As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, NHRA has temporarily modified its points-based replacement driver and oildown policies.
Effective July 11, 2020, and notwithstanding any rule to the contrary, if the original driver is replaced due to COVID-19, the new driver will continue to earn points for the original driver. This change applies only if the original driver has been affected directly by COVID-19 in the judgment of NHRA’s Medical Director (for example, testing positive; required to quarantine because of contact, etc.). These changes apply only to drivers in the following categories: Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock, Pro Stock Motorcycle, Pro Mod, and Top Fuel Harley.
If the original driver must withdraw in the middle of the event, the original driver’s times will still be valid if they are replaced due to COVID-19. The replacement driver will not be required to re-qualify.
Effective July 11, 2020, monetary penalties of excessive oildowns will be suspended throughout the 2020 season. If an unacceptable number of oildowns is being experienced, monetary penalties may be reinstated at any time at NHRA’s sole and absolute discretion.
Competitors in Top Fuel and Funny Car, Pro Stock, and Pro Stock Motorcycle will continue to be assessed points penalties in five-point increments per violation, regardless of whether it occurs in qualifying or eliminations, with a maximum per-incident penalty of 15 points for Top Fuel and Funny Car and 10 for Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle.
The points-based oildown penalties will be in place through the end of the season. In past seasons, oildown points penalties were not assessed during the final six-race NHRA Countdown to the Championship. With no Countdown in place this season, that rule also was amended.