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NHRA Announces Changes to Countdown to the Championship Points Structure

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POMONA, Calif. (January 22, 2020) – The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Countdown to the Championship will see some new elements this year. Competitors in the premier series may earn their way into the Countdown to the Championship, NHRA’s version of the playoffs, by one of two ways.

As in previous years, the top ten drivers in each of the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series categories at the conclusion of the NHRA U.S. Nationals will earn positions in the Countdown to the Championship.

New for 2020, drivers in the Mello Yello Drag Racing Series who meet a minimum set of requirements will also earn their place in the playoffs.

In NHRA’s Top Fuel and Funny Car classes, collectively referred to as “Nitro,” drivers who compete at all 18 events in the regular season and run a minimum of two qualifying sessions at each event will also earn their place in the playoffs.

In Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle, drivers who compete at all 13 or 11 events, respectively, in the regular season and run a minimum of two qualifying sessions at each event will get to compete for the championship in five events throughout the Countdown to the Championship.

Those who secure a position in the Countdown to the Championship will have their NHRA Mello Yello points adjusted at the conclusion of the NHRA U.S. Nationals. In the Nitro categories, first and second place will be separated by 20 points and each consecutive position will be separated by a 10-point differential. In Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle, first and second place will be separated by 20 points while second through fifth place will be separated by 10 points and all following positions will be separated by five points.

Accumulation of points will remain the same, with points-and-a-half rewarded at the Auto Club NHRA Finals. The top ten drivers at the conclusion of the Countdown to the Championship will be recognized at NHRA’s annual awards banquet.

NHRA officials made this change in order to better reward driver endurance and encourage participation in regular season events.nhra countdownPhoto courtesy of NHRA

About NHRA
Headquartered in Glendora, Calif., NHRA is the primary sanctioning body for the sport of drag racing in the United States. NHRA presents 24 national events featuring the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series and E3 Spark NHRA Plugs Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by J&A Service. NHRA provides competition opportunities for drivers of all levels in the NHRA Summit Racing Series and the NHRA Drags: Street Legal Style presented by AAA. NHRA also offers NHRA Jr. Street program for teens and the Summit Racing Jr. Drag Racing League for youth ages 5 to 17. NHRA’s Youth and Education Services (YES) Program reaches over 30,000 students annually to ignite their interest in automotive and racing related careers. In addition, NHRA owns and operates four racing facilities: Atlanta Dragway in Georgia; Gainesville Raceway in Florida; Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis; and Auto Club Raceway at Pomona in Southern California. For more information, log on to www.NHRA.com, or visit the official NHRA pages on FacebookYouTube & Twitter.

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