2008 new countdown format, change in schedule

NHRA POWERADE COUNTDOWN TO THE CHAMPIONSHIP FORMAT CHANGES FOR 2008 NHRA also announces Auto Club NHRA Finals moved to Nov. 13-16, 2008 GLENDORA, Calif. (Jan. 10, 2008) -- NHRA announced today modifications to the NHRA POWERade Countdown to...

NHRA POWERADE COUNTDOWN TO THE CHAMPIONSHIP FORMAT CHANGES FOR 2008
NHRA also announces Auto Club NHRA Finals moved to Nov. 13-16, 2008

GLENDORA, Calif. (Jan. 10, 2008) -- NHRA announced today modifications to the NHRA POWERade Countdown to the Championship designed to build upon the excitement and success generated from last year's inaugural season. In addition, NHRA also announced that the final race of the season, the Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals, has been moved one week later to Nov. 13-16, 2008.

The 2008 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series will feature an 18-race regular season, followed by a six-race NHRA POWERade Countdown to the Championship playoff to determine POWERade world champions in Top Fuel, Funny Car and Pro Stock. The fields for the championship playoffs, which will be set at the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals on Labor Day weekend, will be expanded to the top 10 in each class, up from eight in 2007.

In the Pro Stock Motorcycle category, the season will feature a 12-race regular season and a five-race playoff. The top 10 riders will advance to the championship playoffs following the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals.

Similar to last year's format, and after the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals, championship playoff competitors will have their points readjusted and separated in 10 point increments. However, points leaders in each of the four professional classes after the regular season will be awarded with a 20-point bonus, increasing their leads over the second place qualifiers to 30 points. Thus, first place in the standings will begin the Countdown to 1 with 2,090 points; second place with 2,060 points and so on to 10th place starting with 1,980 points.

"Few would argue with the drama that unfolded in 2007 which concluded with all four NHRA POWERade world championships decided on the last day of the season, and two categories on the final run of the year," said Tom Compton, president, NHRA. "We reflected on the success of the new playoff format and listened to the feedback we received from fans, sponsors and, in particular, the racing community. We believe we have modified the system to maintain the excitement for our fans and provide more opportunities for teams as they race for NHRA POWERade world championships."

The regular season portion of the NHRA POWERade Series schedule will now be referred to as the Countdown to 10, with the NHRA POWERade Countdown to the Championship playoffs, the Countdown to 1, beginning at the TBA event scheduled for Sept. 11-14. The rest of the championship playoffs will include the O'Reilly NHRA Fall Nationals in Dallas, the O'Reilly NHRA Mid-South Nationals in Memphis, and the Torco Racing Fuels NHRA Nationals in Richmond, Va., before heading west for the ACDelco Las Vegas NHRA Nationals and the season-ending Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals in Pomona, Calif.

-credit: nhra

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