Oct. 16, 1997 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: NHRA Communications (626) 914-4761 PRO STOCK TRUCK TO BECOME NHRA PRO CATEGORY IN 1998 GLENDORA, Calif. -- Pro Stock Truck will become an NHRA professional category in 1998, as the...
Oct. 16, 1997
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: NHRA Communications (626) 914-4761 PRO STOCK TRUCK TO BECOME NHRA PRO CATEGORY IN 1998 GLENDORA, Calif. -- Pro Stock Truck will become an NHRA professional category in 1998, as the popular pickups that debuted on an exhibition basis this year will compete for points and purses in a unique format at 12 of the 22 national events, NHRA President Dallas Gardner announced Oct. 16. Trucks from Chrysler, Ford and General Motors will race in these markets: Houston, Atlanta, Englishtown, N.J., Chicago, St. Louis, Sonoma, Calif., Seattle, Indianapolis, Topeka, Kan., Memphis, Tenn., Dallas and Pomona, Calif. "The planning and development of this program has been an ongoing project for the last year and a half," Gardner said. "We're excited that we have finally reached this point. "We have been able to test the product with the exhibition program and have received the fans' reaction through a number of research projects. We all know that trucks comprise the majority of new vehicles sold in America, and the particular demographic of the small truck (Dakota, Ranger and S-10) buyer matches up perfectly to the NHRA fan demographic. The time is right for the trucks to make their presence in NHRA Winston Drag Racing." Many new features will be included in Pro Stock Truck competition. Eliminations will take place Saturday, giving trucks the featured spot in that day's racing program. The other four pro categories -- Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle -- will continue to race eliminations Sunday. Truck qualifying will take place Thursday and Friday. The other pro categories qualify Thursday at just two events, the Chief Auto Parts Winternationals and Winston Finals at Pomona, Calif. Pro Stock Truck will use a unique qualifying system designed to ensure competition and equal representation between the manufacturers racing in the category. Sixteen trucks will qualify for eliminations, but the first 12 spots always will consist of the four quickest Chrysler, Ford and General Motors trucks by their best qualifying time. The last four spots will be wild-card spots, filled by the four quickest trucks outside of the top 12, regardless of manufacturer. "The fans want to see the brand against brand," Gardner said. "They want to see the Chevrolets against the Fords and the Dodges. The manufacturers all agree this is a vital element for the success of the program. This qualifying format will help to ensure we deliver this concept." Pro Stock Truck drivers will earn points under the same system used in the other four NHRA pro categories. The Pro Stock Truck exhibition program started at the Pontiac Excitement Nationals in June 1997 at National Trail Raceway in Columbus, Ohio, with exhibition passes by Chevrolet S-10 trucks. Dodge Dakota trucks made their debut at the Mopar Parts Mile-High Nationals in mid-July at Denver, and Ford unveiled its Ranger trucks a week later at the Autolite Nationals in Sonoma, Calif. All Pro Stock Trucks are powered by a 358 cubic-inch, eight-cylinder engine. The minimum weight of the each truck with driver is 2,300 pounds. -30-
1998 NHRA PRO STOCK TRUCK NATIONAL EVENT SCHEDULE
11th annual SLICK 50 NATIONALS March 19-22 Houston 18th annual FRAM NATIONALS April 16-19 Atlanta 29th annual MOPAR PARTS NATIONALS May 14-17 Englishtown, N.J. Inaugural NATIONAL EVENT May 28-31 Chicago Second annual SEARS CRAFTSMAN NATIONALS June 25-28 Madison, Ill. 11th annual AUTOLITE NATIONALS July 24-26 Sonoma, Calif. 11th annual NORTHWEST NATIONALS July 31-Aug. 2 Seattle 44th annual U.S. NATIONALS Sept. 2-7 Indianapolis 10th annual WESTERN AUTO PARTS AMERICA NATIONALS Oct. 1-4 Topeka, Kan. 11th annual PENNZOIL NATIONALS presented by AutoZone Oct. 8-11 Memphis, Tenn. 13th annual REVELL NATIONALS Oct. 22-25 Dallas 34th annual WINSTON FINALS Nov. 12-15 Pomona, Calif.