NHRA Reveals 2016 Mello Yello Schedule

NHRA officials unveiled the 2016 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule Saturday during the running of the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis.

The 23-race series remains motorsports’ most geographically dispersed U.S. touring circuit and will make its traditional stops across the country, thrilling millions of fans with its unique brand of high-horsepower entertainment.

Highlighting the schedule once again in 2016 will be the tradition-rich Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals, the world’s most prestigious drag race, at historic Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis, Labor Day weekend, Aug. 31-Sept. 5.

The season again will open and close at famed Auto Club Raceway at Pomona in Southern California. The season kicks off at Pomona with the Circle K NHRA Winternationals, Feb. 11-14, and closes at the historic dragstrip with the final race of the Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship playoffs, the Auto Club NHRA Finals, Nov. 10-13.

Following the season opener, the series returns to Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park near Phoenix for the CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Nationals, Feb. 26-28. NHRA teams will traverse the country to make it to the traditional East Coast opener at Florida’s Auto-Plus Raceway at Gainesville for the Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals, March 17-20.

Three traditional stops will follow: the NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway (April 1-3); the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at zMAX Dragway in Charlotte, N.C. (April 22-24); and the NHRA SpringNationals at Royal Purple Raceway near Houston (April 29-May 1).

In May, the teams will travel to Atlanta for the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals, May 12-14.

In June, teams will be faced with a four-race “Eastern Swing," starting at the NHRA New England Nationals, June 3-5, at New England Dragway in Epping, N.H. and followed by the Toyota NHRA Summernationals at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in Englishtown, N.J., June 9-12, the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals, June 17-19 at Bristol (Tenn.) Dragway on Father’s Day weekend, and the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals, June 23-26 at Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio.

After a week off, the NHRA Mello Yello Series will make one more stop before the Western Swing. The tour will visit spectacular Route 66 Raceway near Chicago July 7-10 for the Route 66 NHRA Nationals.

The famed NHRA Western Swing kicks off with the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals at scenic Bandimere Speedway in Denver, July 22-24. From there, the teams will trek farther west stopping in Northern California for the NHRA Sonoma Nationals (July 29-31) at Sonoma Raceway before finishing the Western Swing near Seattle at Pacific Raceways with the NHRA Northwest Nationals, Aug. 5-7. NHRA teams will then take another week off before heading to Brainerd (Minn.) International Raceway, for the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals, Aug. 18-21.

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 prestigious Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis, Labor Day weekend, Aug. 31-Sept. 5.

NHRA’s playoffs, the six-race NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship, kicks off in mid-September with three consecutive weeks of racing: the NHRA Carolina Nationals at zMAX Dragway in Charlotte, N.C. (Sept. 16-18); the AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals at Gateway Motorsports Park near St. Louis (Sept. 23-25); and the NHRA Keystone Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway in Reading, Pa. (Sept. 29-Oct. 2).

The AAA Texas NHRA Fall Nationals at the Texas Motorplex near Dallas (Oct. 13-16) will set the stage for the final two Countdown playoff races. The season concludes out West with the NHRA Toyota Nationals in Las Vegas (Oct. 27-30) and the Auto Club NHRA Finals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, where world champions will be crowned in Southern California Nov. 10-13.

NHRA officials are currently talking with the new ownership group at Heartland Park Topeka, and an additional race could be added to the 2016 schedule pending the outcome of those discussions.

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

2016 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Schedule

Dates – Venue – Location
Feb. 11-14 – Auto Club Raceway at Pomona – Pomona, Calif.
Feb. 26-28 – Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park – Chandler, Ariz.
March 17-20 – Auto-Plus Raceway – Gainesville, Fla.
April 1-3 – The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway – Las Vegas, Nev.
April 22-24 – zMAX Dragway – Concord, N.C.
April 29-May 1 – Royal Purple Raceway – Baytown, Texas
May 13-15 – Atlanta Dragway – Commerce, Ga.
June 3-5 – New England Dragway – Epping, N.H.
June 9-12 – Old Bridge Township Raceway Park – Englishtown, N.J.
June 17-19 – Bristol Dragway – Bristol, Tenn.
June 23-26 – Summit Motorsports Park – Norwalk, Ohio
July 7-10 – Route 66 Raceway – Joliet, Ill.
July 22-24 – Bandimere Speedway – Denver, Colo.
July 29-31 – Sonoma Raceway – Sonoma, Calif.
Aug. 5-7 – Pacific Raceways – Kent, Wash.
Aug. 18-21 – Brainerd Int’l Raceway – Brainerd, Minn.
Aug. 31-Sept. 5 – Lucas Oil Raceway – Clermont, Ind.
Sept. 16-18 – zMAX Dragway – Concord, N.C.
Sept. 23-25 – Gateway Motorsports Park – Madison, Ill.
Sept. 29-Oct. 2 – Maple Grove Raceway – Reading, Pa.
Oct. 13-16 – Texas Motorplex – Ennis, Texas
Oct. 27-30 – The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway – Las Vegas, Nev.
Nov. 10-13 – Auto Club Raceway at Pomona – Pomona, Calif.

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