Another thrilling season of racing in the NHRA Summit Racing Series, the world’s largest motorsports program when it comes to racer participation, is set to take place in 2023, as drivers will again compete for their chance to race for an NHRA Summit Racing Series National Championship in Las Vegas.
More than 75,000 drivers compete at NHRA member tracks across North America in the Super Pro, Pro, Sportsman, Motorcycle, and Street Legal EV categories, racing for event wins, divisional titles, and, ultimately, the chance to race for national glory on the “Road to Vegas.” They will race for championships in each of the seven NHRA divisions during September and October, with the winners advancing to the NHRA Summit Racing Series National Championship, which takes place Oct. 26-29 as part of the NHRA national event at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Summit Racing Equipment, an industry leader in the distribution of auto racing parts and equipment through catalogs and the Internet, continues to be a strong supporter of the program, boasting a partnership of more than 20 years.
“We’re excited to continue our support of Sportsman racers through the NHRA Summit Racing Series,” said Jim Greenleaf, Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports & Events Manager. “The program gives racers the opportunity to compete at a national level without the big travel commitment. It raises the stakes beyond a local and divisional championship – which is a huge accomplishment on its own! Plus, the relocation of the Summit Racing Finals to Las Vegas has received an overwhelmingly positive response from the racers who show up to compete for the ultimate title of NHRA Summit Racing Series National Champion.”
Additionally, a special Wild Card entry will again fill the eighth spot at the national championship in Las Vegas, joining the champions from the seven division Summit Racing Series Finals in Super Pro, Pro, Sportsman, Motorcycle, and Street Legal EV class. Five Wild Card entry recipients have also gone on to win a world championship over the years.
These five lucky divisions will also have an extra chance to take the “Road to Vegas."
Super Pro: Division 2
Pro ET: Division 3
Sportsman: Division 7
Motorcycle: Division 6
Street Legal EV: Division 5
The national champions in 2022 included Carl M Kei II (Division 3) in Super Pro, Andrew Anderson (Division 1) in Pro ET, Jason Hildebrandt (Division 4) in Sportsman, Garreth Sheppeard (Division 3) in Motorcycle, and Craig Merrilees (Division 7) in Street Legal EV, which debuted as a category for the first time last year.
In the NHRA Summit Series, each division champion will receive a Wally, jacket, and purse, along with $3,000 bonus money to attend the national championship in Las Vegas. The experience in Las Vegas for the national championship is an exciting one for all competitors, starting with the champions’ welcome dinner. The competitors are also introduced onstage during the official pre-race ceremony, putting the racers in front of the fans before running for a championship.
The championship hopefuls will be vying for the more than $140,000 that will be paid out to the 40 competitors attending the finals, plus contingency bonuses, a national championship Wally, a championship jacket, and more. In all, there is $306,000 in total annual series contingency postings up for grabs at the seven divisional ET finals, plus the national championship.
Las Vegas also represents the ultimate culmination of spectacular racing throughout the seven divisions from some of the top bracket racers in the country. The popular format allows drivers in many types of vehicles, including dragsters, roadsters, sedans, coupes, motorcycles, and electric cars, to compete in the different categories, bringing together an impressive list of standout competitors racing for bragging rights, trophies, and an impressive purse.
The EV category in the NHRA Summit Racing Series is reserved for only foreign and domestic OEM production electric vehicle automobiles and trucks. All vehicles must be street driven and must be able to pass all state highway safety requirements and retain all OEM safety features.
“We’re thrilled to have Summit Racing Equipment continue as the sponsor of the NHRA Summit Series, which is the grassroots foundation of NHRA’s Sportsman programs. From competing at the member track level to the national championship in Las Vegas, there is so much passion involved from racers in all of these categories,” NHRA Sportsman Racing Manager Sara Walker said.
“We’re proud to see all the support from our partners for these drivers and race teams, and it’s always exciting to see the ‘Road to Vegas’ starts at our local NHRA member tracks. I know we’re all looking forward to another great year in the NHRA Summit Series, capped off by a truly special weekend in Las Vegas for our champions.”
To view the full list of rules for the new EV class, visit https://bit.ly/NHRASummitEVRules.
2023 NHRA Summit Racing Series Finals Schedule
Numidia Dragway, Numidia, Pa.
Carolina Dragway, Aiken, S.C.,
Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park, Indianapolis
Ardmore Dragway, Ardmore, Okla.
Heartland Motorsports Park, Topeka, Kan.
Woodburn Dragstrip, Woodburn, Ore.
The Strip at Las Vegas Motorsport Speedway, Las Vegas
Sept. 29-Oct. 1
NHRA Summit Racing Series National Championship
The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Las Vegas, Oct. 26-29