NHRA four-wide racing is done, and now the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series heads back to two-wide racing at Royal Purple Raceway for the O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Spring Nationals presented by Super Start Batteries, April 27-29. If you’re not attending the first stop in Texas, you can watch the series on ESPN2/ESPN2HD beginning with qualifying on Saturday, April 28, at 5 p.m. ET/2 p.m. PT. Sunday’s race-day coverage begins at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT on ESPN2 and ESPN2HD.
Here is a sneak peek at what is in store for viewers at home when they tune in this weekend:
Record-setting Spencer Massey: Massey is coming off a record-setting weekend at zMAX Dragway in Charlotte, resetting the national speed record twice en route to winning his third race of the season and taking the NHRA Full Throttle points lead. Clearly, last year’s run for the Full Throttle championship was no fluke, and he looks as strong as ever in 2012. We’ll ask him and his team about their secret for success.
All access with TJ Zizzo: Zizzo is back in the seat for this weekend’s race, and the ESPN2 cameras go all access with the always-entertaining Top Fuel driver from Chicago. Where will Zizzo take us, and what will he say?
Two weeks ago no. 4, this week no. 5? Can Robert Hight, the runaway points leader in Funny Car, win an unprecedented fifth straight tour victory? Only four other drivers have won four consecutive NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series events, and the list is a who’s who of Funny Car racing: Don “the Snake” Prudhomme, Kenny Bernstein, Cruz Pedregon, and John Force (twice). All previous winners say that Hight’s feat in 2012 is by far more impressive given the competitive field. ESPN2 will break down the previous four-peats and Hight’s odds of winning a handful in a row.
Memory Lane for Vincent Nobile: Nobile returns to the track where he became the youngest driver in Pro Stock history to win an event at the ripe old age of 19. In his second season behind the wheel in by far the closest side-by-side racing in all of motorsports, ESPN2 will see how he has progressed since that win in 2011. Is Nobile a threat to win it all in 2012?
Pro Stock Motorcycles back in action: After a two-race hiatus, the two-wheel machines are back in action this weekend in Houston. The Harley-Davidson teams, coming off a dominating performance in Gainesville last month, have had the rules adjusted and as a result will carry an additional 20 pounds when they hit the dragstrip. Do the Pro Stock Motorcycle competitors think that’s enough or too much?
Ask the Expert with Warren Johnson: This week’s Prestone Ask the Expert will go to Warren Johnson. He has the most wins in the Pro Stock class at this track, his first in 1990 and his last in 2005. Go to NHRA’s Facebook page and post a question to Johnson. It just might be the one selected for the weekend’s ESPN2 broadcast!