NHRA announced its 2014 Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule today, which includes a return to racing Memorial Day weekend with the NHRA Kansas Nationals at Heartland Park Topeka, May 23-25.
Also in 2014, NHRA will celebrate the 60th anniversary of the biggest and most prestigious event in all of NHRA Drag Racing, the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis, Labor Day weekend, Aug. 27-Sept. 1. Another tradition-rich event will celebrate its 50th anniversary: the Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona (Calif.). That race will again provide the stage for the season finale, Nov. 13-16. NHRA will be announcing activities, events and promotions for both milestone anniversary races that will make each one a must-attend event for NHRA fans.
The 24-race NHRA Mello Yello Series will make its traditional stops across the country and remains the most geographically dispersed U.S. touring series in all of motorsports, reaching fans with its unique brand of high-horsepower entertainment from New England to California, Washington to Florida, and all points between.
The 2014 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series kicks off with the NHRA Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, Feb. 6-9. It was also announced that the event will move to a more traditional three-day format for Mello Yello Series competitors, featuring two qualifying runs Friday and Saturday, followed by eliminations Sunday. The NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series competitors will begin racing Thursday, Feb. 6.
Following the season opener, the series returns to Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park (formerly Firebird International Raceway) near Phoenix for the 30th annual NHRA Arizona Nationals, Feb. 21-23. NHRA teams will traverse the country to make it to the traditional East Coast opener at Auto-Plus Raceway at Gainesville for the 45th annual Amalie Oil NHRA Gatornationals, March 13-16.
Three traditional stops will follow: the SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway (March 28-30); the popular NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at zMAX Dragway in Charlotte, N.C. (April 11-13); and the O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA SpringNationals at Royal Purple Raceway near Houston (April 25-27).
In May, the teams will embark on a grueling stretch of events during the summer months that includes 11 races in 14 weeks, beginning with the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals in Atlanta, May 16-18. The NHRA Mello Yello Series returns to racing Memorial Day weekend with the NHRA Kansas Nationals at Heartland Park Topeka, May 23-25, followed by the last of a three-in-a-row stretch, the 45th annual Toyota NHRA Summernationals at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in Englishtown, N.J. (May 29-June 1).
After a week off, the NHRA Mello Yello Series will race four in a row starting with the Ford NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals in Bristol, Tenn. (June 13-15); the Auto-Plus NHRA New England Nationals (June 19-22) in Epping, N.H.; the O’Reilly Auto Parts Route 66 NHRA Nationals outside Chicago (June 26-29); and concluding with a Fourth of July weekend celebration during the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals in Norwalk, Ohio (July 3-6).
The famed Western Swing kicks off with the 35th annual Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals at Bandimere Speedway in Denver, July 18-20. From there, the teams will trek farther west stopping at Sonoma Raceway in the Bay Area of Northern California for the NHRA Sonoma Nationals (July 25-27) before finishing the Western Swing at Pacific Raceways near Seattle with the O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Northwest Nationals (Aug. 1-3). NHRA teams will then head to Brainerd, Minn., for the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals, Aug. 14-17.
The last race in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series regular season where the final positions for the NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship can be secured will be the prestigious Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis, Labor Day weekend, Aug. 27-Sept. 1. Adding to the pressure that the teams and drivers will experience that weekend will be the NHRA Traxxas Nitro Shootout for Top Fuel and Funny Car. The special races-within-a-race bonus event features the best of the best in both categories vying for $100,000 winners’ checks.
The six-race 2014 NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship, NHRA’s playoffs, kicks off two weeks later with four consecutive weeks of racing: the NHRA Carolina Nationals in Charlotte, N.C. (Sept. 12-14); the AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals at the Texas Motorplex near Dallas (Sept. 18-21); the AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals at Gateway Motorsports Park near St. Louis (Sept. 26-28); and the 30th annual Auto-Plus NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway in Reading, Pa. (Oct. 2-5).
The season concludes out west with the Toyota NHRA Nationals in Las Vegas (Oct. 30-Nov. 2) and returns to where it all began for the season finale with the 50th anniversary of the Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals (Nov. 13-16). Like the Winternationals, the Auto Club NHRA Finals will be a three-day race for the Mello Yello Series teams with two qualifying sessions each Friday and Saturday and final eliminations Sunday. Besides featuring the conclusion to the season and the crowning of world champions in Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle, the event at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona will include a huge 50th anniversary celebration. Details regarding special events, activities and promotions will be announced later.
The Pro Stock Motorcycle class will compete in a 16-race schedule, with six of those races in the NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship.
ESPN2 and ESPN2HD, a part of the ESPN network, the worldwide leader in sports, will again provide exclusive television coverage on a same-day basis of all NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series events featuring action from qualifying rounds Saturday and eliminations Sunday.
2014 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Schedule
NHRA Mello Yello Series Regular Season
54th annual NHRA Winternationals Feb. 6-9
30th annual NHRA Arizona Nationals Feb. 21-23
45th annual Amalie Oil NHRA Gatornationals March 13-16
Gainesville, Fla. (PSM)
15th annual SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals March 28-30
Fifth annual NHRA Four-Wide Nationals April 11-13
Charlotte, N.C. (PSM)
27th annual O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA SpringNationals April 25-27
34th annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals May 16-18
26th annual NHRA Kansas Nationals May 23-25
45th annual Toyota NHRA Summernationals May 29-June 1
Englishtown, N.J. (PSM)
14th annual Ford NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals June 13-15
Second annual Auto-Plus NHRA New England Nationals June 19-22
Epping, N.H. (PSM)
17th annual O’Reilly Auto Parts Route 66 NHRA Nationals June 26-29
Eighth annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals July 3-6
Norwalk, Ohio (PSM)
35th annual Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals July 18-20
27th annual NHRA Sonoma Nationals July 25-27
Sonoma, Calif. (PSM)
27th annual O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Northwest Nationals Aug. 1-3
33rd annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals Aug. 14-17
60th annual Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals Aug. 27-Sept. 1