Series announces 2008 schedule

2008 NHRA POWERADE DRAG RACING SERIES SCHEDULE RELEASED Schedule features addition of 24th national event; Pro Stock Motorcycle schedule expanded to 17 races INDIANAPOLIS (Sept. 1, 2007) -- NHRA released its 2008 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing ...

Schedule features addition of 24th national event; Pro Stock Motorcycle schedule expanded to 17 races

INDIANAPOLIS (Sept. 1, 2007) -- NHRA released its 2008 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series schedule today, expanding the Series to 24 national events. It is the first addition to the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series schedule since 2000.

The newest event on the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series schedule, which will be announced in the near future, will be held September 11-14, 2008. To make room in the schedule for the new fall event, the O'Reilly NHRA Mid-South Nationals in Memphis, Tenn. will move to September 26-28, 2008.

In addition, NHRA announced that the Pro Stock Motorcycle category will expand to 17 races in 2008, with the addition of the to-be-announced event in the fall.

The only time in NHRA's history when 24 national events were staged during the season was to celebrate NHRA's 50th anniversary, when a special one-time event was conducted at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona in the summer of 2001.

"We are coming off one of the most successful seasons in NHRA history and anticipate the record-setting attendance figures we witnessed at a majority of our venues in 2007 to continue based on the consistency we have created in the 2008 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series schedule," said Tom Compton, president, NHRA. "There has been much anticipation regarding today's announcement and that anticipation will likely carry over until we announce the newest addition on the national event schedule."

The season will begin and end at historic Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, first with the CARQUEST Auto Parts Winternationals, February 7-10, and finishing the season with the Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals, Nov. 6-9. Both represent two of the longest-standing national events in the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series.

Of course, all eyes in the motorsports world will be on O'Reilly Raceway Park in Indianapolis on Labor Day weekend, with the 54th annual Mac Tools U.S. Nationals, August 29-September 1. The world's largest drag racing event traditionally has more than 1,000 race cars on-site for the multi-day event and features two of NHRA's most prestigious specialty programs, the Skoal Showdown in Funny Car and the Ringers Gloves Pro Bike Battle.

Fans planning to visit the ACDelco NHRA Gatornationals in Gainesville, Fla., March 13-16, will view the newly completed, state-of-the-art race control tower and media center which is part of a multi-phase facility improvement project at historic Gainesville Raceway.

The NHRA POWERade Series Countdown to the Championship, which in 2007 has generated great interest among fans, sponsors, competitors and media, will once again feature a tiered playoff-style format with competitors vying for the Top Eight spots through the regular season. Details on the events that will be included in the Countdown to 8, Countdown to 4 and Countdown to 1 will be announced at the conclusion of the 2007 season.

Other feature events in the 2008 schedule include stops in both major markets in the state of Texas with the O'Reilly NHRA Spring Nationals March 28-30, in Houston, and the O'Reilly NHRA Fall Nationals, September 18-21 at Texas Motorplex near Dallas. The NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series will return for two dates at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, which will host the NHRA Nationals April 10-13 and the AC Delco Las Vegas NHRA Nationals October 30 -- November 2.

The Western Swing, which last year built the drama leading up to the Countdown to 8, will feature the Mopar Mile-High Nationals in Denver, July 11-13, the Schuck's Auto Supply NHRA Nationals in Seattle July 18-20 and the FRAM-Autolite NHRA Nationals July 25-27 in Sonoma, Calif.

Highlighting the month of June will be four NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series national events with the running of the 20th annual O'Reilly NHRA Summer Nationals in Topeka, May 29 -- June 1, followed by the Torco Racing Fuels Route 66 NHRA Nationals June 5-8 in Chicago and the NHRA Supernationals, June 19-22 in Englishtown, N. J., just outside New York City. The series returns to Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park for the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals June 26-29 in Norwalk, Ohio, which also will serve as the venue for the popular Pro Stock specialty race, the K&N Horsepower Challenge.

Other stops throughout the year include: the Checker Schuck's Kragen NHRA Nationals, February 22-24, in Phoenix; the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals, April 24-27 in Atlanta; O'Reilly NHRA Midwest Nationals May 2-4 in St. Louis; O'Reilly NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals May 16-18 in Bristol, Tenn.; Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals in Brainerd, Minn., August 7-10; Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals in Reading, Pa., August 14-17; and the Torco Racing Fuels NHRA Nationals in Richmond, Va., October 10-12.

The NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series, and its 24-race schedule, is by far the most geographically dispersed motorsport series in the country with events from Florida to Washington, California to New Jersey and all points in between.

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, of all 24 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series events featuring action from qualifying rounds on Saturday and Sunday's race.

Headquartered in Glendora, Calif., NHRA is the primary sanctioning body for the sport of drag racing in the United States. It presents 23 national events through its NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series. NHRA has 80,000 members and 140 member tracks. NHRA-sanctioned sportsman and bracket racing series provide competition opportunities for drivers of all levels. NHRA develops the stars of tomorrow by offering the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, NHRA Xplod Sport Compact Racing Series, NHRA Summit Racing Series and NHRA Street Legal Drags presented by AAA. NHRA also offers the O'Reilly Auto Parts Jr. Drag Racing League for youths ages 8 to 17.

-credit: nhra

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