NHRA has announced its 2019 schedule of 24 races, with just a few changes in the mix for next season. With the same number of contests on the agenda, NHRA sought to continue date equity as much as possible, so that racers and fans can make plans accordingly.
While the season begins and ends at Pomona, a tradition of many years, the dates have been altered so that the season’s range is earlier than in 2018. One of the biggest races of the 2019 campaign will be race No. 3, the Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals, scheduled March 14-17. This historic contest is celebrating its 50th incarnation with the addition of the NHRA Legends Tour.
A few events have been shuffled around in both the regular season and the six-race Countdown to the Championship. The season begins at Pomona on February 7-10, a bit earlier than this year, and Phoenix is two weeks after the season starter. NHRA’s SpringNationals at Houston, held a week after after the DENSO Spark Plugs NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at Las Vegas, are a week earlier than this year.
NHRA’s return to Richmond, which this year occurred in June on the same date as the cancelled Englishtown race, has moved to mid-May in 2019, taking place May 17-19. Rather than heading from Richmond to Topeka, the tour races at Joliet on Memorial Day weekend and heads to Kansas a week after.
Bristol’s Fitzgerald NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals remains a Father’s Day event, followed a week later by the Summit Racing Equipment Nationals at Norwalk. One day after Independence Day, NHRA heads to Epping, NH and then takes a short break before the traditional Western Swing of Denver, Sonoma, Seattle. Brainerd’s Lucas Oil Nationals remains in mid-August and the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals will, once again close out the “regular” season on Labor Day weekend.
The same six racetracks host NHRA’s Countdown to the Championship, but in a different order. The six-race playoffs begin, as they do this year, in Reading, then head to St. Louis, Dallas and Charlotte, before the final stretch at Las Vegas and Pomona, ending November 7-10 next year.
Once again, all NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series events will be broadcast exclusively by FOX Sports, with a few select contests shown over-the-air on FOX broadcast network. NHRA advises there will be more than 575 hours of programming throughout the season.
2019 NHRA MELLO YELLO DRAG RACING SERIES SCHEDULE
NHRA Mello Yello Series Regular Season
Feb. 7-10–Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals, Pomona, Calif.
Feb. 22-24–NHRA Arizona Nationals, Phoenix
March 14-17–Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals, Gainesville, Fla.
April 5-7–DENSO Spark Plugs NHRA Four-Wide Nationals, Las Vegas
April 12-14–NHRA SpringNationals, Houston
April 26-28–NGK Spark Plugs NHRA Four-Wide Nationals, Charlotte, N.C.
May 3-5–NHRA Southern Nationals, Atlanta
May 17-19–Virginia NHRA Nationals, Richmond, Va.
May 30-June 2–Route 66 NHRA Nationals, Chicago
June 7-9–Menards NHRA Heartland Nationals, Topeka, Kan.
June 14-16–Fitzgerald NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals, Bristol, Tenn.
June 20-23–Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals, Norwalk, Ohio
July 5-7–NHRA New England Nationals, Epping, N.H.
July 19-21–Dodge Mile-High NHRA Nationals, Denver
July 26-28–NHRA Sonoma Nationals, Sonoma, Calif.
Aug. 2-4–NHRA Northwest Nationals, Seattle
Aug. 15-18–Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals, Brainerd, Minn.
Aug. 28-Sept. 2–Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals, Indianapolis
NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship
Sept. 12-15–Dodge NHRA Nationals, Reading, Pa.
Sept. 27-29–AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals, St. Louis
Oct. 3-6–AAA Texas NHRA Fall Nationals, Dallas
Oct. 11-13–NHRA Carolina Nationals, Charlotte
Oct. 24-27–NHRA Nevada Nationals, Las Vegas
Nov. 7-10–Auto Club NHRA Finals, Pomona, Calif.