Series releases 2009 schedule

2009 NHRA FULL THROTTLE DRAG RACING SERIES SCHEDULE RELEASED NHRA also announces more than $1.3 million event purse increase for 2009 GLENDORA, Calif. (July 9, 2008) - NHRA released its 2009 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series schedule today...

2009 NHRA FULL THROTTLE DRAG RACING SERIES SCHEDULE RELEASED
NHRA also announces more than $1.3 million event purse increase for 2009

GLENDORA, Calif. (July 9, 2008) - NHRA released its 2009 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series schedule today featuring 24 events. In addition, NHRA announced an event purse increase in excess of $1.3 million.

Beginning in 2009, national event winners in both Top Fuel and Funny Car will each receive $50,000, an increase of 25 percent. Pro Stock national event winners will receive $25,000, while Pro Stock Motorcycle winners will receive $10,000. At the most prestigious drag racing event in the world, the 55th running of the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals, winners in the top two nitro classes will receive a check for $100,000, while Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle winners will earn $50,000 and $20,000, respectively.

Increases at national events also were announced for runners-up, semi-finalists and second round finishers. At the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals, increases were announced for semi-finalists and second round finishers in Top Fuel, Funny Car and Pro Stock categories, while Pro Stock Motorcycles received increases for runner-up and second round finishers. In all, the total increase in event purses in the four professional classes is $1,353,700.

The 2009 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series returns to the same venues as 2008, with only slight changes to the dates due to the change of holiday weekends. The series, however, will celebrate several landmark anniversaries at some of its long-standing and fan-favorite facilities. Celebrating its 40th anniversary, and serving as the East Coast kick-off to the season, will be the ACDelco NHRA Gatornationals in Gainesville, Fla. (March 12-15). The NHRA SuperNationals in Englishtown, N.J. (June 11-14), also will feature a 40th anniversary theme. Also celebrating significant special anniversaries will be the 30th annual Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals in Denver (July 10-12), the 25th annual Checker Schuck's Kragen NHRA Nationals in Phoenix (Feb. 20-22), the 25th annual Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals in Reading, Pa. (Aug. 20-23), and the 10th annual SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals in Las Vegas (April 2-5).

The season will begin at historic Auto Club Raceway at Pomona in Southern California, with the 49th annual NHRA Winternationals, Feb. 5-8. Scheduled for its traditional Labor Day weekend date will be the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals, Sept. 2-7 at O'Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis. The world's largest drag racing event will represent the final race in the NHRA Countdown to the Championship regular season and serve as the last opportunity for racers in all four professional categories to lock down a spot in the Top 10 and a chance, over the last six events of the season (five events for Pro Stock Motorcycle) to win the inaugural NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series world championship.

The six-race Countdown to 1 will feature a challenging four-week stretch of back-to-back races beginning with the NHRA Nationals in Concord, N.C. (Sept. 17-20); O'Reilly Super Start Batteries NHRA Fall Nationals in Dallas (Sept. 24-27); O'Reilly NHRA Mid-South Nationals in Memphis, Tenn. (Oct. 2-4); and the Virginia NHRA Nationals in Richmond, Va. (Oct. 9-11). From there the series heads to Nevada for the ACDelco Las Vegas NHRA Nationals, Oct. 29-Nov. 1, and concludes two weeks later at the 45th annual Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona (Calif.), Nov. 12-15.

Rounding out the schedule includes: the O'Reilly NHRA Spring Nationals (March 27-29) in Houston; the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals (April 16-19) at Atlanta Dragway; the O'Reilly NHRA Midwest Nationals (May 1-3) outside St. Louis; the O'Reilly NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals (May 15-17) at Bristol (Tenn.) Dragway; O'Reilly NHRA Summer Nationals in Topeka, Kan. (May 29-31); and the NHRA Route 66 Nationals in Chicago (June 4-7). The summer months will once again include a stop in Norwalk, Ohio for the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals (June 25-28) and the historic Western Swing, starting in Denver and continuing with the Schuck's Auto Supply NHRA Nationals in Seattle (July 17-19) and the FRAM-Autolite NHRA Nationals in Sonoma, Calif. (July 24-26). The 28th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals in Brainerd, Minn. will take place Aug. 13-16.

ESPN2 and ESPN2HD, a part of the ESPN network, the worldwide leader in sports, will once again provide exclusive television coverage, on a same-day basis, for all 24 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series events featuring action from Saturday's qualifying rounds and Sunday's race.

Earlier this year, NHRA announced that Full Throttle, The Coca-Cola Company's energy drink, will replace POWERade as the series sponsor beginning in 2009.

Headquartered in Glendora, Calif., the NHRA is the primary sanctioning body for the sport of drag racing in the United States. It presents 24 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 Racing Equipment Series and the NHRA Street Legal Drags presented by AAA. The NHRA also offers the O'Reilly Auto Parts Jr. Drag Racing League for youth ages 8 to 17.

2009 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series Event Purses
(*represents increases)

Top Fuel/Funny Car
Winner: $50,000*
Runner-up: $22,000*
Semi-finalists: $18,000*
Second round: $14,000*
First round: $10,000
17th & 18th place: $3,000

Pro Stock
Winner: $25,000*
Runner-up: $11,000*
Semi-finalists: $9,000*
Second Round: $7,000*
First Round: $5,000
17th & 18th place: $1,500

Pro Stock Motorcycle
Winner: $10,000*
Runner-up: $4,000*
Semi-finalists: $2,000
Second Round: $1,600*
First Round: $1,200
17th & 18th place: $500

2009 Mac Tools U.S. Nationals Purse
(*represents increases)

Top Fuel/Funny Car
Winner: $100,000*
Runner-up: $30,000
Semi-finalists: $20,000*
Second round: $15,000*
First round: $11,000
17th & 18th place: $3,000

Pro Stock
Winner: $50,000*
Runner-up: $15,000
Semi-finalists: $10,000*
Second Round: $7,500*
First Round: $5,500
17th & 18th place: $1,500

Pro Stock Motorcycle

Winner: $20,000*
Runner-up: $5,500*
Semi-finalists: $3,000
Second Round: $2,000*
First Round: $1,500
17th & 18th place: $500

-credit: nhra

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