NHRA has officially announced that Charlotte, N.C. will be the location of the Sept. 11-14 event in this year's 2008 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series schedule. A new state-of-the-art drag racing facility, The Dragway @ Lowe's Motor Speedway, is being built by Speedway Motorsports Inc. (NYSE:TRK) in nearby Concord, N.C. It is the first addition to the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series schedule since 2000 and expands the season to 24 events.
"Bringing NHRA POWERade Drag Racing to Charlotte, which has evolved into a hot bed for motorsports, makes perfect sense," said Tom Compton, president, NHRA. "The fact that SMI is building yet another first-class facility to entertain our fans, sponsors and race teams speaks volumes to the future growth ahead for NHRA and the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series."
NHRA recently announced modifications to its playoff-style NHRA POWERade Countdown to the Championship. As a result, the NHRA Carolinas Nationals at The Dragway @ Lowe's Motor Speedway will begin the playoff round when the top 10 competitors in all four professional categories – Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle – compete in the six-race NHRA POWERade Countdown to the Championship and race for the chance to be crowned NHRA POWERade world champions.
"NHRA events have been hugely successful at our other SMI facilities. We've entertained more than 1.75 million fans at NHRA events at our tracks, and we expect nothing but tremendous things when the Carolinas Nationals comes to Charlotte," said O. Bruton Smith, chairman and chief executive officer of Speedway Motorsports Inc. "What a fabulous way to open the doors at what will be the world's premiere drag racing facility. It's the perfect compliment to the wide variety of motorsports entertainment already on the schedule at Lowe's Motor Speedway."
Several current NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series teams are based in the Charlotte metropolitan area including: Top Fuel driver Doug Herbert; Pro Stock drivers Greg Anderson and Jason Line, as well as the Pro Stock team of Cagnazzi Racing. Pro Stock Motorcycle riders Shawn Gann and Matt Smith also are North Carolina natives.
Since its inception in 1951, NHRA has sanctioned numerous drag strips throughout the state, running within Division 2 which encompasses the states of North Carolina, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, eastern
Tennessee and Puerto Rico. The last time NHRA staged an event in the state of North Carolina featuring the professional classes was 1998. The specialty race was conducted for 10 years at Rockingham Dragway in Rockingham, N.C.
This marks the second new venue on the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series to cater to the growing fan base in the Southeast United States. In 2006, the series returned to Virginia Motorsports Park outside Richmond, Va.
Headquartered in Glendora, Calif., NHRA is the primary sanctioning body for the sport of drag racing in the United States. It presents 24 national events through its NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series. NHRA has 80,000 members and 140 member tracks. The NHRA-sanctioned sportsman and bracket racing series provide competition opportunities for drivers of all levels. The NHRA develops the stars of tomorrow by offering the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, NHRA Summit Racing Series and the NHRA Street Legal Drags presented by AAA. NHRA also offers the O'Reilly Auto Parts Jr. Drag Racing League for youth ages 8 to 17.
On May 30, 2007, the NHRA entered into an agreement with HD Partners Acquisition Corporation (AMEX: HDP) for the acquisition by HDP of the NHRA's professional drag racing assets, including the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series, together with a broad set of commercialization rights. The transaction is subject to HDP shareholder approval. Interested persons are advised to read HDP's preliminary proxy statement on file at the SEC and the definitive proxy statement, when available. More information about HDP and the agreement with the NHRA is also available at www.hdpartnersacquisition.com.
2008 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Schedule
Countdown to 10
48th annual CARQUEST Auto Parts Winternationals - Feb. 7-10 Pomona, Calif.
24th annual Checker Schuck's Kragen NHRA Nationals - Feb.22-24 Phoenix
39th annual ACDelco NHRA Gatornationals - March 13-16 Gainesville, Fla. (PSM)
21st annual O'Reilly NHRA Spring Nationals - March 28- 30 Houston (PSM)
Ninth annual SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals - April 10-13 Las Vegas
28th annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals -
April 24-27 Atlanta (PSM)
12th annual O'Reilly NHRA Midwest Nationals - May2-4 St. Louis (PSM)
Eighth annual O'Reilly NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals - May 16-18 Bristol, Tenn.
20th annual O'Reilly NHRA Summer Nationals - May 30 - June 1 Topeka, Kan.
11th annual Torco Racing Fuels Route 66 NHRA Nationals - June 5-8 Chicago (PSM)
39th annual NHRA SuperNationals - June 19-22 Englishtown, N.J. (PSM)
Second annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals -
June 26-29 Norwalk, Ohio (PSM)
29th annual Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals - July 11-13 Denver (PSM)
21st annual Schuck's Auto Supply NHRA Nationals - July 18-20 Seattle
21st annual FRAM-Autolite NHRA Nationals - July 25-27 Sonoma, Calif. (PSM)
27th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals - Aug. 7-10 Brainerd, Minn. (PSM)
24th annual Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals - Aug. 14-17 Reading, Pa. (PSM)
54th annual Mac Tools U.S. Nationals - Aug. 27- Sept. 1 Indianapolis (PSM)
Countdown to 1
Inaugural NHRA Carolinas Nationals - Sept. 11-14 Charlotte, N.C. (PSM)
23rd annual O'Reilly NHRA Fall Nationals - Sept. 18-21 Dallas (PSM)
21st annual O'Reilly NHRA Mid-South Nationals - Sept. 26-28 Memphis, Tenn. (PSM)
Third annual Torco Racing Fuels NHRA Nationals - Oct.10-12 Richmond, Va.
Eighth annual ACDelco Las Vegas NHRA Nationals - Oct. 30-Nov. 2 Las Vegas (PSM)
44th annual Automobile Club of S. California NHRA Finals -
Nov.13-16 Pomona, Calif. (PSM)
(PSM) - Event will include Pro Stock Motorcycle