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Fans, racers have a lot to look forward to in return to Virginia NHRA Nationals

With a full slate of Mello Yello classes, an earlier date on the calendar to take better advantage of one of the tour’s best racing surfaces, free parking, and improved ingress and egress, the Virginia NHRA Nationals, May 17-19 at Virginia Motorsports Park, is already shaping up to be another great event at the fabled facility.
18 Apr 2019
Phil Burgess, NHRA National Dragster Editor
News
Virginia Motorsports Park

Excitement is already building for the NHRA’s return to Virginia Motorsports Park following last year’s successful Virginia NHRA Nationals and the unveiling of the renovated facility after a 10-year absence from the Mello Yello Drag Racing Series tour.

This year’s event, scheduled for May 17-19, features the full roster of NHRA Mello Yello classes – Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock, and Pro Stock Motorcycles – as well as the popular Pro Mod cars. And with the event now scheduled in mid-May as opposed to 2018’s June date, conditions should be cooler, setting the stage for a potential performance parade on the pristine VMP racing surface.

“Track is still in great condition and with our earlier date, that I think we will see even better performances than last year,” said VMP owner Tommy Franklin. “It was hot last year, so with the expected cooler conditions it should put us in the condition to better utilize the racing surface and put up some records.”

Boasting what racers described as the best dragstrip on the tour, VMP, which celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2019, drew huge crowds for the facility’s homecoming and Franklin has doubled down for this year’s event.

While fans and racers alike will notice many improvements throughout the facility, such as an upgraded public-access system both for the grandstands and pits, additional lighting in both the staging lanes and pits, and remodeled the restrooms, the VMP staff put a huge effort into improved ingress and egress from the facility to further improve the fan experience.

“We’ve spent a lot of time working on improving the traffic flow into the event,” said Franklin. “We’ve widened the entrance roads to the parking lots and, most significantly, we’ll be offering free parking, which will also speed up the entry process because fans won’t have to stop and have a transaction before getting into the parking lots. We think that will make a great improvement over previous years.”

Because the local school district will be closed again on Friday of the event, it’s a great day to bring the kids out to take advantage of NHRA’s Kids 12 & Under Free program for general admission seating, which also extends into the weekend. Additionally, students of any age can get 50 percent off ticket prices at the gate by showing a current student ID.

Fans can also take advantage of a pair of upgraded spectator experiences. The Nitro Zone, which is located at the 1,000-foot mark on the pit side, will provide a tented hospitality area while the Patriot Club offers indivdual seats with suite success in the VIP tower. Additional camping spots have also been added to the pit side.

To purchase tickets, visit NHRA.com/tickets, or call 800-884-NHRA (6472). For RV and public suites, call Virginia Motorsports Park at 804-862-3174.