2000 NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series Schedule

GLENDORA, Calif. - An NHRA national event will take place in the Las Vegas area for the first time in 2000, the highlight of the 2000 NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series schedule as released Sept. 5 by NHRA Executive Vice President and...

GLENDORA, Calif. - An NHRA national event will take place in the Las Vegas area for the first time in 2000, the highlight of the 2000 NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series schedule as released Sept. 5 by NHRA Executive Vice President and General Manager Tom Compton. The inaugural Las Vegas Nationals will be held April 6-9 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway's new state-of-the-art dragstrip, and becomes the first new national event added to the NHRA schedule since Chicago's FRAM Route 66 Nationals in 1998. There will be 23 national events on the 2000 schedule, in addition to the return of the Winston Showdown, NHRA's all-star event. One date change also is significant. The Castrol Nationals presented by O'Reilly Auto Parts will move to Memorial Day weekend, May 25-28, adding the popular Texas Motorplex event to one of auto racing's most tradition-rich weekends. "We're thrilled to bring NHRA Winston Drag Racing to the entertainment mecca of Las Vegas and expand the series to 23 races, our most ambitious schedule ever," Compton said. "We're equally excited about positioning the Castrol Nationals to become a significant addition to one of the biggest motorsports weekends in the United States, Memorial Day. "The NHRA family continues to welcome new sponsors and racing teams, which will ensure competitive, exciting racing for many years to come. We will continue to see improvements at every event. As more spectators continue to attend our events, we want them to enjoy state-of-the-art, fan-friendly facilities. We are very excited about the future and the explosive growth opportunity for NHRA Winston Drag Racing as we head into the millenium." The NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series season will continue to start and finish at Pomona Raceway in Pomona, Calif. The season opens with the 40th annual AutoZone Winternationals, Feb. 3-6, and closes with the 36th annual Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals, Nov. 9-12. Other traditional aspects of the schedule remain the same as 1999, including the renewal of many long time favorites such as the 46th annual U.S. Nationals, drag racing's most prestigious event, Aug. 30-Sept. 4 at Indianapolis Raceway Park; the 36th annual Pontiac Excitement Nationals presented by Summit Racing, June 15-18 at National Trail Raceway, Columbus, Ohio; the 31st annual Mac Tools Gatornationals, March 16-19 at Gainesville (Fla.) Raceway; and a 31st annual event in Englishtown, N.J., May 18-21. The second annual Winston Showdown will again showcase NHRA's all-star competitors at Bristol (Tenn.) Dragway in a unique format featuring Top Fuel dragsters against Funny Cars. John Force, driver of the Castrol GTX Ford Mustang, powered his Funny Car to a thrilling victory over Top Fuel finalist Bob Vandergriff, Jr. in the much-anticipated inaugural event last July. "We're extremely pleased with the excitement generated by the inaugural Winston Showdown," said Rick Sanders, president of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.'s Sports Marketing Enterprises. "The fans really got involved in the Top Fuel versus Funny Car format, and "Thunder Valley" was a showcase facility. Our objective for next year is to make it even more exciting for fans when they return to Bristol Dragway." In addition, the $40 million NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series will continue to make stops in Phoenix; Houston; Richmond, Va.; Madison, Ill.; Joliet, Ill., Denver; Seattle; Sonoma, Calif.; Brainerd, Minn.; Reading, Pa.; Topeka, Kan.; and Memphis, Tenn. "The 2000 NHRA Winston Drag Racing season will mark the 26th year of Winston's partnership with the NHRA," Sanders said. "Las Vegas continues to be one of the fastest growing markets in the United States and it's one that we're extremely happy to be involved with beginning in 2000. The NASCAR Winston Cup Series has enjoyed a great deal of success in Las Vegas and I fully expect the city of Las Vegas to support the NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series. I'm sure it will be a great market for NHRA Winston Drag Racing." Headquartered in Glendora, Calif., the NHRA is the primary sanctioning body for the sport of drag racing in the United States. It presents 23 national events through its NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series. The NHRA has 85,000 members nationwide and 142 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 Federal-Mogul Drag Racing Series, Sears Craftsman E.T. Racing Series and the Street Legal Program. The NHRA also offers the Jr. Drag Racing League for youths ages 8 to 17.

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Series NHRA
Drivers John Force , Bob Vandergriff