NHRA Season on Hold Until August

NHRA on hold
Antron Brown launches off of the start line during a NHRA event. Photo Courtesy NHRA.

Monday, the National Hot Rod Association(NHRA) announced they will be on hold until August in hopes to race with fans. This extends the holding pattern passed a previously scheduled return of June 5th in Gainesville.

NHRA On Hold Until August

With the announcement made on Monday the schedule will consist of only 16 races for the 2020 season. In the press release by the NHRA, they announced that events that have been temporarily moved or postponed are the Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals on June 5-7 in Gainesville, Fla., Mopar Express Lane NHRA SpringNationals Presented by Pennzoil on June 12-14 in Houston, Texas, NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals on June 19-21 in Bristol, Tenn., Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals on June 26-28 in Norwalk, Ohio, Route 66 NHRA Nationals on July 9-12 in Chicago, Dodge Mile-High NHRA Nationals Presented By Pennzoil on July 17-19 in Denver, Colo., and NHRA Sonoma Nationals on July 24-26 in Sonoma, Calif.

Pro Stock Motorcycle has yet to begin their schedule as it has postponed the start until racing resumes.

The NHRA has yet to release a revised schedule for the 2020 campaign. They are currently in conversation with state officials about the return to racing with fans in the stands. Also, the sanctioning body is in conversation with track facilities on dates to host national events. Gainesville and Houston are events previously scheduled to be ran at the beginning of the season.

If no changes are made, racing will return at either Seattle in the first weekend of August or Brainard, Minn. which is scheduled for mid-August. There is also a good chance other events go into the calendar in early August. The season had only completed two events before the shut down.

The other series including the Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Series, Mickey Thompson Tires NHRA Top Fuel Harley Series, and SAMtech.edu NHRA Factory Stock Showdown series will all have their schedules announced shortly after the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule is released.

Postseason Changes

Questions will also arise about the format for the postseason. In the initial release the NHRA stated there would be no ‘Countdown to the Championship’ format used in 2020. This the NHRA version of the playoffs where they reset the points for the final 10 races. Instead, they will go back to the previous total points accumulated wins the championship way for the season.

The NHRA hopes to resume racing with fans in the stands and that is their reasoning behind moving the events to August. As many know, the NHRA thrives on its access it gives fans. Fans are the main reason NHRA events are possible. Fans have direct access to the pits and drivers with their purchase of a ticket. In moving the events back to August, the NHRA hopes to have fans in the stands once action resumes.

The current NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing points leaders are Doug Kalitta in Top Fuel, Jack Beckman in Funny Car and Erica Enders in Pro Stock.

Autoweek reported a revised but unofficial, unconfirmed 2020 schedule:

Aug. 1-2 – Seattle
Aug. 8-9 – Denver
Aug. 15-16 – Brainerd, Minn.
Aug. 22-23 – Topeka
Aug. 29-30 – Chicago
Sept. 4-7 – Indianapolis
Sept. 12-13 – Reading, Pa.
Sept. 19-20 – Charlotte
Sept. 26-27 – Gainesville, Fla.
Oct. 3-4 – St. Louis
Oct. 10-11 – Bristol, Tenn.
Oct. 17-18 – Dallas
Oct. 24-25 – Houston
Oct. 31-Nov. 1 – Las Vegas
Nov. 7-8 – Sonoma, Calif.
Nov. 14-15 – Pomona, Calif.

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