Series announces 2010 schedule

New look, new format highlights 2010 IHRA Nitro Jam schedule With a brand new look and format to the series comes a revamped schedule as the IHRA Nitro Jam series welcomes one brand new facility and one former track back to the fold as part...

New look, new format highlights 2010 IHRA Nitro Jam schedule

With a brand new look and format to the series comes a revamped schedule as the IHRA Nitro Jam series welcomes one brand new facility and one former track back to the fold as part of the 2010 Nitro Jam schedule which was released on Tuesday.

Palm Beach International Raceway, which signed with the International Hot Rod Association earlier this year, will open the 2010 season while the series also welcomes Virginia Motorsports Park back to its family of tracks with the final spot on the 2010 calender.

IHRA will also add Rocky Mountain Raceways in Salt Lake City to the Nitro Jam schedule after hosting one of the new format style events in 2009.

"With a new year comes a brand new look to the series and to the schedule and we couldn't be any happier with the direction things are going," said IHRA President Aaron Polburn. "Never in all my years have I been more excited to get a season underway. Next year will look completely different while at the same time retaining that same IHRA feel. We are still going to focus on the core values of what makes IHRA unique in the motorsports world, just with an exciting new format."

One of the biggest changes to the 2010 schedule will be the trimming of all Nitro Jam events except for two from three days down to two and the implementation of the "race only" format for professional classes. While sportsman racing will remain exactly the same with the exception of one less day of racing, the professional categories will have invitation only fields with a new race and winner being named at the conclusion of each day of racing.

Professional categories primarily consisting of Top Fuel, Pro Fuel, Prostalgia Nitro Funny Car and Pro Stock will still be awarded points and will crown a champion at the end of the year. The rest of the professional categories will be an exciting mixture of classes unique to each individual track and event.

Sportsman competitors will continue to crown champions at the completion of each event with the winners earning a spot in the Tournament of Champions to be run at the season finale at Virginia Motorsports Park.

Check back with NitroJam.com at a later date for a full lineup of professional classes and exciting extras at all Nitro Jam events in 2010.

The use of the word "nationals" will also be dropped as the series will restructure to help stand out in a crowded drag racing marketplace. The series will be known simply as Nitro Jam and concentrate primarily on nitro burning machines as the core of the show.

"More than anything else we have had a history of looking at what is successful and what is not successful. We know that after looking at other forms of entertainment it is critical that we package a program into a three hour window with the right ticket price while still providing a great show," Polburn said. "By doing what we are doing I think we can expand our audience, put on a better show in a shorter period of time and work inside a budget for each of the marketplaces."

Kicking off the new-look Nitro Jam season will be a stop in West Palm Beach, Fla. in late January. Palm Beach International Raceway will begin the 2010 season the weekend of January 29-30 with an event at one of the top facilities in the country.

The state-of-the-art track will be the first to experience the new Nitro Jam as the IHRA returns to Florida with a national event for the first time since 1999.

PBIR will be followed by a trip to State Capital Raceway in Baton Rouge the weekend of March 6-7. After an extremely successful debut last season, State Capital Raceway will once again bring its unique personality to the schedule in 2010.

Rockingham Dragway will retain its spring date the weekend of May 1-2 and will provide the last stop in the southeast before a hectic June that features the IHRA's version of the western swing.

Following Rockingham the series will pick up and head west as Rocky Mountain Raceways in Salt Lake City hosts a Nitro Jam June 18-19 followed closely by the a pair of three-day events in Canada.

Castrol Raceway in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada will retain its status as a three-day event the weekend of June 25-27. Grand Bend Motorplex in Grand Bend, Ontario, Canada will complete the Canadian portion of the schedule July 16-18.

The final half of the schedule will remain similar to 2009 with U.S. 131 Motorsports Park in Martin, Mich., Maryland International Raceway in Budds Creek, Md. and New England Dragway in Epping, N.H. holding down summer dates. Maryland International Raceway will host its event August 28-29 and New England Dragway will hold down a date the weekend of September 11-12.

U.S. 131 Motorsports Park is still working out its official date.

Virginia Motorsports Park will bring the season to a close October 15-16.

After hosting a national event in 2009 Dallas Raceway will be taking a year off from the IHRA schedule, but will still play an important role in the sportsman season in 2010.

-credit: ihra

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