Friday, July 12, 2024

Our congratulations go out to Steve Cohen and wife Joy for winning the 2014 Gatornationals.

Steve Cohen doesn’t lack for
accomplishments during his
strong Sportsman racing
career. Entering the Amalie
Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals,
the 56-year-old driver had 18
national events wins in three
different categories, a pair of wins
at the prestigious Chevrolet
Performance U.S. Nationals, and
13 Division 2 NHRA Lucas Oil Drag
Racing Series championships, and
he scored the inaugural Super
Comp championship in 1987 with
one of the best seasons ever
orchestrated by a Sportsman racer.
However, there had been one
glaring omission on Cohen’s to-do
list. Residing 100 miles south of
Auto-Plus Raceway at Gainesville in
Trilby, Fla., Cohen had never won the
event he had been trying to win
since 1982 when Super Gas was
first contested.
“I’ve been racing here every year
since the early 1980s and coming
as a spectator before that when I
was a teenager,” said Cohen. “It’s
the one race I wanted to win before
my career was over. I’d been to the
final round three
times there and
the semi’s a
bunch, but they
never seemed to
let me win seven
rounds. Maybe
racing five rounds in Top Dragster is
what did it.”
The race began with good
fortune for Cohen when a red-light
by A.J. Ashe sent him into the next
round. In the second round, he
faced Larry Roberts, who finished
second to him in the hunt for the
Division 2 title last season. Roberts,
the only driver dialed quicker than
Cohen en route to victory, got a
significant starting-line advantage
but took too much stripe in a doublebreakout
“They say you need a little Lady
Luck to win one of these things, and
I had that in the early rounds,”
Cohen noted.
The next driver in a fast lineup
was Anthony Bertozzi, whom Cohen
also pushed under his dial.
“They were all heavy hitters,” said
Cohen. “A.J. Ashe is a well-known
bracket racer, Larry Roberts finished
second in Division 2 last year, and
we all know Anthony Bertozzi is no
Against 2012 JEGS Allstars Top
Dragster champion Dylan Stott in
the semifinals, Cohen caught up
with Stott quickly enough to kill e.t.
off his 6.71 dial with a 6.75 time
that won by a two-hundredths
margin. That set him up to run for
the money against Larry
Strickland, who won the Million
Dollar Drag Race in 2010. Cohen
had a .032 to .044 edge in
reaction time and tightened it up
at the top end for a 6.72 (6.71
dial) to 6.97 (6.96) victory.
“I can’t believe they finally let me
win this race,” said Cohen, who was
runner-up in 2000, 2007, and 2008.
“I’ve watched a lot of my friends win
it. I just wanted to have my turn one
Cohen thanked Right Trailers,
Heart Beat Racing & Competition
Engines, Mickey Thompson, Miller
Race Cars, Induction Solutions,
JEGS, Aeromotive, Quick Fuel
Technology, wife Joy, and daughter
Shelby. He dedicated the win to
younger brother Barry, who passed
away earlier this year.
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