NHRA Announces 2017 Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Schedule

Wednesday, June 08, 2016 - The 2017 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule has been announced by NHRA officials. The 24-race circuit continues to reach more U.S. markets than any other major motorsports series and will once again thrill millions of fans with its unique brand of high-horsepower entertainment that features photo finishes by the world’s fastest race cars that dazzle with speeds in the 330-mph zone.

FOX Sports, through its national broadcast network and Fox Sports 1, will provide exclusive television coverage in 2017, with live coverage of many of the events, featuring action from Friday and Saturday qualifying rounds and Sunday finals.

The season will again open and close at historic Auto Club Raceway at Pomona in Southern California. The season kicks off with the tradition-rich Circle K NHRA Winternationals, Feb. 9-12, and closes at the highly revered dragstrip with the final race of the Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship, the Auto Club NHRA Finals, Nov. 9-12.

Following the season opener, the series returns to Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park near Phoenix for the Advance Auto Parts NHRA Nationals, Feb. 24-26. Advance Auto Parts, which acquired CARQUEST Auto Parts in a recent merger, will take over the title sponsorship of the popular Arizona event.

After the Phoenix race, NHRA teams will traverse the country to make it to the traditional East Coast opener at Florida’s Gainesville Raceway for the fan-favorite Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals, March 16-19. Teams will then travel back to the West Coast for the Denso Spark Plugs NHRA Nationals in Las Vegas, March 31-April 2.

An early-season three-race swing will follow: the NHRA SpringNationals at Royal Purple Raceway near Houston (April 21-23); the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at zMAX Dragway in Charlotte (April 28-30); and the NHRA Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway in Georgia (May 5-7). The New Heartland Park Topeka, one of the fastest tracks on the tour, hosts the only other race during May, the NHRA Kansas Nationals, May 19-21.

In June, teams will again navigate the four-race “Eastern Swing,” starting with the NHRA New England Nationals June 2-4 at New England Dragway in Epping and followed by the NHRA Summernationals at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in Englishtown June 8-11, the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals June 16-18 at Bristol Dragway on Father’s Day weekend, and the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals June 22-25 at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park in Norwalk.

After a week off, the NHRA Mello Yello Series will make one more stop before the famed Western Swing. The tour will visit spectacular Route 66 Raceway near Chicago July 6-9 for the Route 66 NHRA Nationals.

The historic NHRA Western Swing kicks off with the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals at scenic Bandimere Speedway in Denver, July 21-23. From there, the teams will journey farther west, stopping in Northern California for the Toyota NHRA Sonoma Nationals (July 28-30) at Sonoma Raceway before finishing the Western Swing near Seattle at Pacific Raceways with the NHRA Northwest Nationals, Aug. 4-6.

NHRA Mello Yello Series teams will then take another week off before heading to Brainerd Int'l Raceway for the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals, Aug. 17-20.

The last race in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series regular season at which the final positions for the NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship can be secured will be the world’s most prestigious drag race, the 63rd annual Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis, Labor Day weekend, Aug. 30-Sept. 4.

NHRA’s playoffs, the six-race NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship, gets under way in mid-September with three consecutive weeks of racing: the NHRA Carolina Nationals at zMAX Dragway in Charlotte (Sept. 15-17), the AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals at Gateway Motorsports Park near St. Louis (Sept. 22-24), and the NHRA Keystone Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway in Reading (Sept. 28-Oct. 1).

The AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals at Texas Motorplex near Dallas (Oct. 12-15) will set the stage for the final two Countdown races. The season concludes out West with the NHRA Toyota Nationals in Las Vegas (Oct. 26-29) and the Auto Club NHRA Finals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, where world champions will be crowned in Southern California Nov. 9-12.

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

NHRA Mello Yello Series Regular Season
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
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
May 5-7          NHRA Southern Nationals (PSM)    Atlanta
May 19-21     NHRA Kansas Nationals        Topeka
June 2-4         NHRA New England Nationals         Epping
June 8-11       NHRA Summernationals (PSM)       Englishtown
June 16-18    NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals     Bristol
June 22-25    Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals (PSM)          Norwalk
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
Aug. 4-6          NHRA Northwest Nationals  Seattle
Aug. 17-20     Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals (PSM)     Brainerd        
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
Sept. 22-24    AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals (PSM)   St. Louis
Sept. 28-Oct. 1           NHRA Keystone Nationals (PSM)    Reading
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         
(PSM) - Event will include Pro Stock Motorcycle

John Davison

Long-time RIS staffer, beginning in the mid-80s. Charlotte, NC area local contact.

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Volume 2016, Issue 6, Posted 5:29 PM, 06.09.2016