NHRA MELLO YELLO DRAG RACING SERIES HEADS TO MINNESOTA FOR THE LUCAS OIL NATIONALS
The 32nd annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals returns to Brainerd International Raceway (BIR), Aug. 15-18, and 15-time world champion John Force, his youngest daughter Courtney Force and Minnesotans Greg Anderson and Jason Line are just a few of the NHRA stars seeking success at the spacious multipurpose motorsports facility.
The Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals is the 17th of 24 events in the 2013 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series. Last season, Morgan Lucas (Top Fuel), Ron Capps (Funny Car) and Erica Enders-Stevens (Pro Stock) earned victories at the event. Once again the race will be televised on ESPN2 HD.
Drivers will be aiming to shatter some of the remarkable track records accomplished last year at Brainerd such as Morgan Lucas’ amazing 327.90 mph run in his GEICO/Lucas Oil dragster, Johnny Gray’s (Funny Car) record-breaking speed of 316.75 mph, Allen Johnson's (Pro Stock) top speed of 210.87 mph in his Team Mopar Dodge Avenger and Enders-Stevens' electrifying 6.542 second pass in her Chevy Pro Stocker.
Following the demanding Western Swing through Denver, Sonoma, and Seattle, race teams are eager to return to Brainerd where tight points battles will be on the line and teams will make a final effort to secure a top 10 points position at the penultimate regular season race before entering the six-race Countdown to the Championship playoffs in mid-September.
In Top Fuel, three-time BIR winner Tony Schumacher is hoping to continue his success in Minnesota, as will young gun and series points leader Shawn Langdon, who has four season wins in his Al-Anabi Racing dragster. Others to watch include defending world champion Antron Brown, Spencer Massey, who has two season wins in his Schumacher Electric dragster, two-time BIR winner Doug Kalitta and Lucas, who recently won in Seattle and is seeking win No. 3 at the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals.
In Funny Car, Matt Hagan lead the series standings with four season victories, but Johnny Gray is making a move in his Pitch Energy Dodge Charger. Brainerd's all-time wins leader, John Force, will try to win here for the 12th time in his Castrol GTX Ford Mustang. Others to watch include Force's daughter, Courtney, a two-time winner this season, and past BIR winners Ron Capps and Cruz Pedregon, both of whom are in championship contention.
In Pro Stock, Minnesota-natives Jason Line and Greg Anderson are aiming for wins at their home track for the Summit Racing Equipment Chevrolet Camaro team while early season sensations such as points leader Mike Edwards and Team Mopar trio of Allen Johnson, Jeg Coughlin and Sonoma and Seattle winner Vincent Nobile are proving to be a force to be reckoned with.
What makes BIR unique among other tracks on the NHRA circuit is its on-site camping, specifically, The Zoo campground, which has a reputation among drivers, teams and fans alike for being the place to be at the end of race day. With live bands Thursday through Saturday, a spectacular fireworks display, 24-hour food, a constant parade of partywagons, bonfires and rickshaw races, The Zoo is certainly a major part of the overall experience at the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals at BIR. It’s all good clean fun.
As always, fans will have the opportunity to interact with their favorite drivers as they’re granted an exclusive pit pass to the most powerful and sensory-filled motorsports attraction on the planet. No other sport offer fans an up close and personal experience like NHRA. Fans can stand within several feet of the crews as they crank up their cars, sending the smell and burn of nitro fuel into the crowd.
For those wanting to make it a family affair, BIR and NHRA are offering an incredible ticket offer: Children 12 and younger will receive free general admission with a paid adult all weekend. Make sure to visit NHRA's popular Nitro Alley, where manufacturers and sponsors create a carnival atmosphere, with interactive displays, simulated competitions, merchandise, food and freebies.
Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals qualifying opens on Friday, Aug. 16, with sessions at 3 and 5:30 p.m. The final two qualifying sessions will take place Saturday, Aug. 17, at noon and 2:30 p.m. Final eliminations are scheduled for 11 a.m. on Sunday, Aug. 18.