One of the most breathtaking environments on the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series circuit will again serve as the finale to the famed Western Swing, as scenic Pacific Raceways will play host to the 32nd annual Magic Dry Organic Absorbent NHRA Northwest Nationals, Aug. 2-4.
The thrilling conclusion to the Western Swing is the 16th of 24 races during the 2019 NHRA season, and Sunday’s final eliminations will be shown live on the FOX national broadcast network. Before that, fans can start the weekend by enjoying NHRA Prime Time qualifying during the second session on Friday. Sitting in the shadows of majestic Mount Rainier and surrounded by towering trees, the 11,000-horsepower nitro-burning machines will put on a thrilling evening show, paving the way for another memorable weekend.
With only two events following the stop at Pacific Raceways before the Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship, the stars in Top Fuel, Funny Car and Pro Stock will put a premium on racing well. Antron Brown (Top Fuel), Ron Capps (Funny Car) and Tanner Gray (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. 4.
Brown has been downright dominant at Pacific Raceways recently, racing to the Top Fuel win the past three straight years at the track. He would love to make it four in a row, grab his first win of 2019 and tie the legendary Joe Amato for most Top Fuel wins at the track with five. But to do it, the three-time world champ will have to get past the likes of defending world champ and points leader Steve Torrence, Leah Pritchett, Doug Kalitta, 2017 world champ Brittany Force, Terry McMillen, Clay Millican, rookie Austin Prock, and Scott Palmer.
Capps won for the second time in three years in Funny Car last year, and the 2016 world champ will try to keep adding to that at Pacific Raceways. He’s won back-to-back races earlier this year but adding another win won’t be easy in a class filled with standouts. This year, it starts with Funny Car points leader Robert Hight, as well as Capps’ Don Schumacher Racing teammates Jack Beckman, Tommy Johnson Jr., and Matt Hagan, 2018 world champ J.R. Todd, John Force, who has an NHRA-best eight wins at the track, Shawn Langdon, Tim Wilkerson and Bob Tasca III.
McGaha, who won the Pro Stock race in Norwalk, is the most recent winner at Seattle when it comes to active drivers. That came in 2015 and McGaha will look for his second victory in the talent-heavy class. There will be plenty of top names standing in his way, including the likes of points leader Bo Butner, who has four wins this year, and Greg Anderson, a three-time Seattle winner who will be looking to complete a rare Western Swing sweep after winning the events in Denver and Sonoma the last two weekends. Former world champs Jeg Coughlin Jr., Jason Line, and Erica Enders, along with Deric Kramer, Alex Laughlin and Matt Hartford will provide plenty of competition.
The event also features thrilling competition in the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, showcasing the future stars of the sport, as well as the Mickey Thompson Tires NHRA Top Fuel Harley Drag Racing Series.
Along with the exciting on-track action, the Magic Dry Organic Absorbent NHRA Northwest Nationals will honor first responders with NHRA’s “Salute to First Responders” celebration.
NHRA fans can take part in the Mello Yello Walking Tour to see the cars and teams hard at work in the pits. Fans can also attend Top Fuel Harley School and Nitro School to learn how these machines operate and reach their thrilling speeds. Several exciting exhibitions will be taking place throughout the event including thrilling wheelstanders, Cackle cars, West Coast Grudge cars and Speed Factor cars. Pacific Raceways will host a Mello Yello autograph session and allow fans to meet their favorite drivers as well as the Cruising with Castello Sealmaster Track Walk hosted by NHRA announcer Joe Castello. Another can’t-miss experience is the winner’s circle celebration on Sunday after racing concludes. NHRA fans are invited to congratulate the winners of the event as they celebrate their Magic Dry Organic Absorbent NHRA Northwest Nationals victories.
As always, fans can 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 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 3:00 and 6:15 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 2 and the final two rounds of qualifying on Saturday, Aug. 3, at 1:45 and 4:30 p.m. Final eliminations are scheduled for 11 a.m. on Sunday, Aug. 4.
To purchase general admission or reserved seats, call 800-884-NHRA (6472). Tickets also are available online at www.NHRA.com/tickets. 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.