Historic Auto Club Raceway at Pomona hosts season opener and finals; traditional Labor Day weekend showcase, Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis highlights thrilling season
GLENDORA, Calif. (June 7, 2017) – NHRA announced its 24-race 2018 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule, featuring intense racing action at tracks across the country. Millions of fans will witness sensory-overloading side-by-side racing action where winners and losers can be separated by mere inches at speeds exceeding 330 mph.
All 24 events during the busy season will be aired exclusively on FOX Sports and for selected events on the FOX broadcast network, with live and near-live coverage of most of the events. Over 575 hours of programming will feature action from Friday and Saturday qualifying rounds and Sunday finals.
The lineup for the four-race back-to-back stretch that starts the slate of busy racing action in the summer months will change in 2018. The Route 66 NHRA Nationals at Route 66 Raceway moves earlier to May 31- June 3. The NHRA New England Nationals at scenic New England Dragway outside of Boston moves later to July 6-8.
The 2018 season will begin at the venerable Auto Club Raceway at Pomona in Southern California with the NHRA Winternationals, Feb. 8-11, and closes at the renowned dragstrip with the final race of the Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship playoffs, the Auto Club NHRA Finals, Nov. 8-11.
Following the season-opener, the series returns to Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park near Phoenix for the NHRA Arizona Nationals, Feb. 23-25.
After the Phoenix race, NHRA teams will traverse the country to the traditional East Coast opener at Florida’s Gainesville Raceway for the fan-favorite Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals, March 15-18.
Teams will then travel back to the West Coast for the DENSO Spark Plugs NHRA Nationals at Las Vegas, April 6-8.
An early season three-race swing featuring events in the southern states will follow: the NHRA SpringNationals at Royal Purple Raceway near Houston (April 20-22); the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at zMAX Dragway in Charlotte, N.C. (April 27-29); and the NHRA Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway in Georgia (May 4-6).
Heartland Park Topeka, which has featured record-breaking racing and is one of the fastest tracks on the tour, will host the Menards NHRA Heartland Nationals presented by Minties, May 18-20.
Following the Route 66 NHRA Nationals (May 31 – June 3) the teams will move east for the NHRA Summernationals at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in Englishtown, N.J., June 7-10. The NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals, June 15-17 returns to Bristol (Tenn.) Dragway on Father’s Day weekend and the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals will be hosted June 21-24 at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio.
The tour will power to New England Dragway (July 6-8) before traversing the country to start a three-race stretch on the west coast.
The historic NHRA Western Swing kicks off with the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals at scenic Bandimere Speedway in Denver, July 20-22. The teams will then head to Northern California for the Toyota NHRA Sonoma Nationals (July 27-29) at Sonoma Raceway, then finish the Western Swing near Seattle at Pacific Raceways with the NHRA Northwest Nationals, Aug. 3-5.
NHRA Mello Yello Series teams will then head to Brainerd (Minn.) International Raceway, for the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals, Aug. 16-19, meeting some of the most dedicated fans in the country.
Final positions for the sport’s playoffs, the NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship, will be secured at the world’s most prestigious drag race, the 64th annual Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis, Labor Day weekend, Aug. 29-Sept. 3, the last race of the regular season.
The six-race NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship gets underway in mid-September with three consecutive weeks of racing: the NHRA Carolina Nationals at zMAX Dragway in Charlotte, N.C. (Sept. 14-16); the Dodge NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway in Reading, Pa. (Sept. 20-23); and the AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals at Gateway Motorsports Park near St. Louis (Sept. 28-30).
The playoffs then head west at the AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals at the Texas Motorplex near Dallas (Oct. 11-14); the NHRA Toyota Nationals in Las Vegas (Oct. 25-28); and the Auto Club NHRA Finals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, where world champions will be crowned in Southern California Nov. 8-11.
Headquartered in Glendora, Calif., NHRA is the primary sanctioning body for the sport of drag racing in the United States. NHRA presents 24 national events featuring the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series and NHRA J&A Service Pro Mod Drag Racing Series. NHRA provides competition opportunities for drivers of all levels in the NHRA Summit Racing Series and the NHRA Drags: Street Legal Style presented by AAA. NHRA also offers the NHRA Jr. Street program and the Summit Racing Jr. Drag Racing League for youth ages 5 to 17. In addition, NHRA owns and operates four racing facilities: Atlanta Dragway in Georgia; Gainesville Raceway in Florida; Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis; and Auto Club Raceway at Pomona in Southern California. For more information, log on to NHRA.com, or visit the official NHRA pages on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter.
2018 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Schedule
NHRA Mello Yello Series Regular Season
Feb. 8-11 NHRA Winternationals Pomona, Calif.
Feb. 23-25 NHRA Arizona Nationals Phoenix
March 15-18 Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals Gainesville, Fla.
April 6-8 DENSO Spark Plugs NHRA Nationals Las Vegas
April 20-22 NHRA SpringNationals Houston
April 27-29 NHRA Four-Wide Nationals Charlotte, N.C.
May 4-6 NHRA Southern Nationals Atlanta
May 18-20 Menards NHRA Heartland Nationals Topeka, Kan.
May 31-June 3 Route 66 NHRA Nationals Chicago
June 7-10 NHRA Summernationals Englishtown, N.J.
June 15-17 NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals Bristol, Tenn.
June 21-24 Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals Norwalk, Ohio
July 6-8 NHRA New England Nationals Epping, N.H.
July 20-22 Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals Denver
July 27-29 Toyota NHRA Sonoma Nationals Sonoma, Calif.
Aug. 3-5 NHRA Northwest Nationals Seattle
Aug. 16-19 Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals Brainerd, Minn.
Aug. 29-Sept. 3 Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals Indianapolis
NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship
Sept. 14-16 NHRA Carolina Nationals Charlotte, N.C.
Sept. 20-23 Dodge NHRA Nationals Reading, Pa.
Sept. 28-30 AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals St. Louis
Oct. 11-14 AAA Texas NHRA Fall Nationals Dallas
Oct. 25-28 NHRA Toyota Nationals Las Vegas
Nov. 8-11 Auto Club NHRA Finals Pomona, Calif.