10/12 2016

NHRA makes changes to 2017 Countdown schedule AUTOWEEK

NHRA makes changes to 2017 Countdown schedule

Antron Brown hopes to be chasing a championship next season at Reading.PHOTO BY NHRA/NATIONAL DRAGSTER


The AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals and the Dodge NHRA Nationals are switching their event dates for the 2017 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Countdown to the Championship.

The Dodge NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway in Reading, Pennsylvania, will move up one week to Sept. 21-24, and the AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals at Gateway Motorsports Park in Madison, Illinois, will move back one week to Sept. 29-Oct. 1. The change is designed to improve the overall schedule for both venues.

“I think we will see some benefits from this by moving off the weekend of the NASCAR races at Dover (Delaware),’’ said Lex Dudas, vice president and general manager at Maple Grove Raceway. “We know fans over the years wanted to do both, but they had to pick and choose.”

The Dover racetrack is only 100 miles south of Maple Grove Raceway, which now becomes the second race of the Countdown to the Championship, the six-race playoff at the end of the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season that determines the champion in the four professional categories — Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle.

The AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals at Gateway Motorsports Park now becomes the third race in the Countdown.

“Hosting our event on the last weekend of September should provide more enjoyable conditions for our fans,” said Chris Blair, Gateway Motorsports Park’s executive vice president and general manager. “In addition, many of the racers would like the opportunity to attack our racing surface under ideal conditions for shattering records.”

Updated 2017 NHRA Mello Yello Series schedule

Feb. 9-12 Circle K NHRA Winternationals Pomona
Feb. 24-26 Advance Auto Parts NHRA Nationals Phoenix
March 16-19 Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals (PSM) Gainesville, FL
March 31-April 2 Denso Spark Plugs NHRA Nationals Las Vegas
April 21-23 NHRA SpringNationals Houston
April 28-30 NHRA Four-Wide Nationals (PSM) Charlotte, NC
May 5-7 NHRA Southern Nationals (PSM) Atlanta
May 19-21 NHRA Kansas Nationals Topeka, KS
June 2-4 NHRA New England Nationals Epping, NH
June 8-11 NHRA Summernationals (PSM) Englishtown, NJ
June 16-18 NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals Bristol, TN
June 22-25 Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals (PSM) Norwalk, OH
July 6-9 Route 66 NHRA Nationals (PSM) Chicago
July 21-23 Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals (PSM) Denver
July 28-30 Toyota NHRA Sonoma Nationals (PSM) Sonoma, CA
Aug. 4-6 NHRA Northwest Nationals Seattle
Aug. 17-20 Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals (PSM) Brainerd, MN
Aug. 30-Sept. 4 Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals (PSM) Indianapolis
NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship
Sept. 15-17 NHRA Carolina Nationals (PSM) Charlotte, NC
Sept. 21-24 NHRA Keystone Nationals (PSM) Reading, PA
Sept. 29-Oct. 1 AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals (PSM) Madison, IL
Oct. 12-15 AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals (PSM) Dallas
Oct. 26-29 NHRA Toyota Nationals (PSM) Las Vegas
Nov. 9-12 Auto Club NHRA Finals (PSM) Pomona, CA
(PSM) – Event will include Pro Stock Motorcycle