The famed Western Swing concludes at one of the most breathtaking environments on the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series tour with the 30th annual NHRA Northwest Nationals at scenic Pacific Raceways, Aug. 4-6.
It is the 16th of 24 events during the 2017 NHRA season and Sunday’s final eliminations will be broadcasted live on the FOX national network. With Pacific Raceways sitting in the shadows of majestic Mount Rainier and surrounded by towering trees, it provides an ideal backdrop and setting for memorable performances from the 10,000-horsepower nitro-burning machines. The final event of the three-race Western Swing also means the Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship is near, making the stop near Seattle that much more important.
Antron Brown (Top Fuel), Ron Capps (Funny Car) and Aaron Strong (Pro Stock) were last year’s winners of the event that will be televised on FOX Sports 1 and the FOX national broadcast network, including live final eliminations on FOX starting at 4 p.m. (ET) on Sunday, Aug. 6.
Brown used his win at Pacific Raceways in his Matco Tools dragster as momentum for the Countdown to the Championship, where he again had an impressive playoff run to clinch his second straight world championship. Brown has two wins in 2017 and sits in third, putting him in prime position for another title run.
Standing in his way is red-hot Steve Torrence, a 2012 Seattle winner who has four victories and the points lead this year, as well as three-time 2017 winner Leah Pritchett, eight-time world champion Tony Schumacher, Brittany Force, 2014 Seattle winner Doug Kalitta, Bristol winner Clay Millican, Terry McMillen and rookie Troy Coughlin Jr.
Capps’ first Seattle Funny Car win was among a number of firsts for the veteran in his NAPA Auto Parts Dodge Charger, as he also finished with his first world championship. Capps will head to Pacific Raceways with plenty of momentum in 2017, as he has six wins and a commanding points lead through the first half of the season.
But there are a number of worthy challengers looking to get hot heading into the Countdown, including 16-time world champ and eight-time Seattle winner John Force, three-time 2017 winner Matt Hagan, Jack Beckman, who has two wins in 2017, three-time Seattle winner Tim Wilkerson, Courtney Force and Tommy Johnson Jr.
In Pro Stock, Strong earned his first career win, knocking off Nobile in the final round. It was a solid weekend nonetheless for Nobile, as he was also the No. 1 qualifier in Seattle. Nobile has yet to post a victory in Pro Stock in 2017 and will look to get on track heading into the Countdown to the Championship in what has been a diverse year in Pro Stock.
There have been nine different winners through the first half of the season, including points leader Bo Butner, who has won the first three events of his Pro Stock career this year. Other 2017 winners include two-time victor Greg Anderson and rookie Tanner Gray, reigning world champ Jason Line, 2015 Seattle winner Chris McGaha, two-time world champ Erica Enders, Shane Gray, Drew Skillman and Alex Laughlin.
The event features thrilling competition in the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series as well, showcasing the future stars of the sport.
Along with the exciting on-track action, the NHRA Northwest Nationals will honor first responders with NHRA’s “Salute to First Responders” celebration.
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. This unique opportunity in motorsports gives fans direct access to the teams, allowing them to see firsthand the highly-skilled mechanics service their hot rods between rounds, and get autographs from their favorite NHRA drivers.
Fans also will want to visit NHRA’s popular Nitro Alley and Manufacturers Midway, where sponsors and race vendors create a carnival atmosphere, with interactive displays, simulated competitions, merchandise, food and fun for the entire family.
Mello Yello Drag Racing Series qualifying will feature two rounds at 2:30 and 5:00 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 4 and the final two rounds of qualifying on Saturday, Aug. 5, at 1:30 and 4:00 p.m. Final eliminations are scheduled for 11 a.m. on Sunday, Aug. 6.
To purchase general-admission or reserved seats, call 253-639-5927. Tickets also are available online at www.pacificraceways.com. Kids 12 and under are free in general admission areas with a paid adult. To honor the Salute to First Responders, military and first responders can save 20 percent on general admission tickets at the gate.