That would be really special for all of us.”
As is always the case, both the Super Gas and Top Alcohol fields are stacked with big hitters, especially the east coast stalwarts who are just beginning their 2017 campaigns.
“Nothing comes easy in this sport,” Tedesco said. “There’s really great competition at every race. So many teams can win. It just has to be your day and everything has to fall into place for you to win one of these deals. I know if we do our jobs we’ll have a great chance to go rounds and put ourselves in position to get the trophy at the end of the day.”
Super Gas qualifying begins at 8:30 a.m., Thursday, and runs throughout the day. Eliminations kick off at 8 a.m., Friday.
Top Alcohol Dragster will run three qualifying sessions at 10:45 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., Friday, and 10:30 a.m., Saturday. Round 1 of eliminations are scheduled for 4:45 p.m., Saturday, and continue at 9:30 a.m., Sunday. All times are listed in EDT.