NHRA SUMMER NATIONALS AT HPT MOVES TO EARLY JUNE IN 2007 TOPEKA, Kan. (Aug. 30, 2006) - For the last six years drag racing fans have circled Memorial Day weekend on their calendar for the National Hot Rod Association's annual trip to Heartland...
NHRA SUMMER NATIONALS AT HPT MOVES TO EARLY JUNE IN 2007
TOPEKA, Kan. (Aug. 30, 2006) - For the last six years drag racing fans have circled Memorial Day weekend on their calendar for the National Hot Rod Association's annual trip to Heartland Park Topeka. Beginning next year, those plans will have to be pushed back one week.
Heartland Park Topeka will host the 19th Annual O'Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Summer Nationals presented by Castrol GTX on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, June 1-3, 2007. The announcement was made today by NHRA officials in Indianapolis, Ind.
"Our agreement with the National Hot Rod Association for the O'Reilly Summer Nationals is one of the longest-running NHRA contracts with any race track in the United States," said Raymond Irwin, Heartland Park Topeka owner. "The commitment to our event and its success remains strong from the NHRA, and the O'Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Summer Nationals is and always will be a premier event at Heartland Park Topeka."
Heartland Park Topeka will once again be the ninth stop in the 2007 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series. Holiday plans over the Memorial Day weekend are typicallycentered on family outings, and the change in dates may allow for more drag racing fans to spend the race weekend in Topeka.
"Many families travel over the long Memorial Day weekend. Heartland Park Topeka and the NHRA feel we can give our fans time to spend that weekend with their families, and then enjoy great drag racing the first weekend in June," said Irwin. "Now that our event is one week later, the O'Reilly Summer Nationals will truly be in the summer, which will help more of our fans attend all three days. We feel confident our fans will like the new date."
Doug Kalitta, Ron Capps, and Dave Connolly took home wins in Top Fuel, Top Fuel Funny Car, and Pro Stock, respectively, at the 2006 O'Reilly NHRA Summer Nationals at Heartland Park Topeka. The win in May was Kalitta's first in four final rounds at Heartland Park, Capps now has two wins in his career at the track, and Connolly won for the first time in Topeka and became the first repeat winner in Pro Stock in 2006.
Heartland Park Topeka has hosted the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series every year since the facility opened its doors in 1989. For a five year stretch, from 1993-97, Heartland Park Topeka hosted two NHRA national events. The track has been the site of many firsts in drag racing history, including the first funny car to eclipse the 300 MPH barrier and run quicker than five seconds (1993).
In 2005 Heartland Park Topeka was once again the home of a first in drag racing when Australia native David Grubnic became the first non-North American racer to win at a national event. Earlier this year the track was the site of a first when Erica Enders became the first woman to qualify number one in Pro Stock, and Enders teamed with Melanie Troxel (Top Fuel) to become the first time two women had qualified number one at the same event in NHRA history at the 18th Annual O'Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Summer Nationals.
Heartland Park Topeka, a multi-purpose racing facility located in Topeka, Kan. annually hosts NHRA POWERade drag racing, the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA), and many other pro and amateur drag racing, road racing, and dirt racing events throughout the race season.