Drag Racing Is Back at E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Nationals

National Hot Rod Association is set to restart the 2020 drag racing season with back-to-back national events at Lucas Oil Speedway in Indianapolis. The COVID-19 reboot begins with the E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Nationals, which is the first of two events scheduled at the historic track. The pressure is on for drivers and crew to quickly find the speed they need with only two qualifying passes allowed on Saturday before drivers perform under fire in elimination rounds. Of the seventeen events remaining on the NHRA Mello Yello calendar, 16 of the world championship events on the revised schedule will also be condensed to two-day competition schedules to help compensate teams and promoters dealing with economic and logistical factors.

The “New Normal” for the top tier teams at NHRA national weekends will typically include one day of two-round qualifications on Saturday and final eliminations on Sunday with teams competing in the Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series taking to the track on Friday. However, according to a June press release by the NHRA, neither of the events at Indianapolis will include Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series competition. The E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Nationals on July 11-12 will feature all four Mello Yello classes, which includes Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock, and Pro Stock Motorcycle.  The second event on July 18-19 will feature Top Fuel and Funny Car along with the E3 Spark Plugs Pro Mod Series presented by J&A Service. 

Even the most recent revised schedule is subject to change due to changes in COVID-19 restrictions, the 2020 NHRA season will conclude with the championship finale on November 13-15 at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona in Southern California. The NHRA Southern Nationals at Atlanta Raceway located just north of Commerce, which has hosted the event since 1981, was moved to August 28-30. NHRA national events originally scheduled for Chicago, Norwalk, Ohio, Richmond, Virginia, Epping, New Hampshire, and Sonoma, California, as well as spring events in Las Vegas and Charlotte have been cancelled due the abbreviated schedule. Currently, the revised 2020 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule is as follows:


July 11 - 12               E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Nationals (Indianapolis)


July 18 -19                NHRA Summernationals at Lucas Oil Raceway (Indianapolis)


July 31-Aug. 2            Flav-R-Pac NHRA Northwest Nationals (Seattle)


Aug. 7-9                   Dodge Mile-High NHRA Nationals (Denver)


Aug. 14-16               Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals (Brainerd)


Aug. 21-23               Menards NHRA Heartland Nationals (Topeka)


Aug. 28-30               NHRA Southern Nationals (Atlanta)


Sept. 3-6                 Denso Spark Plugs NHRA U.S. Nationals (Indianapolis)


Sept. 11-13             Mopar Express Lane NHRA Nationals (Reading)


Sept. 18-20             NGK Spark Plugs NHRA Four-Wide Nationals (Charlotte)


Sept. 25-27             Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals (Gainesville)


Oct. 2-4                  AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals (St. Louis)


Oct. 9-11                NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals (Bristol)


Oct. 16-18              AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals (Dallas)


Oct. 23-25              Mopar Express Lane NHRA SpringNationals (Houston)


Oct. 30-Nov. 1        Dodge NHRA Nationals (Las Vegas)


Nov. 13-15             Auto Club NHRA Finals (Pomona)



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