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NHRA Adjusts Schedule For 2011

John Sturbin | Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Saturday, August 28 2010

Next year, the NHRA event in Phoenix will be shifted to the Countdown. (File photo courtesy of the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series)

Inclusion of the Arizona Nationals as Round No. 4 of the six-race Countdown to the Championship, and a repositioning of the prestigious Mac Tools U.S. Nationals, highlight the 2011 National Hot Rod Association Full Throttle Drag Racing Series schedule.

NHRA will mark its “60th Anniversary Celebration” via a 22-race national tour, with the most significant change being the move of the NHRA Arizona Nationals at Firebird International Raceway from February to the fall as part of the Countdown to the Championship. The Phoenix event, which also will feature the Pro Stock Motorcycle class for the first time, will be contested Oct. 14-16, 2011.

Meanwhile, the stakes for the traditional Labor Day Weekend running of the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals presented by Lucas Oil will be increased as the event will represent the final chance for teams to earn a top-10 position and qualify for the Countdown. The nearly week-long event will take place Aug. 31-Sept. 5 at O’Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis.

The six-races that will make up the Countdown include the O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Nationals, Sept. 15-18, at zMAX Dragway in Concord, N.C.; O’Reilly Super Start Batteries NHRA Fall Nationals at the Texas Motorplex in Ennis, Sept. 22-25 and the Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals, Sept. 29-Oct. 2, at Maple Grove Raceway in Reading, Pa.

The season will conclude with the final three events of the Countdown, starting with the NHRA Arizona Nationals in Chandler, Ariz.; the NHRA Las Vegas Nationals, Oct. 27-30, and the Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, Nov. 10-13.

The Pro Stock Motorcycle class will compete over a 16-race schedule, with six of those events in the Countdown to the Championship.

NHRA also announced that New England Dragway will join the member track network in 2011. NHRA currently is working with track management on facility improvements with the goal of bringing a Full Throttle Drag Racing Series event to facility as soon as possible. Located in Epping, N.H., New England Dragway will address NHRA’s desire to stage a national event near the Boston market.

NHRA will celebrate its 60th anniversary with a number of special events and activities planned throughout the season at all national events. Details for the celebration will include showcasing many of the sport’s greatest moments from the last seven decades.

The 2011 campaign will kick off with the 51st running of the Kragen O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Winternationals in Pomona, Calif., Feb. 24-27, followed by the Tire Kingdom NHRA Gatornationals at Gainesville (Fla.) Raceway two weeks later, March 10-13. After the East Coast opener in Gainesville, the Full Throttle Drag Racing Series will head west for the SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, April 1-3.

The second annual NHRA 4-Wide Nationals will take place at zMAX Dragway April 14-17. The 24th annual O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Spring Nationals are booked for April 29-May 1 at Royal Purple Raceway in Baytown, Texas, followed by the 31st annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals, May 13-15, at Atlanta Dragway in Commerce, Ga. The O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Summer Nationals in Topeka, Kan. will be held May 20-22.

The month of June again will take the Full Throttle Series to three tradition-rich venues, beginning with the 42nd annual NHRA SuperNationals in Englishtown, N.J., June 2-5, followed by the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals in Bristol, Tenn., June 17-19. The month will conclude with the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals in Norwalk, Ohio, June 23-26.

Another change to the schedule will see The United Association Route 66 NHRA Nationals in Joliet, Ill., moving from early June to July 7-10. In 2011, the Western Swing will begin with the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals in Morrison, Colo., July 22-24, followed by the 24th annual FRAM-Autolite NHRA Nationals, July 29-31, in Sonoma, Calif., and concluding with the NHRA Northwest Nationals in Kent, Wash., Aug. 5-7.

The other race scheduled during the month of August, celebrating its 30th anniversary, is the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals in Brainerd, Minn., Aug. 18-21.

ESPN2 and ESPN2HD, parts of the ESPN family of networks, again will provide exclusive television coverage, on a same-day basis, of all NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series events featuring action from qualifying rounds on Saturday and Sunday’s race.

