NHRA: World's largest auto racing organization
When Wally Parks founded the NHRA in 1951, he worked to get racing off the city streets and highways and into safer, organized venues. He wanted NHRA to provide guidance to timing clubs and tracks. Soon, NHRA was hosting national events, as tuning cars became a hobby rather than just a necessity.
While the grassroots racing organization has come a long way in 60 years of operation, there are some things that will never change. NHRA fans continue to have the best access to the behind-the-scenes action of racing. Fans are privy to an up-close and personal view of teams rebuilding engines in less than 75 minutes between elimination rounds. Drivers are often found in their pit areas, signing autographs and chatting with fans. That is just one reason why NHRA fans continue to be some of the most loyal of any sport.
NHRA is all about diversity. With more than 20 categories of competition, including Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock, and Pro Stock Motorcycle at the Professional level, to a multicultural array of high-octane personalities it calls world champions, NHRA thrives on unique competitors accomplishing unique achievements. For example, in 2008, Hispanic racer Cruz Pedregon won the NHRA Funny Car world championship, and Ashley Force Hood and Melanie Troxel became the first female winners in the Funny Car class. There are more than 40,000 licensed NHRA drivers that compete at 130 NHRA member tracks around the country.
NHRA has thousands of members and a strong network of member tracks throughout the nation that support countless events hosted by NHRA. NHRA is moving just as fast in popularity with auto racing fans. Second to only NASCAR in terms of attendance, fan appeal, and sponsorship commitment, NHRA is moving quickly into mainstream America.
Do you know what real power feels like? Have you felt the power of two 8,000-horsepower, nitromethane-burning engines as they thunder down a drag strip side by side, accelerating from zero to more than 300 mph in less than four seconds? The earth-shaking, body-pumping rush that the nitro-breathing monsters produce is unlike anything else on the planet.
That is real power, and it is the power of NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing. Leave on Yello is the only way the competitors and fans of the NHRA know how to function, and it’s what makes the quickest and loudest form of motorsports also the most exciting.
Power is one of the key ingredients to success in NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing, but it isn’t the only one. Reaction and technology are both as important in this adrenaline-pumping sport. Technology is what transforms the parts and pieces of nitro-burning engines into high-powered race cars on the starting line. A driver’s reaction is what gets the vehicle out of the gate first, while the power is what it takes to get the win light at the top end. Add desire and consistency, and you have all of the ingredients to create an NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series world champion.
The four categories in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series will be full of young, freshfaced competitors as well as seasoned veterans in 2013, and they will battle all season long to qualify for the Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship playoffs in hopes of winning NHRA world championship titles.
Since it was founded by Wally Parks in 1951, NHRA has been dedicated to safety while providing millions of racing fans with the fastest and most spectacular form of entertainment on wheels. Parks initially started NHRA as a means of getting hot rodders off the streets and onto legal drag strips. Since those early days, NHRA has evolved into the largest promoter of professional drag racing in the world.
While the grassroots racing organization has come a long way in its more than 60 years of operation, some things will never change. It’s easy to see why fans are so committed to NHRA drag racing. They continue to have the best access to the behind-the-scenes action of racing. NHRA’s open-pits policy allows fans to get an up-close-and-personal view of the way teams rebuild engines. Drivers are often found in their pit areas, signing autographs and chatting with fans who have the rare opportunity to get behind the wheel themselves in a variety of racing simulators in the Nitro Alley Fan Zone. Those are just a few reasons why NHRA fans continue to be some of the most loyal in any sport.
The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series crisscrosses the U.S., making 24 stops in 21 cities over the course of 10 months. Historic Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, where the season begins and ends, is just one of four tracks on the schedule that is owned and operated by the NHRA. Atlanta Dragway, Auto- Plus Raceway at Gainesville in Florida and Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis are all part of the NHRA family of tracks. Information about the NHRA is available in various forms, including the magazine, National DRAGSTER, and highly acclaimed NHRA.com. Award-winning National DRAGSTER covers every race from the first sportsman run to the final Mello Yello Series blast to the winner’s circle. NHRA.com has won several awards for its innovative, interactive coverage of all forms of NHRA drag racing and provides daily results, feature stories and breaking news at the click of a mouse. For the 12th season, ESPN2 and ESPN2HD will provide television coverage of the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, with same-day tape or live coverage. NHRA has the most loyal fans who are committed to the sport they love, and it’s easy to see why. With thousands of members and a strong network of member tracks, a myriad of events are sanctioned by NHRA throughout the nation.
Keeping with Parks’ original philosophy, current President Tom Compton guides the sport and assures that safety and technological improvements will remain a top priority in 2013. Progressive changes will help the NHRA continue to fulfill its leadership role in the motorsports world well into the future. The NHRA will protect and further the best interests of the sport, constantly lobbying for beneficial safety and insurance legislation for auto enthusiasts. One of the most important events in drag racing history occurred in March 1993, when the Federation Internationale de I’Automobile (FIA) officially recognized the sport. That opened the doors to drag racing and afforded it a more solidified role in the world’s motorsports community.
NHRA, the largest motorsports sanctioning body in the world, also is an active member of the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) and actively works with the SFI Foundation to promote safety in competition and the high-performance aftermarket industry. NHRA also is drag racing’s representative in international motorsports through its membership in the Automobile Competition Committee for the United States (ACCUS). Participation on and off the track has made the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series one of the most popular forms of racing, reaching thousands of fans, members and sponsors at 300 mph. Now that’s going on Yello.