Columbus: Pre-race notes, schedule

WHAT: The 41st annual Pontiac Performance NHRA Nationals presented by Summit Racing, the 8th of 23 events in the $50 million NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series. Professional competitors in four categories earn points leading to 2005...

WHAT: The 41st annual Pontiac Performance NHRA Nationals presented by Summit Racing, the 8th of 23 events in the $50 million NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series. Professional competitors in four categories earn points leading to 2005 NHRA POWERade world championships.

Sportsman competitors in six categories earn points leading to 2005 NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series world championships.

WHERE: National Trail Raceway, Hebron, Ohio. The track is located about 20 miles east of Columbus on old U.S. Highway 40, one mile north of Interstate 70 at the Kirkersville exit. From Columbus, take I-70 to Highway 158 north and follow the signs, or take I-70 to Highway 37 north to U.S. Highway 40 and follow the signs.

WHEN: Thursday through Sunday, May 19-22.

PURSE: Cash and contingency awards of more than $2 million.

SCHEDULE:

THURSDAY, May 19
Sportsman qualifying and time trials, 9 a.m.

FRIDAY, May 20
Sportsman qualifying and eliminations begin at 9 a.m.
PROFESSIONAL QUALIFYING SESSIONS begin at 4 p.m.

SATURDAY, May 21
Sportsman qualifying and eliminations, 8 a.m.
PROFESSIONAL QUALIFYING SESSIONS at 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.

SUNDAY, May 22
Pre-race ceremonies, 10 a.m. 2FINAL ELIMINATIONS begin at 11 a.m.

TELEVISION: Saturday, May 21, ESPN will televise two hours of qualifying highlights at 11 p.m. (ET).

Sunday May 22, ESPN2 will broadcast NHRA 2Day, a 30-minute weekly news magazine show, at 11:30 a.m. (ET).

Sunday, May 22, ESPN2 will televise three hours of eliminations at 7 p.m. (ET).

TICKETS: For tickets, call (800) 884-NHRA (6472). Tickets also available at Ticketmaster, ticketmaster.com, and nhra.com.

GENERAL ADMISSION (includes pit pass) -- Thursday: Adult, $10; Junior (6-17 years), free. Friday: Adult, $29; Junior (6-17 years) $10. Saturday: Adult, $38, Junior (6-17 years), $10. Sunday: Adult, $41, Junior (6-17 years), $10. Children 5 years and under free in general admission areas.

RESERVED SEATS (includes pit pass) -- Friday: Adult, $39; Junior (6-17 years), $20; Child (5-under), $10. Saturday: Adult, $49; Junior (6-17 years), $21; Child (5-under), $11. Sunday: Adult, $54; Junior (6-17 years), $23; Child (5-under), $13.

-nhra-

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