--- Home Page
--- What's New
--- Features
--- Features
--- E-mail

NOTE: Refresh this page each time you visit to ensure you see the latest updates

The latest update as of July 10, 2020

It's been a very fast-paced week as NHRA attempts to restart the Mello Yello series, starting tomorrow at Lucas Oil Raceway Park in Indianapolis. The E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Nationals will be followed by next weekend's (take a deep breath) Lucas Oil NHRA Summernationals at Indianapolis before the big show hits the road for the remaining 14 events on their current/tentative calendar for 2020. Following yesterday's court ruling in Jefferson County Colorado, the Dodge Mile-High NHRA Nationals appears to be in serious jeopardy. Read about here Judge Decides Temporary Restraining Order Will Remain In Place At Bandimere Speedway. I'll refrain from commenting on the actions of the Bandimere ownership/management team, but I've got my doubts on the future of this year's Mile-Highs.

While the teams (Pros only at the first two events in Indianapolis) started testing at Indy yesterday, and at this moment, the race appears to be on solid footing, that could all change in very short order. We've already seen the Flav-R-Pak NHRA Northwest Nationals (scheduled for July 31 - August 2) cancelled recently, and just this week, the Lucas Oil Series Western Regional event (scheduled for the following weekend) has gone by the wayside. Restrictions on public gatherings in Washington state stopped both those events, and with COVID-19 cases climbing in quite a few states, there could be some major holes appearing in the NHRA schedule very soon.

Even this week's event at Lucas Oil Raceway (formerly Indianapolis Raceway Park) has seen some notable non-appearances. Most publicized has been Nitro Funny Car racer, Bob Tasca III, who's come down with COVID-19 and has tabbed Jonnie Lindberg to fill his seat for the time being. Interestingly, that move presumably led to today's announcement from NHRA concerning driver substitutions. While it can be viewed as a coronavirus initiated accomodation for very valid health reasons, the timing seems somewhat coincidental. I certainly won't criticize their move at this point, and have to believe it's being done for all the right reasons.

What may be a larger story though - and one that hasn't been publicly commented on in other drag racing media - is the non-appearance of an entire race team: John Force Racing at the two Indianapolis events. That's Brittany Force and Austin Prock in Top Fuel, and the big man himself, John Force and defending world champion Robert Hight in Funny Car. That's a very large contingent of high profile racers to be missing from the show. On a slightly lesser scale, Team Salinas, including Top Fuel's Mike Salinas and his daughters Jasmine in Top Alcohol, and Jianna in Pro Bike are staying home for the time being.

In the interest of fair reporting, there are some additions to the fields as Tony Schumacher is back in a Top Fuel car for the first time in 20 months, for at least the first two races of the resumed schedule. And coming back for another kick at the can, also in a Don Schumacher Racing car, is never-say-die Cory McClenathan. Additionally, quite a few part-time racers have stepped in to fill the vacuum created by the racers that won't be at Indy. Full fields in the four categories this weekend are a certainty, with 18 cars each in Top Fuel and Funny Car. Leading the way in field size is Pro Stock with 22 entrants, and Pro Stock Bike has 16 riders on tap.

In closing, we've got to mention that the next two weekends will see some live - or at least current - drag racing on television for the first time in more than four months. As long as you have access to Fox Sports 1 or Fox Sports Racing (for qualifying) and the entire FOX network for eliminations. Here's the ad (courtesy of NHRA) for this weekend. NOTE: times shown are Eastern Daylight Time.

Tune In to the E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Nationals

That's all we've got to report at the moment. We're off to research what's happening in the other series (ADRL and MWPMS) that are also running - or trying to - this weekend. And don't forget, we've got the full report and pictures from the Bandimere Speedway NHRA Lucas Oil Series Western Region event of June 18 -20th posted in the Features section of the website.

Late additions: We almost forgot to mention about the rumours floating around "social" media concerning the Steve & Billy Torrence team. They are at Indy right now, after entering the first event at almost the last minute, but as of this writing they haven't got an entry in for next weekend's race. Presumably they will decide whether to enter after they see how this week's event goes. The John Force Racing story may not be quite as presented earlier on this page. A quick scan of future events on the re-re-re-vised NHRA schedule shows that all four team members are currently entered for Denver, Brainerd, Topeka, etc. However, those entries were filed quite a while ago and they could be withdrawn at any point before the races begin. Stay tuned for more news on that subject and anything else that comes along as we prepare to go drag racing again.