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The latest update as of March 24, 2020

Yesterday's topic veered away from motorsport for a day but we're back to what we know better than science or medicine or the social condition. The NHRA was first to announce postponements, starting with the Gatornationals, then the Las Vegas Four-Wide Nationals, and including several regional/divisional events and a Heritage Series race. At this point everything is on hold until April 15th, which coincides with the start of the MOPAR Express Lane SpringNationals at Houston Raceway Park on April 17th.

All we can do now is wait for the other shoe (or shoes) to drop as we move into early April. If the pandemic continues at its current spread and rate of growth, then the entire NHRA season will be in serious jeopardy. As always, stay tuned for continuing developments in this area. Looking at things from a local perspective, my home track Mission Raceway Park has cancelled all events through the end of April, with a hoped-for opening date of May 1st.

Following NHRA's annoucement, the other major drag racing associations in North America followed suit, but the gang at Funny Car Chaos was a little late off the mark, holding their season opener at Lufkin, TX on the March 13-14 weekend. After that race, the next event on the schedule (Ferris, TX) has been postponed to May 1-2 and the Mo-Kan Dragway event is holding to it's scheduled April 24-25 date. That's as of yesterday, but who knows what will happen in the next few weeks.

The PDRA has postponed their season opener, the Est Coast Nationals scheduled for April 2-4 to a later - to be determined - date. The balance of their 2020 schedule is currently as is, with the first race (Mid-Atlantic Showdown) on tap for Virgina Motorsports Park on May 7-9th. Further developments or changes can almost certainly be expected.

Smaller regional associations, such as the Western Fuel Altereds who have postponed their season opener, scheduled for April 12. No new date announced. Another group, the Outlaw Fuel Altereds (Texas-based) still shows their season opener scheduled for April 11-12 at Evedale, TX. And the United Nitro Funny Car association has got their season opener still scheduled for May 8-9 at Tucson Dragway. With the demise of their website last year it's difficult to get much information from them except through their Facebook page.

The IHRA (International Hot Rod Association) - remember them? - has announced postponements of their early season "sportsman spectaculars" until the beginning of May. The Australian branch of IHRA, the 400 Thunder has announced the cancellation of the next race on their PRO calendar, the Santo's Super Thunder event that was scheduled for April 10th. Note that it's been cancelled, not merely postponed. The next event on the 400 Thunder schedule, Gulf Western Oil Nitro Thunder, is set for Sydney Dragway on May 1-2 and it's still on the table as of today.

The other Aussie sanctioning body, ANDRA (Australian National Drag Racing Association) has postponed the final event on their 2019-2020 calendar, the Grand Final from this coming weekend to October. Their latest media release mentions that any event that has more 500 people in attendance (competitors, spectators and officials) is suspended until the end of April. Looks like Australia is well behind the curve at the moment, as restrictions that started at 250 people in North America, became 50, and now down to 10, or even gatherings of five people in some jurisdictions.

Some of the smaller associations, such as Australia's Aeroflow Outlaw Nitro Funny Cars cancelled a planned event last weekend in New Zealand, and at the same time postponed an event in Palmyra (North Queensland) from last weekend to November. From one disaster to another, the Outlaw FC's had to cancel an event at Perth (Western Australia) in January due to the bushfires cutting off some of the highways on the East Coast. The next event on their calendar is at Alice Springs in mid-July and on paper, that seems to be a safe date. Again, who's got a crystal ball to see that far ahead?

On the other side of the world, in Europe, the FIA European Drag Racing Championship is still well in the future, with the season opening at England's Santa Pod Raceway with the FIA/FIM Main Event scheduled for May 22-25. While that seems like a long time from now, it's only two months and again, who knows where we'll be at that time. As most of the tracks in Europe have done, or are in the process of doing, all drag racing events are suspended until at least the end of April.