NHRA - National Hot Rod Association

Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals offers high-stakes points action and drama

The Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals, the final race before the six-race Countdown to the Championship, features an increased amount of points that will push the drama and excitement of the 2018 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season to a thrilling level.
22 Aug 2018
Posted by NHRA.com staff

The drama and excitement of the 2018 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season will reach a thrilling level during the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Countdown to the Championship, the NHRA’s six-race playoff that follows the 18-race regular season and includes the top 10 drivers in Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock, and Pro Stock Motorcycle to determine world champions in each class.

The prestigious Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals, which takes place Aug. 29-Sept. 3 at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis, is the final race before the six-race Countdown to the Championship begins in Reading, Pa. with the Dodge NHRA Nationals on Sept. 13-16. Drag racing’s grandest event gives racers one last chance to secure their spot in the top 10 for the Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship, also featuring an increased amount of points via the point-and-a-half system. The same format is also used at the final event of the season, the Auto Club NHRA Finals in Pomona, Calif. 

Instead of the usual 20 points for a round win, drivers get 30 points for each round victory, with the winner earning 150 points. There is also an increase in qualifying points, as the top qualifier in each session will earn four points instead of the typical three, on down to the fourth-best run earning one point during every qualifying run. The No. 1 overall qualifier at Indy and Pomona earns 10 points instead of eight, with each qualifier also earning two more points for their qualifying position than any other event.

The fields for the championship playoffs will be set at the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals, and the playoff competitors will then have their points reset in 10-point increments heading into the Countdown to the Championship. The points leaders in each of the four professional classes will be awarded with a bonus, starting the Countdown playoffs with 2,100 points. Second place begins with 2,080 and it goes down in 10-point increments with 10th-place starting with 2,000 points.

The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Countdown to the Championship open at Maple Grove Raceway with the Dodge NHRA Nationals, where competitors will look to send a strong message to start the playoffs before heading to Gateway Motorsports Park in St. Louis for the AAA Insurance Midwest Nationals on Sept. 21-23. The Countdown to the Championship hits the halfway mark during the AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals at Texas Motorplex in Dallas on Oct.4-7, continuing with a stop at zMAX Dragway in Charlotte for the NHRA Carolina Nationals on Oct. 12-14. Championship visions will become clearer at the penultimate race of the 2018 season, the NHRA Toyota Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Oct. 25-28.

It all leads up to a thrilling conclusion at the Countdown to the Championship finale, the Auto Club NHRA Finals on Nov. 8-11 at Auto Club Raceway in Pomona, Calif. There, champions will be crowned in all four classes, but with the points-and-a-half system again in play at the event, it gives a dark horse candidate a chance to make a last-ditch push for a world title. Like Indy, there are more points on the line at the Auto Club NHRA Finals, as the event uses the same format as the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals, setting the stage for a dramatic finish to an incredible 2018 season.