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NHRA Getting More Live Coverage

| , RacinToday.com Saturday, November 24 2018

Baytown has been added to the live lineup of NHRA events. (File photo by Marc Gewertz/NHRA)


First-time live FOX broadcast network coverage of the annual NHRA SpringNationals from Houston Raceway in Baytown, Texas, highlights the 2019 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule.

The FOX broadcast network schedule also includes live coverage of the summertime “Western Swing” through the Denver, Sonoma (Calif.) and Seattle markets as well as the prestigious Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals from Indianapolis on Labor Day.

Sixteen of the season’s 24 national events will be televised live, including 10 on FOX Sports 1, five on the FOX broadcast network and one on FOX Sports 2.

Joining the NHRA on FOX broadcast team as lead announcer at all 24 national events will be Brian Lohnes, a seasoned drag racing voice who has served as a contributor over the past three seasons in various capacities. This will be Lohnes’ first year to join the team full-time.

“This is as humbling a professional moment as I’ll ever experience in my life,” Lohnes said in a statement. “I have drag racing in my heart and have since I was a little kid. We’re going to have fun and I know the audience will have fun with us.”

Beginning In 2019, NHRA will experiment with new show formats including several broadcasts which will exclusively feature the Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle categories. NHRA also will continue to work with FOX Deportes to offer NHRA drag racing in Spanish.

“We’re excited to have Brian Lohnes in this role to help lead the broadcast team into the future,” said Ken Adelson, NHRA chief content officer and executive producer. “Brian has worked at virtually every level of drag racing and has been a valuable member of the NHRA on FOX broadcasts for our first three seasons. We look forward to what Brian can bring to our fans as we continue to grow the fastest, most explosive sport in the world.”

Steve Torrence (Top Fuel), J.R. Todd (Funny Car), Tanner Gray (Pro Stock) and Matt Smith (Pro Stock Motorcycle) emerged as 2018 professional champions earlier this month.

The NHRA Sportsman Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series (16 races) and the E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by J&A Service (12 races) _ headlined by historic American muscle cars reaching speeds in excess of 250 mph _ both will return to Thursday nights on FS2.

NHRA races also will appear in Canada and the Caribbean through FOX Sports Racing, as well as be available through FOX Sports GO, the app that provides live streaming video of FOX Sports content at home or on the go and now is available to 94 million subscribers.

Previously, NHRA officials changed three Countdown to the Championship playoff dates on the 2019 schedule. The final three events of the season now will take place as follows:

Oct. 17-20, AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals, Ennis, Texas; Oct. 31-Nov. 3, NHRA Nevada Nationals, Las Vegas and Nov. 14-17, Auto Club NHRA Finals, Pomona, Calif.

The alterations move the AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals after the NHRA Carolina Nationals in order to streamline travel across the country. The playoffs still begin at Maple Grove Raceway in Reading, Pa., and then travel to Gateway Motorsports Park in Madison, Ill., near St. Louis. The final four events will progress east-to-west, stopping in Concord, N.C.; Ennis, Texas; Las Vegas and Pomona, Calif.

These revisions also accommodate dates of the 2019 SEMA (Speed Equipment Manufacturing Association) Show in Las Vegas, which traditionally occurs immediately following the NHRA Nevada Nationals. Having the two events in close proximity to each other theoretically will allow the entire racing community _ fans, sponsors, teams, track operators and auto enthusiasts _ to attend both events. 

The 2019 FOX NHRA television season is scheduled to open Feb. 7-10. The 59th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals eliminations will air Sunday, Feb. 10, with three hours of live final-round coverage beginning at 5 p.m. (EST) from historic Auto Club Raceway in Pomona, Calif. 

Tickets for the season-opener now are on sale.  Doug Kalitta (Top Fuel), Matt Hagan (Funny Car) and Bo Butner (Pro Stock) raced to event wins to begin the 2018 season. 

The event also will include competition in the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, where future stars of the sport earn their racing stripes, as well as the opening round of the Mickey Thompson Tires Top Fuel Harley Drag Racing Series. 

To purchase general-admission or reserved seats, visit www.nhra.com/tickets or call 800-884-NHRA (6472). Kids 12-and-under are admitted free in general admission areas with a paid adult. All students can save 50 percent on general admission at the gate with a student ID. Military and first responders can save 20 percent on general admission and reserved tickets. For more information about the NHRA visit www.NHRA.com.  



Feb. 10 _ Lucas Oil Winternationals, Pomona, Calif. (5 p.m., Live on FS1)

Feb. 24 _ NHRA Arizona Nationals, Chandler, Ariz. (7:30 p.m., FS1)

March 17 _ Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals, Gainesville, Fla. (7 p.m., FS1)

April 7 _ DENSO Spark Plugs NHRA Four-Wide Nationals, Las Vegas (5:30 p.m., FS1)

April 14_ NHRA SpringNationals, Baytown, Texas (3 p.m., Live on FOX)

April 28_ NGK Spark Plugs NHRA Four-Wide Nationals, Concord, N.C. (6 p.m., FS1)

May 5_ NHRA Southern Nationals, Commerce, Ga. (6 p.m., FS1)

May 19 _Virginia NHRA Nationals, Richmond, Va. (5 p.m., FS1)

June 2 _ Route 66 NHRA Nationals, Joliet, Ill. (5:30 p.m., FS1)

June 9 _ Menards NHRA Heartland Nationals, Topeka, Kan. (5:30 p.m., FS1)

June 16 _ NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals, Bristol, Tenn. (2 p.m., Live on FS1)

June 23 _Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals, Norwalk, Ohio (6:30 p.m., FS1)

July 7_ NHRA New England Nationals, Epping, N.H. (1 p.m., Live on FS1)

July 21_ Dodge Mile-High NHRA Nationals, Morrison, Colo. (3 p.m., Live on FOX)

July 28 _ NHRA Sonoma Nationals, Sonoma, Calif. (5 p.m., Live on FOX)

Aug. 4 _NHRA Northwest Nationals, Kent, Wash. (4 p.m., Live on FOX)

Aug. 18 _Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals, Brainerd, Minn. (2 p.m., Live on FS1)

Sept. 2 _ Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals, Indianapolis (11 a.m., Live on FS1)

Sept. 2 _ Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals, Indianapolis (1 p.m., Live on FOX)


Sept. 15 _Dodge NHRA Nationals, Reading, Pa. (2 p.m., Live on FS1)

Sept. 29_ AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals, Madison, Ill. (2 p.m., Live on FS1)

Oct. 13 _NHRA Carolina Nationals, Concord, N.C. (1 p.m., Live on FS1)

Oct. 20 _ AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals, Ennis, Texas (2 p.m., Live on FS2)

Nov. 3_ NHRA Nevada Nationals, Las Vegas (4 p.m., Live on FS1)

Nov. 17 _ Auto Club NHRA Nationals, Pomona, Calif. (4 p.m., Live on FS1)


| , RacinToday.com Saturday, November 24 2018
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