NHRA Team Owner Critical of NHRA Countdown Change: ‘Means Absolutely Nothing’ Jim Maroney doesn’t see new Countdown rules changing way small teams operate. By Susan Wade


Entrepreneur Jim Maroney of Gilbert, Arizona, is a successful businessman, but that doesn’t mean he has $4 million to feed his Maroney Racing NHRA Top Fuel operation, for which he is also the driver.

And that’s the vicious circle of Countdown to the Championship “help” in which he and other smaller-budgeted teams are trapped as the 2020 Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season prepares to open Feb. 6 at Pomona, California.

The NHRA announced Jan. 22 that it has expanded Countdown eligibility parameters to include drivers outside of the customary top 10, provided the racers ranked 11th or below attend all 18 races in the so-called regular season. Because the Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle classes have shorter schedules than the Top Fuel and Funny Car categories, Pro Stock and bike racers must attend their 13 or 11