Headquartered in Glendora, Calif., NHRA has 80,000 members and 140 member tracks worldwide. NHRA remains the primary sanctioning body for the sport of drag racing in the United States.

2011 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series Schedule

51st annual Kragen O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Winternationals, Feb. 24-27, Pomona, Calif.

42nd annual Tire Kingdom NHRA Gatornationals, March 10-13, Gainesville, Fla. (PSM)

12th annual SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals, April 1-3, Las Vegas

Second annual NHRA 4-Wide Nationals, April 14-17, Concord, N.C.

24th annual O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Spring Nationals, April 29-May 1, Baytown, Texas (PSM)

31st annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals, May 13-15, Commerce, Ga.(PSM)

23rd annual O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Summer Nationals, May 20-22, Topeka, Kan.

42nd annual NHRA SuperNationals, June 2-5, Englishtown, N.J. (PSM)

11th annual NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals, June 17-19, Bristol, Tenn.

Fifth annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals, June 23-26, Norwalk, Ohio (PSM)

14th annual United Association Route 66 NHRA Nationals, July 7-10, Joliet, Ill. (PSM)

32nd annual Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals, July 22-24, Morrison, Colo. (PSM)

24th annual FRAM-Autolite NHRA Nationals, July 29-31, Sonoma, Calif. (PSM)

24th annual NHRA Northwest Nationals, Aug. 5-7, Kent, Wash.

30th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals, Aug. 18-21, Brainerd, Minn. (PSM)

57th annual Mac Tools U.S. Nationals presented by Lucas Oil, Aug. 31-Sept. 5, Clermont, Ind. (PSM)

Countdown to the Championship

Fourth annual O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Nationals, Sept. 15-18, Concord, N.C. (PSM)

26th annual O’Reilly Super Start Batteries NHRA Fall Nationals, Sept. 22-25, Ennis, Texas (PSM)

27th annual Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals, Sept. 29-Oct. 2, Reading, Pa. (PSM)

27th annual NHRA Arizona Nationals, Oct. 14-16, Chandler, Ariz. (PSM)

11th annual NHRA Las Vegas Nationals, Oct. 27-30, Las Vegas (PSM)

47th annual Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals, Nov. 10-13, Pomona, Calif. (PSM)

(PSM) _ Event will include Pro Stock Motorcycle

– John Sturbin can be reached at jstrubin@racintoday.com

John Sturbin | Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Saturday, August 28 2010
One Comment

One Comment »

  • John Michaels says:

    The NHRA fans in Charlotte,NC, DO NOT WANT 4 WIDE DRAG RACING!!!!! We want NORMAL 2 WIDE RACING at 1320′. We want the sport back to 1/4 mile racing at ALL NATIONAL EVENTS. The only reason we are not 1/4 mile racing is because NHRA still wants to run races on some SHORT/UNSAFE RACETRACKS, some of which NHRA OWNS. When is someone going to hold them ACCOUNTABLE for this continued practice. NHRA HAS KILLED DRIVERS FOR NO REASON BY RUNNING ON SOME KNOWN UNSAFE RACE TRACKS!!!! If the track is not able to provide SAFE 1320′ quarter mile dragracing it should not be on the schedule.
    Also all SuperComp and SuperGas cars need to run only at Divison races till they can learn how to drive a race car “WITHOUT ELECTRONICS”!!!! We the fans are BORED TO FRICKIN DEATH with those classes. They can run in Comp Eliminator when they learn how to drive “WITHOUT ELECTRONICS” at National Events. SuperComp and SuperGas have no business racing at NATIONAL EVENTS if they need to run electronics.
    BRING BACK 1320′/ Quarter Mile Racing to NHRA.
    CHARLOTTE FANS DON’T WANT 4 WIDE RACING!!!!
    Stop turning our sport into a BRUTON SMITH 4 WIDE CIRCUS EVENT.

    DRAG RACING IS 2 CARS SIDE BY SIDE FOR 1320′. THAT’S A QUARTER MILE. Let’s get back to it!!!

    Thanks For Listening, NHRA isn’t listening. NON RACER IN CHARGE OF NHRA!!!!

    Thanks,
    John Michaels