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NHRA Dumps Back-Up Rule For National Records

| , RacinToday.com Monday, January 25 2016

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NHRA’s competition committee announced today that the longstanding 1-percent back-up policy to certify national record performances in the NHRA Mello Yello Series, J&A Service Pro Mod Series, and Lucas Oil Series Alcohol categories will no longer be required at NHRA Drag Racing Series events starting in 2016.

Under the new policy, NHRA teams who post performances for elapsed time and speed that are quicker or faster than the existing national records at any time during any national event, will be eligible for the national record.

The driver holding the record at the conclusion of the race will be credited with the record. As is currently the case with all national speed records and Alcohol elapsed time records, points will no longer be awarded for elapsed time national records.

“The one-percent policy was adopted during the early development stages of the timing system and wasn’t as reliable as the technology that we are fortunate to have in race control today,” said Graham Light, NHRA senior vice president of racing operations. “We will still examine every national record run to make sure the incremental numbers support the performance, in addition to inspecting every vehicle for compliance with class requirements.”

Reaction from drivers varied.

Lucas Oil Top Fuel dragster driver Richie Crampton holds the third-quickest elapsed time in NHRA history, 3.695 seconds, set in Brainerd, Minn., last year. He is in favor of the new rule.
“It’s definitely an interesting move NHRA made,” Crampton said. “It was very confusing for a lot of people, as far as backing up within that 1 percent. Having said that, I drive one of the cars in Top Fuel that can swing for the fence, and if it sticks we have a pretty good chance of setting one of those national records.
“It was kind of a surprising move by NHRA but a pretty exciting one, too.”
The sanctioning body also announced that a 20-point bonus for setting the national e.t. record would no longer be rewarded.
That is the only aspect of the rule change that two-time Pro Stock champion Erica Enders doesn’t care for. Enders currently holds the national record for speed, 215.55 mph, which she set in Englishtown, N.J., in May 2014. She did not get bonus points for that record because only e.t. records garnered points in the past.
“If they still had the points, I would be worried because anybody could go out there and get lucky and make a Hail Mary run and set the record,” said Enders, who has five of the quickest e.t.s in Pro Stock history. “If you’re awarded 20 points for that with no backup, that wouldn’t be cool, but since they took the points away, I guess it doesn’t really matter. It’s just straight up for bragging rights.
“People took a lot of pride in the record, especially in the Countdown. You could make a record-breaking run, back it up, and get the points you needed. That was worth one round of eliminations, and I know that was something that played into our mindset.”
Below are the current national records for each NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series category:

Top Fuel

E.T.:  3.680 sec. by Antron Brown, Aug. ’15, Brainerd, Minn.

Speed: 332.75 mph by Spencer Massey, Aug. ’15, Brainerd, Minn.

Funny Car

E.T.:  3.884 sec. by Jack Beckman, Nov. ’15, Pomona, Calif.

Speed:  331.45 mph by Matt Hagan, Nov. ’15, Pomona, Calif.

Pro Stock

E.T.:  6.455 sec. by Jason Line, March ’15, Charlotte, N.C.

Speed:  215.55 mph by Erica Enders, May ‘14, Englishtown N.J.

Pro Stock Motorcycle

E.T.:  6.728 sec. by Andrew Hines, Oct. ’12, Mohnton, Pa.

Speed:  199.88 mph by Hector Arana Jr., March ’15, Charlotte, N.C.

The 24-race 2016 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series opens Feb. 11-14 with the Circle K NHRA Winternationals at historic Auto Club Raceway at Pomona in Southern California. The tradition-rich event will be televised on Fox Sports 1 (FS1) with a three-hour Sunday finals show starting at 5 p.m. (ET).  For ticket information, call (800) 884-NHRA (6472) or purchase your tickets online at www.nhra.com/tickets.


| , RacinToday.com Monday, January 25 2016
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