As expected, NHRA is reducing its Mello Yello Pro Stock category, contracting the number of events from 24 to 18 for the door-slammers in 2019. While rumors had Pro Stock down to 16 races for the upcoming year, mirroring the schedule for Pro Stock Motorcycle, the series elected to reduce the category’s contests by six, rather than eight, events.
The six races removed from the 2019 calendar are Houston, the Four-Wide Nationals at Charlotte, Atlanta, Topeka, Bristol and Epping. Given the economic rationale for the change, it’s puzzling the NHRA elected to keep the entire Western Swing within the Pro Stock schedule for the coming year.
The rationale for these changes, according to Josh Peterson, NHRA vice president of racing administration, is thus: “We think the new schedule will increase participation by relieving the economic burden and time commitment that comes with 24 events, which will ignite more intense competition. All of that should make for compelling action and drive fan interest,” he said.
Here’s the adjusted schedule, which is likely to remain in place after the first year of operation:
Feb 7-10: Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals, Pomona
Feb 22-24: NHRA Arizona Nationals, Phoenix
March 14-17: Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals, Gainesville
April 5-7: DENSO Spark Plugs NHRA Four-Wide Nationals, Las Vegas
May 17-19: Virginia NHRA Nationals, Richmond
May 30-June2: Route 66 NHRA Nationals, Chicago (Joliet)
June 20-23: Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals, Norwalk
July 19-21: Dodge Mile-High NHRA Nationals, Denver
July 26-28: NHRA Sonoma Nationals, Sonoma
Aug 2-4: NHRA Northwest Nationals, Seattle
Aug 15-18: Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals, Brainerd
Aug 28-Sept 2: Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals, Indianapolis
Countdown to the Championship:
Sept 12-15: Dodge NHRA Nationals, Reading
Sept 27-29: AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals, St. Louis
Oct 11-13 NHRA Carolina Nationals, Charlotte
Oct 17-20: AAA Texas Fall Nationals, Dallas
Oct 31-Nov 3: NHRA Nevada Nationals, Las Vegas
Nov 14-17: Auto Club NHRA Finals, Pomona