NHRA announces 2012 Full Throttle Drag Racing Series schedule
NHRA announced its 2012 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series schedule today, highlighted by a return to Gateway Int'l Raceway near St. Louis, which expands the schedule to 23 races.
“We are excited to return to the St. Louis area, as we have a very strong fan base in the region, and they have always supported NHRA Drag Racing,” said Tom Compton, president, NHRA.
A new operator at Gateway Int'l Raceway has made the addition to the 2012 schedule possible. The multipurpose motorsports facility, located in Madison, Ill., just across the river from St. Louis, played host to an NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series event for 14 years, from 1997 through 2010. The NHRA Midwest Nationals, Oct. 5-7, will become part of the NHRA Full Throttle Countdown to the Championship and will feature all four Professional categories: Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock, and Pro Stock Motorcycle.
Another significant change to the 2012 schedule is the return of the 28th annual NHRA Arizona Nationals to a winter date, Feb. 17-19, making it the second event on the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series schedule and the week following the season opener, the O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, Feb. 9-12.
The 43rd annual Tire Kingdom NHRA Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway, March 8-11, will include a special 20th anniversary celebration of Kenny Bernstein becoming the first driver to break the 300-mph barrier in NHRA history. The accomplishment, still considered one of the greatest performance feats in NHRA history, will be celebrated throughout the weekend.
After the East Coast opener in Gainesville, the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series will head back west for the SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, March 30-April 1, and then crisscross the nation again for the third annual VisitMyrtleBeach.com NHRA Four-Wide Nationals, a spectacle unlike any other in motorsports, at zMAX Dragway in Charlotte April 13-15.
The 25th annual O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Spring Nationals will take place April 27-29 at Royal Purple Raceway near Houston, followed by the 32nd annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals, May 4-6 at Atlanta Dragway. After a week off, the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series returns to action with the NHRA Summer Nationals in Topeka, May 18-20.
The month of June begins with the 43rd annual NHRA SuperNationals in Englishtown, May 31-June 3. Following a weekend off, the teams will prepare for the Ford NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals presented by Tri-Cities Area Ford Dealers, June 15-17 at Bristol Dragway, followed by the O’Reilly Auto Parts Route 66 NHRA Nationals in Chicago, June 28-July 1.
What has been positioned to become the NHRA’s ultimate Fourth of July celebration for many years to come, the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals in Norwalk has been moved to July 5-8. As a result, and going forward, the event will be billed as a Fourth of July extravaganza, as it will be held on or around the Independence Day holiday.
As in 2011, the famous Western Swing will begin with the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals at Bandimere Speedway in Denver, July 20-22, followed by the 25th annual FRAM/Autolite NHRA Nationals, July 27-29 in Sonoma, and conclude with the O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Northwest Nationals in Seattle, Aug. 3-5. The 31st annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals in Brainerd will be held Aug. 16-19.
The final race of the regular season and the event where the fields will be set for the six-race NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series Countdown to the Championship is the tradition-rich Mac Tools U.S. Nationals presented by Lucas Oil, Labor Day weekend, Aug. 29-Sept. 3. The nearly weeklong event, the longest-running and most prestigious NHRA event on the circuit, will take place at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis and celebrate its 58th anniversary.
The first of the six races that make up the NHRA Full Throttle Countdown to the Championship is the O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Nationals, Sept. 14-16 at zMAX Dragway in Charlotte, followed by the AAA Texas NHRA Fall Nationals at Texas Motorplex, Sept. 20-23, and the 28th annual Uni-Select Auto Plus NHRA Nationals, Sept. 27-30 at Maple Grove Raceway in Reading.
The teams will gradually head to the west for the final three races of the season, the first stop at Gateway Int'l Raceway in St. Louis, Oct. 5-7. The circuit heads to Las Vegas for the 12th annual NHRA Nevada Nationals, Oct. 25-28, and will be followed by the season finale, the Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, Nov. 8-11.
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 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.
2012 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series schedule
||52nd annual O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Winternationals
||28th annual NHRA Arizona Nationals
||43rd annual Tire Kingdom NHRA Gatornationals
|Mar 30-April 1
||13th annual SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals
||Third annual VisitMyrtleBeach.com NHRA Four-Wide Nationals
||25th annual O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Spring Nationals
||32nd annual Summit Racing Equipment Southern Nationals
||Commerce, Ga. (PSM)|
||24th annual NHRA Summer Nationals
|May 31-June 3
||43rd annual NHRA SuperNationals
||12th annual Ford NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals
|June 28-July 1
||15th annual O’Reilly Auto Parts Route 66 NHRA Nationals
||Sixth annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals
||33rd annual Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals
||25th annual FRAM/Autolite NHRA Nationals
||25th annual O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Northwest Nationals
||31st annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals
|Aug. 29-Sept. 3
||58th annual Mac Tools U.S. Nationals presented by Lucas Oil
NHRA Full Throttle Countdown to the Championship
||Fifth annual O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Nationals
||27th annual AAA Texas NHRA Fall Nationals
||28th annual Uni-Select Auto Plus NHRA Nationals
||Inaugural NHRA Midwest Nationals
||St. Louis (PSM)|
||12th annual NHRA Nevada Nationals
||Las Vegas (PSM)|
||48th annual Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals