It might be the one thing the pandemic got right. 

NHRA confirmed in a statement that it would once again open its season in Gainesville, Fla. It's the third consecutive season the California-based sanctioning body has started its season in Match and on the East Coast. 

Tickets for the Gatornationals will go on sale on Aug. 19, and the entire 2025 NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series schedule will be announced soon.

The NHRA Gatornationals has been a staple of the NHRA tour for more than five decades, and has long been considered the east coast season opener. It has been the site for many records and milestone accomplishments. 

“We are excited to announce the date of our 2025 season-opener in Gainesville and starting a terrific year of racing at the Gatornationals,” NHRA President Glen Cromwell said. “We’ve had great success starting our season at Gainesville Raceway the last two years, and it’s something our race teams and partners have enjoyed as well. Starting in Gainesville gives us a lot of momentum to open the year, and we’re looking forward to announcing the full 2025 schedule in the coming weeks.”

This year, Shawn Langdon (Top Fuel), J.R. Todd (Funny Car), Erica Enders (Pro Stock), and Gaige Herrera (Pro Stock Motorcycle) all won to open the 2024 season. It marked the first double-up victory for Kalitta Motorsports, while six-time world champ Enders won the historic race for the first time.