NHRA Unveils 24-Race Schedule For 2017

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Tim Wilkerson (far lane) bested Cruz Pedregon and two other drivers to win the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals for the first time on Sunday afternoon at zMAX Dragway. (HHP/Harold Hinson Photo)
Tim Wilkerson (far lane) bested Cruz Pedregon and two other drivers to win the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals for the first time on Sunday afternoon at zMAX Dragway. (HHP/Harold Hinson Photo)
The Nat’l Hot Rod Ass’n has officially announced their 2017 schedule, featuring 24 races from Florida and Narth Carolina (pictured) to Indiana and California. (HHP/Harold Hinson photo)

GLENDORA, Calif. – The 2017 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule has been announced by NHRA officials, featuring 24 races from coast to coast that will again be televised on the FOX family of networks.

FOX Sports, through its national broadcast channel and Fox Sports 1, will provide exclusive television coverage in 2017. Live coverage of many of the events will again be provided, featuring action from Friday and Saturday qualifying rounds as well as the Sunday finals.

The season will once again open and close at historic Auto Club Raceway at Pomona in Southern California. The season kicks off with the tradition-rich Circle K NHRA Winternationals, Feb. 9-12, and closes with the final race of the Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship playoffs, the Auto Club NHRA Finals, Nov. 9-12.

Following the season-opener, the series returns to Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park near Phoenix for the Advance Auto Parts NHRA Nationals, Feb. 24-26. Advance Auto Parts, which acquired CARQUEST Auto Parts in a recent merger, will take over the title sponsorship of the popular Arizona event.

After the Phoenix race, NHRA teams will traverse the country to hit the traditional East Coast opener at Florida’s Gainesville Raceway, with the fan-favorite Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals running March 16-19. Teams will then travel back to the West Coast for the DENSO Spark Plugs NHRA Nationals at Las Vegas, March 31-April 2.

An early season three-race swing will follow: the NHRA SpringNationals at Royal Purple Raceway near Houston (April 21-23); the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at zMAX Dragway in Charlotte, N.C. (April 28-30); and the NHRA Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway in Georgia (May 5-7).

The New Heartland Park Topeka, one of the fastest tracks on the tour, hosts the only other race during the month of May, the NHRA Kansas Nationals, May 19-21.

In June, teams will once again navigate the four-race “Eastern Swing,” starting with the NHRA New England Nationals, June 2-4 at New England Dragway in Epping, N.H. and followed by the NHRA Summernationals at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in Englishtown, N.J., June 8-11.

The NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals will be the third race in the set, June 16-18 at Bristol (Tenn.) Dragway on Father’s Day weekend, and the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals, June 22-25 at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio, will round out the month.

After a week off, the NHRA Mello Yello Series will make one more stop before the famed Western Swing, visiting Route 66 Raceway near Chicago July 6-9 for the Route 66 NHRA Nationals.

The historic NHRA Western Swing kicks off with the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals at Bandimere Speedway in Denver, July 21-23.  From there, teams will journey farther west, stopping in Northern California for the Toyota NHRA Sonoma Nationals (July 28-30) at Sonoma Raceway before finishing the Western Swing near Seattle at Pacific Raceways with the NHRA Northwest Nationals, Aug. 4-6.

NHRA Mello Yello Series teams will then take another week off before heading to Brainerd (Minn.) International Raceway for the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals, Aug. 17-20.

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 world’s most prestigious drag race, the 63rd annual Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis on Labor Day weekend, Aug. 30-Sept. 4.

NHRA’s playoffs, 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. 15-17); the AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals at Gateway Motorsports Park near St. Louis (Sept. 22-24); and the NHRA Keystone Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway in Reading, Pa. (Sept. 28-Oct. 1).

The AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals at the Texas Motorplex near Dallas (Oct. 12-15) will then set the stage for the final two Countdown playoff races.

The season concludes out West with the NHRA Toyota Nationals in Las Vegas (Oct. 26-29) and the Auto Club NHRA Finals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, where world champions will be crowned in Southern California Nov. 9-12.

The Pro Stock Motorcycle class will once again compete in a 16-race schedule, with six of those races in the NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship.

 

2017 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Schedule

Dates – Venue – Location

Feb. 9-12 – Auto Club Raceway at Pomona – Pomona, Calif.

Feb. 24-26 – Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park – Chandler, Ariz.

March 16-19 – Auto-Plus Raceway – Gainesville, Fla. (PSM)

March 31-April 2 – The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway – Las Vegas, Nev.

April 21-23 – Royal Purple Raceway – Baytown, Texas

April 28-30 – zMAX Dragway – Concord, N.C. (PSM)

May 5-7 – Atlanta Dragway – Commerce, Ga. (PSM)

June 2-4 – New England Dragway – Epping, N.H.

June 8-11 – Old Bridge Township Raceway Park – Englishtown, N.J. (PSM)

June 16-18 – Bristol Dragway – Bristol, Tenn.

June 22-25 – Summit Motorsports Park – Norwalk, Ohio (PSM)

July 6-9 – Route 66 Raceway – Joliet, Ill. (PSM)

July 21-23 – Bandimere Speedway – Denver, Colo. (PSM)

July 28-30 – Sonoma Raceway – Sonoma, Calif. (PSM)

Aug. 4-6 – Pacific Raceways – Kent, Wash.

Aug. 17-20 – Brainerd Int’l Raceway – Brainerd, Minn. (PSM)

Aug. 30-Sept. 4 – Lucas Oil Raceway – Clermont, Ind. (PSM)

Countdown to the Championship

Sept. 15-17 – zMAX Dragway – Concord, N.C. (PSM)

Sept. 22-24 – Gateway Motorsports Park – Madison, Ill. (PSM)

Sept. 28-Oct. 1 – Maple Grove Raceway – Reading, Pa. (PSM)

Oct. 12-15 – Texas Motorplex – Ennis, Texas (PSM)

Oct. 26-29 – The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway – Las Vegas, Nev. (PSM)

Nov. 9-12 – Auto Club Raceway at Pomona – Pomona, Calif. (PSM)