Series Remains at 24 events; Second Event Added in Charlotte;
Countdown to the Championship to Start at Mac Tools U.S. Nationals
GLENDORA, Calif. (Aug. 25, 2009) – It’s the newest and most spectacular drag racing venue on the tour, and in 2010 zMAX Dragway in Concord, N.C. will play host to two NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series events. The new event is one of several exciting changes NHRA announced today as the world’s largest motorsports sanctioning organization revealed its 2010 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series schedule. The state-of-the-art dragstrip in the Charlotte, N.C. metro region will be the setting for two events: one in the spring and one in the fall, with an inaugural event added to the schedule on March 25-28, and the third annual NHRA Carolinas Nationals set for Sept. 16-19.
“Charlotte is quickly becoming a motorsports capital in the United States, rivaled only by Indianapolis, and the reception we have received from the fans and the number of major sponsors and teams that use the area as a base lead us to believe that it will provide the market foundation for those two races to evolve into among the two biggest events in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series,” said Tom Compton, president, NHRA. The inaugural race in September last year featured special guests, packed stands and significant corporate hospitality.
The 56th Mac Tools U.S. Nationals, Sept. 1-6 at O’Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis, will represent the first race in the NHRA Full Throttle Countdown to 1, NHRA’s championship playoffs. The Mac Tools U.S. Nationals, the world’s largest and most prestigious drag racing event, is scheduled for its traditional spot on the calendar — Labor Day weekend.
NHRA will kick off the season with a significant milestone event, the 50th Kragen O’Reilly NHRA Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona (Feb. 11-14). NHRA will pay tribute to its past throughout what figures to be one of the most memorable and nostalgic race weeks in the sport’s history as many of the legendary cars, drivers and magical moments will be honored. The hot rod culture runs deep in Southern California and its roots deepest at historic Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, where in February of 1961 NHRA founder Wally Parks hosted the first-ever running of the now-historic and iconic Kragen O’Reilly Winternationals.
The 2010 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series schedule remains a 24-race schedule. Two events – the Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway in Reading, Pa. (Oct. 7-10) and the O’Reilly NHRA Mid-South Nationals in Memphis, Tenn. (Aug. 20-22) – will swap traditional dates. The Memphis event now serves as the last race of the regular season and the final chance for Full Throttle professional teams to secure their positions in the top 10 for the Countdown to 1 playoffs.
In addition, the grueling Western Swing will take on a new look in 2010. The swing begins in Seattle with the NHRA Northwest Nationals (July 9-11), and will be followed by the FRAM-Autolite NHRA Nationals at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif. (July 16-18), and conclude with the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals at Bandimere Speedway in Denver (July 23-25).
The summer will heat up for the professional participants as they vie for a spot in the NHRA Full Throttle Countdown to the Championship. Leading into the Western Swing, the schedule will feature four events in a row during the month of June. The United Association Route 66 NHRA Nationals in Chicago (June 3-6) will be followed in consecutive weeks by the United Association NHRA SuperNationals at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in Englishtown, N.J. (June 10-13); NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway in Bristol, Tenn. (June 18-20); and the NHRA Nationals in Norwalk, Ohio (June 24-27). The Thunder Valley NHRA Nationals was moved to this stretch in June to accommodate the early-spring Charlotte event.
As is tradition, the season concludes right back where it started in Pomona, Calif. with the 46th running of the Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals (Nov. 11-14). The event has become “championship” weekend as most of the NHRA Full Throttle world championships in the four professional categories have been crowned at the event since the beginning of the playoff-style format in 2007.
Events that round out the early part of the season include the NHRA Arizona Nationals at Firebird International Raceway in Phoenix (Feb. 26-28); the 41st annual NHRA Gatornationals in Gainesville, Fla. (March 11-14); the first of two stops to The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the 11th NHRA Nationals (April 9-11); the O’Reilly NHRA Spring Nationals in Houston (April 16-18); and the 14th annual NHRA Midwest Nationals in St. Louis (April 30 – May 2). The first Las Vegas event is scheduled as a three-day event in 2010.
In the middle of May, the series stops at Atlanta Dragway in Commerce, Ga. to celebrate the 30th running of the NHRA Southern Nationals (May 14-16), scheduled as a three-day event in 2010. Other venues with significant milestone anniversary events include the June 18-20 event in Bristol, Tenn. (10th); the 25th annual O’Reilly Super Start Batteries NHRA Fall Nationals at Texas Motorplex in Dallas (Sept. 23-26); and the 10th annual NHRA Las Vegas Nationals (Oct. 28-31).
Other traditional stops on the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series schedule include: the 22nd annual O’Reilly NHRA Summer Nationals in Topeka, Kan. (May 21-23); and Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals in Brainerd, Minn. (Aug. 12-15).
The Pro Stock Motorcycle class, the only professional category that doesn’t compete at all 24 events, will be featured at its traditional venues, which represent a 17-race schedule.
ESPN2 and ESPN2HD, a part of the ESPN network, the worldwide leader in sports, will once again provide exclusive television coverage, on a same-day basis, of all 24 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series events featuring action from qualifying rounds on Saturday and Sunday’s race.
2010 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series Schedule
50th annual Kragen O’Reilly NHRA Winternationals Feb. 11-14 Pomona
26th annual NHRA Arizona Nationals Feb. 26-28 Phoenix
41st annual NHRA Gatornationals March 11-14 Gainesville
Inaugural NHRA Nationals March 25-28 Concord, N.C.
11th annual NHRA Nationals April 9-11 Las Vegas
23rd annual O’Reilly NHRA Spring Nationals April 16-18 Houston
14th annual NHRA Midwest Nationals April 30 – May 2 Madison
30th annual NHRA Southern Nationals May 14-16 Atlanta
22nd annual O’Reilly NHRA Summer Nationals May 21-23 Topeka
13th annual United Association Route 66 NHRA Nationals June 3-6 Chicago
41st annual United Association NHRA SuperNationals June 10-13 Englishtown
10th annual NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals June 18-20 Bristol
Fourth annual NHRA Nationals June 24-27 Norwalk
23rd annual NHRA Northwest Nationals July 9-11 Seattle
23rd annual Fram Autolite NHRA Nationals July 16-18 Sonoma
31st annual Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals July 23-25 Denver
29th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals Aug. 12-15 Brainerd
23rd annual O’Reilly NHRA Mid-South Nationals Aug. 20-22 Memphis
56th annual Mac Tools U.S. Nationals Sept. 1-6 Indianapolis
Third annual NHRA Carolinas Nationals Sept. 16-19 Concord, N.C.
25th annual O’Reilly NHRA Fall Nationals Sept. 23-26 Dallas
26th annual Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals Oct. 7-10 Reading
10th annual NHRA Las Vegas Nationals Oct. 28-31 Las Vegas
46th annual Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals Nov.11-14 Pomona