An added incentive for teams to avoid oil-downs.
The National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) is taking a novel approach toward oil-downs. Just a week ago it announced penalties for causing stoppages on the track by Top Fuel and Funny Car entries during the 24 national Mello Yello Drag Racing Series events this year.
Now the series has decided to reward teams and drivers that keep the schedule humming and the track nice and clean by offering a $50,000 bonus to be divided among the top 10 nitro race teams with the greatest number of oil-free runs at season’s end.
Last season, 27 nitro nitro teams - out of a total of 74 - raced all season without an oil-down infraction. The series’ 16-time Funny Car champion John Force had the greatest number of oil-free passes down the 1,000-foot drag strip with 160; 2013 Top Fuel champion Shawn Langdon’s 154 oil-free runs were the greatest in his class.
While it’s unusual to see rewards for exceptional mechanical preparation in all racing series, it’s good to see NHRA taking the lead in giving back to its competitors with this new program.