National Hot Rod Association®
The National Hot Rod Association, the largest auto racing organization in the world, has come a long way since Wally Parks founded it in 1951.
Though it has grown into a global sports-entertainment business, NHRA has not lost sight of Parks’ original goal: to provide competitors a place to race. But now those places are deluxe supertracks in major U.S. markets, and the racing runs the gamut from 10,000-horsepower Top Fuel dragsters to five-horsepower Jr. Dragsters. Drag racing’s journey through the decades has been sometimes swift, sometimes rocky, but always exciting and always worth the trip.
In the 1950s, top performance marks were 140 mph in nine seconds. Today, they’re more than 330 mph in less than 3.7 seconds. Back then, winners earned little more than a trophy and bragging rights. Today’s racers in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series compete for trophies and bragging rights as well as a share of more than $3 million in prize money.
In the new millennium, NHRA joined forces with The Coca-Cola Company for a partnership now in its 16th year of presenting the world’s fastest motorsports attraction and fifth year with Mello Yello as the flagship sponsor of the national touring series, the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series.
Under the leadership of new President Peter Clifford, NHRA raced forward in 2016 with a number of key initiatives, including a multiyear partnership with FOX Sports to televise NHRA events from the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, and the NHRA J&A Service Pro Mod Drag Racing Series. FOX Sports networks aired more than 500 hours of programming throughout the year, highlighted by 17 live race-day shows, including four on FOX’s national network, in addition to primetime Friday night qualifying shows, and fans are in for more of the same this year.
NHRA has extremely loyal fans that are committed to the sport they love, and it’s easy to see why. 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 how 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 NHRA fans continue to be some of the most loyal in any sport.