Tony Stewart Out Early in NHRA’s Baby Gators at Gainesville

tony stewart top alcohol dragster
Tony Stewart Out Early in NHRA’s Baby GatorsRMH PHOTO

Multi-series racer Tony Stewart got a harsher dose of drag-racing reality than he had in his Top Alcohol Dragster debut last fall at Las Vegas.

In Sunday’s season-opening eliminations in the Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, Stewart lost in the opening round to first-time winner Cody Krohn in the Division 2 race at Gainesville, Fla., fondly referred to as ‘The Baby Gators’ that precede this weekend’s Amalie Oil Gatornationals.

One of 19 drivers vying for berths in the eight-car field, Stewart qualified sixth and faced No. 3 starter Krohn. Stewart’s elapsed time of 5.363 seconds at 267.91 mph on the Gainesville Raceway quarter-mile wasn’t enough to overtake Krohn’s 5.281, 271.08.

The NHRA pro-level Camping World Series season kicks off Thursday at Gainesville. Stewart will have two cars competing with wife Leah Pruett in the Top Fuel class and Matt Hagan in Funny Car.