NHRA RELEASES SCHEDULE; TOPEKA NOT PART OF IT
NHRA officials unveiled the 2016 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule during the running of the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis. The 23-race series remains motorsports’ most geographically dispersed U.S. touring circuit and will make its traditional stops across the country, thrilling millions of fans with its unique brand of high-horsepower entertainment.
Highlighting the schedule once again in 2016 will be the tradition-rich Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals, the world’s most prestigious drag race, at historic Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis, Labor Day weekend, Aug. 31-Sept. 5.
The season again will open and close at famed Auto Club Raceway at Pomona in Southern California. The season kicks off at Pomona with the Circle K NHRA Winternationals, Feb. 11-14, and closes at the historic dragstrip with the final race of the Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship playoffs, the Auto Club NHRA Finals, Nov. 10-13.
Following the season opener, the series returns to Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park near Phoenix for the CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Nationals, Feb. 26-28. NHRA teams will traverse the country to make it to the traditional East Coast opener at Florida’s Auto-Plus Raceway at Gainesville for the Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals, March 17-20.
Three traditional stops will follow: the NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway (April 1-3); the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at zMAX Dragway in Charlotte, N.C. (April 22-24); and the NHRA SpringNationals at Royal Purple Raceway near Houston (April 29-May 1).
In May, the teams will travel to Atlanta for the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals, May 12-14.
In June, teams will be faced with a four-race “Eastern Swing,” starting at the NHRA New England Nationals, June 3-5, at New England Dragway in Epping, N.H. and followed by the Toyota NHRA Summernationals at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in Englishtown, N.J., June 9-12, the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals, June 17-19 at Bristol (Tenn.) Dragway on Father’s Day weekend, and the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals, June 23-26 at Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio.
After a week off, the NHRA Mello Yello Series will make one more stop before the Western Swing. The tour will visit spectacular Route 66 Raceway near Chicago July 7-10 for the Route 66 NHRA Nationals.
The famed NHRA Western Swing kicks off with the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals at scenic Bandimere Speedway in Denver, July 22-24. From there, the teams will trek farther west stopping in Northern California for the NHRA Sonoma Nationals (July 29-31) at Sonoma Raceway before finishing the Western Swing near Seattle at Pacific Raceways with the NHRA Northwest Nationals, Aug. 5-7. NHRA teams will then take another week off before heading to Brainerd (Minn.) International Raceway, for the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals, Aug. 18-21.
The last race in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series regular season at which the final positions for the NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship can be secured will be the prestigious Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis, Labor Day weekend, Aug. 31-Sept. 5.
NHRA’s playoffs, the six-race NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship, kicks off in mid-September with three consecutive weeks of racing: the NHRA Carolina Nationals at zMAX Dragway in Charlotte, N.C. (Sept. 16-18); the AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals at Gateway Motorsports Park near St. Louis (Sept. 23-25); and the NHRA Keystone Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway in Reading, Pa. (Sept. 29-Oct. 2).
The AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals at the Texas Motorplex near Dallas (Oct. 13-16) will set the stage for the final two Countdown playoff races. The season concludes out West with the NHRA Toyota Nationals in Las Vegas (Oct. 27-30) and the Auto Club NHRA Finals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, where world champions will be crowned in Southern California Nov. 10-13.
NHRA officials are currently talking with the new ownership group at Heartland Park Topeka, and an additional race could be added to the 2016 schedule pending the outcome of those discussions.
The Pro Stock Motorcycle class will compete in a 16-race schedule, with six of those races in the NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship.
FOX Sports, through its national broadcast network and Fox Sports 1, will provide exclusive television coverage, with live coverage of as many as 18 of the events, featuring action from qualifying rounds Saturday and eliminations Sunday.
2016 NHRA MELLO YELLO DRAG RACING SERIES SCHEDULE
NHRA Mello Yello Series Regular Season
Feb. 11-14 Circle K NHRA Winternationals Pomona, Calif.
Feb. 26-28 CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Nationals Phoenix
March 17-20 Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals (PSM) Gainesville, Fla.
April 1-3 NHRA Nationals Las Vegas
April 22-24 NHRA Four-Wide Nationals (PSM) Charlotte, N.C.
April 29-May 1 NHRA SpringNationals Houston
May 13-15 Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals (PSM) Atlanta
June 3-5 NHRA New England Nationals Epping, N.H.
June 9-12 Toyota NHRA Summernationals (PSM) Englishtown, N.J.
June 17-19 NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals Bristol, Tenn.
June 23-26 Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals (PSM) Norwalk, Ohio
July 7-10 Route 66 NHRA Nationals (PSM) Chicago
July 22-24 Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals (PSM) Denver
July 29-31 NHRA Sonoma Nationals (PSM) Sonoma, Calif.
Aug. 5-7 NHRA Northwest Nationals Seattle
Aug. 18-21 Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals (PSM) Brainerd, Minn.
Aug. 31-Sept. 5 Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals (PSM) Indianapolis
NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship
Sept. 16-18 NHRA Carolina Nationals (PSM) Charlotte, N.C.
Sept. 23-25 AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals (PSM) St. Louis
Sept. 29-Oct. 2 NHRA Keystone Nationals (PSM) Reading, Pa.
Oct. 13-16 AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals (PSM) Dallas
Oct. 27-30 NHRA Toyota Nationals (PSM) Las Vegas
Nov. 10-13 Auto Club NHRA Finals (PSM) Pomona, Calif.
(PSM) - Event will include Pro Stock Motorcycle