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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Keeping Pace


NHRA logo courtesy of NHRA Media Relations
NHRA logo courtesy of NHRA Media Relations

The 2011 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series features 22 stops across the United States with several venues adjusting their dates for the upcoming season.

Courtesy: NHRA Media Relations

GLENDORA, Calif. (Aug. 26, 2010) – NHRA announced its 2011 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series schedule today, featuring 22 national events. The most significant change to the schedule is the move of the NHRA Arizona Nationals at Firebird International Raceway to the fall where it will become one of the six-races that comprise the NHRA Full Throttle Countdown to the Championship. The Phoenix event, which also will feature the Pro Stock Motorcycle class for the first time, will be held Oct. 14-16.



NHRA also announced that New England Dragway will join the NHRA member track network in 2011.  NHRA is currently working with the track on facility improvements with the goal to bring an NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series event to New England Dragway as soon as possible.  Given the location of the facility, and NHRA’s well known desire to bring a national event to New England and near the metropolitan Boston market, it promises to be one of the most popular spots on the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series tour.



NHRA will celebrate its 60th anniversary in 2011, with a number of special events and activities planned throughout the season at all NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series events. Plans for the celebration, which will be announced in greater detail in the coming weeks, will include showcasing many of the sport’s greatest moments from the last seven decades.



NHRA’s 60th anniversary campaign kicks-off with the 51st running of the Kragen O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Winternationals in Pomona, Calif., Feb. 24-27, followed by the Tire Kingdom NHRA Gatornationals at Gainesville (Fla.) Raceway two weeks later, March 10-13. After the East Coast opener in Gainesville, the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series will head west for the NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, April 1-3.   



The second annual NHRA 4-Wide Nationals, a spectacle unlike any other in motorsports, will take place at zMAX Dragway, April 14-17.  The 24th annual O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Spring Nationals will take place April 29-May 1 at Royal Purple Raceway near Houston, followed by the 31st annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals, May 13-15 at Atlanta Dragway. The O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Summer Nationals in Topeka, Kan. will be held May 20-22.   



The month of June will once again take the Full Throttle Series teams to three tradition-rich venues, beginning with the 42nd annual NHRA SuperNationals in Englishtown, N.J., June 2-5, followed by the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals in Bristol, Tenn., June 17-19, and concluding with the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals in Norwalk, Ohio, June 23-26.




Another change to the schedule sees The United Association Route 66 NHRA Nationals in Chicago moving to July 7-10.   In 2011, the start of the Western Swing will begin with the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals in Denver, July 22-24, followed by the 24th annual FRAM-Autolite NHRA Nationals, July 29-31 in Sonoma, Calif., and conclude with the NHRA Northwest Nationals in Seattle, Aug. 5-7.



The other race scheduled during the month of August, celebrating its 30th anniversary, is the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals in Brainerd, Minn., Aug. 18-21.




If the stakes weren’t already high for the most famous of all drag racing events – the traditional Labor Day weekend running of the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals presented by Lucas Oil –   they will be increased ten-fold in 2011 as the prestigious event will represent the final chance for teams in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series to earn a top 10 position and qualify for the NHRA Full Throttle Countdown to the Championship.  The nearly week-long event will take place Aug. 31-Sept. 5 at O’Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis. 




The six-races that will make up the NHRA Full Throttle Countdown to the Championship include the O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Nationals, Sept. 15-18 at zMAX Dragway in Charlotte; O’Reilly Super Start Batteries NHRA Fall Nationals at the Texas Motorplex near Dallas, Sept. 22-25; and the 27th annual Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals, Sept. 29-Oct. 2, at Maple Grove Raceway in Reading, Pa.




The season concludes with the last three events of the NHRA Full Throttle Countdown to the Championship, starting with the NHRA Arizona Nationals in Phoenix, Oct. 14-16, the NHRA Las Vegas Nationals, Oct. 27-30, and the Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, Nov. 10-13.




The Pro Stock Motorcycle class will compete in a 16-race schedule, with six of those races in the NHRA Full Throttle Countdown to the Championship.




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 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series events featuring action from qualifying rounds on Saturday and Sunday’s race.


Keeping Pace

Motorsports correspondent Doug Pace keeps up with motorsports news and notes from around the region.