What is NHRA?

How many sports can spectators actually feel? Just one: NHRA Championship Drag Racing. The incredible thunder and vibration of two 7,000-horsepower race cars launching at 6 Gs of acceleration can be felt by the fans in the grandstands. At the finish line less than five seconds later, the spectacle of two 25-foot Top Fuel dragsters bending against the down force in a struggle to keep all four tires on the ground at 330 mph is unforgettable.

But that's just the beginning. The National Hot Rod Association offers a variety of ways for people of all ages to get into the exciting sport of drag racing. Whether you're a new fan, an aspiring racer, or a little of both, this guide will introduce you to the world's fastest motorsport.

National Hot Rod Association founder Wally Parks and his associates virtually invented drag racing. They organized NHRA more than 50 years ago, establishing standards and procedures that govern the sport to this day. 

Concerned about the growth of illegal street racing in the 1950s, NHRA's pioneers embarked on a "Safety Safari" across the United States. They traveled from city to town, introducing organized drag racing to one car club at a time and teaching how to conduct fair races in such humble arenas as abandoned airport runways. Their intent was to give car enthusiasts a safe place to race. Their result was the birth of a world-class motorsport that so far has spanned six decades.

Throughout the years, NHRA Championship Drag Racing has been responsible for innumerable advances in automotive performance, driver and vehicle safety, and, of course, flat-out speed. The sport has grown to encompass five major drag racing series, countless performance categories, and worldwide exposure on television and in print. NHRA's brightest stars have become sports legends, and its brightest moments have been stunning. One need only look as far as "Big Daddy" Don Garlits, Shirley Muldowney, Don "the Snake" Prudhomme, and John Force to grasp drag racing's effect on American culture.

As drag racing stars have broken barrier after barrier in the never-ending pursuit of speed, NHRA has been there to guide the growth of what has become, inarguably, the world's fastest motorsport.

To learn more about NHRA's history, visit The Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum in Pomona, Calif.

NHRA's Race Series

NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series
When people mention NHRA Drag Racing, they're usually talking about this series. What's all the fuss about? Imagine 7,000-horsepower dragsters traveling at 330 mph down the quarter-mile in less than five seconds. Not enough? How about racing legends such as 14-time Funny Car world champion John Force and young guns such as two-time Top Fuel world champion Larry Dixon in a fan-friendly atmosphere where you can actually watch the teams work up close without a special pit pass? You absolutely have to see it. With 24 events spanning the nation from California to New Jersey, chances are the world's fastest motorsport is coming to a venue near you.

Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series
The future stars of NHRA develop their drag racing skills in this series, which features competition in divisional and national events. From five-second Top Alcohol Dragsters and Top Alcohol Funny Cars to 15-second muscle cars and everything between, the Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series is an exciting training ground. The variety of cars and categories is almost endless. It is sometimes referred to as drag racing's "minor league," but don't be fooled. The level of racing talent is tremendous, and you can see it yourself at any of 44 regional events plus 24 national events, which are run in conjunction with the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series.

NHRA Summit Racing Series
Almost anyone can compete in this series at NHRA member tracks. In most cases, all a competitor needs is a valid state driver's license and a vehicle that will pass an NHRA tech inspection. Local champions move on to regional, then national, competition. It's fun, friendly, and competitive, and it's happening near you. There's no better way to get started in drag racing.

NHRA Jr. Drag Racing League
Jr. drag racing offers kids ages 8-17 the chance to race half-scale dragsters with five-horsepower engines at most of NHRA's 140 member tracks throughout the United States and Canada. This is the series where Erica and Courtney Enders, on whom the Disney Channel movie Right on Track is based, got their start. Competition is equalized by a handicap starting system, and classes are usually divided into age groups, which helps keep racers of the same skill level together. This division of NHRA is designed to build the ranks of the racers of tomorrow while providing a fun family activity today.