GLENDORA, Calif. (July 24, 2001) -- Today, the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) announced its 2002 national event schedule, featuring 23 national events and a return to all venues on its current 2001 schedule.
In addition, the NHRA announced an increase in the event prize purse for its Federal-Mogul Dragster and Federal-Mogul Funny Car categories, the first in more than 10 years. The total event purse in 2002 for the two categories will increase over $20,000 per race, representing an increase of nearly 40 percent from this year. The Federal-Mogul Dragster and Federal-Mogul Funny Car categories will compete at 16 NHRA national events, with the annual sportsman all-star event switching venues from National Trail Raceway in Columbus, Ohio to the Fall event at Route 66 Raceway in Joilet, Ill. Federal-Mogul Dragster and Federal-Mogul Funny Car will enjoy increased television coverage in 2002, as all national event competitions will be televised nationally on ESPN2, including the all-star event.
Finally, NHRA announced a reclassification of the current Pro Stock Truck vehicle, effective in the 2002 season. Going forward, the current Pro Stock Truck vehicle will be able to compete in Competition Eliminator in the NHRA Federal-Mogul Drag Racing Series with no vehicle modification. With some modification, the same vehicles can run in Super Gas and Super Comp categories.
"Our 2002 NHRA national event schedule reinforces our position as the most geographically dispersed motorsport in the United States," said Tom Compton, president, NHRA. All NHRA Drag Racing national events will be televised, on a live or same-day basis, on ESPN or ESPN2 with a minimum of four hours each weekend. The Mac Tools U.S. Nationals, the world's most prestigious drag racing event, will feature a minimum of 6 hours of television coverage.
The Federal-Mogul Dragster and Federal-Mogul Funny Car categories will compete in Pomona, Calif., at both the NHRA Winternationals and NHRA Finals, Gainesville, Fla., Houston, the spring Las Vegas event, Atlanta, Englishtown, N.J., Topeka, Kan., Columbus, Ohio, Seattle, Sonoma, Calif., Brainerd, Minn., Indianapolis, Reading, Pa., Chicago (Fall event) and Dallas.
The reclassification of the vehicle now racing in the Pro Stock Truck category will reduce the number of professional classes in the NHRA Drag Racing Series to four: Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle.
"We spent a lot of time conferring with fans, sponsors, teams and track operators before making the decision to reclassify the Pro Stock Truck vehicle," said Compton. "This was not an easy decision to make. But, this direction is designed to strengthen our sport for the future.
"This move puts the focus on the remaining professional categories, resulting in more television coverage and media exposure for their teams and sponsors," Compton continued. "NHRA has responded to what our fans want to see on-site at our national events and watch on ESPN."
Pro Stock Motorcycle will once again compete in 14 events, including Gainesville, Fla., Houston, Atlanta, Englishtown, N.J., the first Chicago event, Columbus, Ohio, St. Louis, Denver, Brainerd, Minn., Indianapolis, Reading, Pa., Memphis, Tenn., the second Las Vegas event and the Pomona, Calif. finale
The specialty race schedule, including the Holley Dominator Duel for Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle, as well as the Budweiser Shootout for Top Fuel and Funny Car will remain at their current venues. The Holley Dominator Duel for Pro Stock will be held at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park (Englishtown, N.J.) during the Matco Tools SuperNationals and the Holley Dominator Duel for Pro Stock Motorcycles will remain at Indianapolis Raceway Park (IRP) during the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals. The Budweiser Shootout for Funny Car will continue to be contested at IRP and the Budweiser Shootout for Top Fuel will be showcased at the Pomona finale.