Indianapolis: City embraces U.S. Nationals

INDIANAPOLIS (Sept. 1, 2004) -- As part of the ongoing 50th anniversary celebration for the historic Mac Tools U.S. Nationals, the world's most prestigious drag race, the city of Indianapolis has proclaimed the week of Aug. 30-Sept. 6, 2004 as...

INDIANAPOLIS (Sept. 1, 2004) -- As part of the ongoing 50th anniversary celebration for the historic Mac Tools U.S. Nationals, the world's most prestigious drag race, the city of Indianapolis has proclaimed the week of Aug. 30-Sept. 6, 2004 as "NHRA Mac Tools U.S. Nationals Week," it was announced Wednesday by city officials during a press conference at Monument Circle.

The $2.6 million 'Super Bowl' of drag racing takes place at nearby Indianapolis Raceway Park, Sept. 1-6. It is the 18th of 23 events in the $50 million NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series for 2004 and will be showcased nationwide during the weekend by ESPN's family of networks, set to air more than 10 hours of coverage of the high-horsepower tradition on ESPN and ESPN2.

As NHRA celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals, the showcase of speed and high performance continues. More than 1,000 competitors in 12 different racing categories are expected to perform in front of a standing-room only crowd during this weekend's much-anticipated event at IRP.

Beth White, public access counselor and director of constituent services for the City of Indianapolis presented NHRA President Tom Compton with the proclamation during the official press conference to kick-off the weekend's racing festivities.

"Drag racing has been a great success across the country, but everyone knows that the heart and soul of all motorsports is right here in the 'Racing Capital of the World,'" White said. "The City of Indianapolis is extremely proud to take part in the celebration of the 50th annual Mac Tools U.S. Nationals by offering this well deserved proclamation and we look forward to many more years of exciting and successful NHRA Drag Racing at Indianapolis Raceway Park."

In 1955 NHRA held the first U.S. Nationals in Great Bend, Kan., which boasted a competitive field of more than 200 cars. That event moved to Kansas City in 1956; on to Oklahoma City from 1957 to '58; and finally to Detroit for two more years (1959-'60) before settling permanently in Indianapolis in 1961. Since then, the IRP quarter-mile drag strip has played host to many memorable moments in the sport, and the legend of the facility has grown. Today, a victory here is the ultimate achievement for any drag racer.

"This is truly a very special day for NHRA, Indianapolis Raceway Park, the city of Indianapolis and the sport of drag racing," Compton said. "We're proud to call Indianapolis home to our most prestigious and historic event. The Mac Tools U.S. Nationals has given drag racing fans many thrilling and memorable moments during the last 49 years and as we celebrate our 50th anniversary of this spectacular event, we look forward to the next 50 years of the event with great anticipation. We're very appreciative of the overwhelming support we've received from the City of Indianapolis since moving the event here in 1961. We look forward to a great partnership with the city for many years to come."

Headquartered in Glendora, Calif., the NHRA is the primary sanctioning body for the sport of drag racing in the United States. It presents 23 events through its NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series. The 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 Sport Compact Racing Series, NHRA Summit Racing Series and the NHRA Street Legal Program. The NHRA also offers the NHRA O'Reilly Auto Parts Jr. Drag Racing League for youths ages 8 to 17.

-nhra-

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