NHRA Makes Changes to Pro Stock Category


The NHRA, drag racing’s main sanctioning body, recently announced that they will be making some changes to the Pro Stock Category. These changes are designed to both enhance and increase spectator appeal while addressing some of the issues that technological advancements have brought about.  NHRA also hopes that these changes will enhance the whole pit experience for fans of this hot rod class where speeds can reach 200 miles per hour.

The changes will take place in two waves – first at the NHRA Sonoma Nationals, kicking off on Friday July 31, and then for the 2016 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series 2016 season starts.

For the Sonoma event, Pro Stock teams will now be required to back their race cars into their pits, leaving their engines uncovered.  This will allow pit road spectators to get a better look at the cars, as well as being better able to interact with pit crews and drivers. Another rule will stop teams from having a pit crew member holding the car in place during burnouts. A final rule requires teams to put a strip across the top of the windshield. This strip resembles the ones we see on NASCAR Cup cars, except these will identify the automaker, not the driver.


When the 2016 season launches, Pro Stock teams will have to use electronic throttle-body injection (TBI) systems, making their engines more relevant to current technology. Pro Stock teams will also have to install an NHRA-controlled 10,500 Rev Limiter. This change is designed to control costs for the teams.

Other changes taking place next year are designed to increase spectator appeal and vehicle relevancy. Hood scoops will no longer be allowed in the Pro Stock category. Wheelie bars will have to conform to a length specified by NHRA’s Tech Dept since NHRA wants fans to see more unpredictable wheels up launches.

A couple of other changes will occur next year, as well. FOX Sports will be the television broadcaster for the NHRA Mello Yello Series with improved event coverage, and more series and event exposure through extended profiles on drivers and teams. There will also be tech features, as well as an expansion of the coverage of the on-track racing action.

Peter Clifford, NHRA’s newly named president, had this to say recently: “Pro Stock racing has a tremendous history with NHRA and proves each weekend by the close side-by-side finishes that it is one of the most competitive forms of racing in all of motorsports. Through these changes we hope to provide a platform so the Pro Stock class can evolve from a technological standpoint, yet reconnect with its roots by generating more interest and appeal among spectators.”

About Mike Aguilar 388 Articles
Mike's love of cars began in the early 1970's when his father started taking him to his Chevron service station. He's done pretty much everything in the automotive aftermarket from gas station island attendant, parts counter, mechanic, and new and used sales. Mike also has experience in the amateur ranks of many of racing's sanctioning bodies.

14 Comments on NHRA Makes Changes to Pro Stock Category

  1. I have to tell you guys that for Me personally when we used to go to the track to race my cousin’s 68 camaro we didn’t go because of the Fan’s we went because we wanted to drag race another car …but thing’s have gotten so “corporate twisted” that now they along with brand and fan’s dictate the rule’s .. I say F.T.all .. and let’s get back to drag racing ….

    • I feel the same way. I went for myself and rather be doing it instead of watching but I guess it comes back to where a buck can be made. And the ones that benefit off racers don’t make as much as the guys selling crap to a kid and his dad. I think as soon as they lost winston it went all disney and shit. Sponsors should be beer and smokes. Bring back all the greasy guys that like racing for what it was and should be still. Why do certain outlaw hill billy tracks do good? Cause they don’t have any guy in a suit saying what they can or can’t do.

      • Sure your 100% right it’s all about market share and the tourist crowd . the wanna bee who came into fast cash buying a ready made cookie cutter drag car like all the cookie cutter pro-mods nowadays ..I loved the M/P car’s of the 70’s and early 80’s we didn’t have the silly and outrageously crazy 4 wide drag racing I mean how much more of a joke can you get ? It’s hard enough just racing the guy next to you but 4 wide I mean who exactly was that for ?

        • Also, for all the teens out there racing on the street they should make it pretty much free cause thats the only thing stopping most of us anyway. I say if they would get in free, the big sponsors should kick in the lost money. They sure aren’t dragging them in the gate with anything over $5 fees cause a $300 paycheck isn’t much money anymore. That would make their “getting it off the street” plan alittle more of a serious thought in a 16-18 year olds head.

          And 4 wide racing looks more like unorganized racing from way back. That of course you can’t follow and really the guy in charge of paving just ordered to much. And maybe was alittle drunk?? I don’t know. Interesting but don’t care. Maybe new fans will enjoy?

  2. If NHRA really wanted to please the fans and sell out the seats in the grandstands,
    then they would bring back match racing and chuck out all the corp BS. But as we all know It’s not about the fans, it’s about control.

  3. While I realize that we’re trying to attract younger fans and current cars are considered more relevant, I’ll offer this thought. Stop stretching and squatting the bodies to the point they are starting to look like Pro Mods. Allow any body style back to 1955, since there are plenty of steel body reproductions available nowadays by Dynacorn, etc. besides, I’m having a real tough time getting excited about a 4-door Racecar. Also, mandate a return to real manual shifted transmissions, let the races be decided by the drivers ability to throw an H-pattern, not forward and backwards, boring. Shorten wheelie bars and allow for wheel stands like Super Stock, that’s what this fan wants to see. I was a kid when Pro Stock began and for me now, that’s the most boring class on the track, almost to the point of looking automated. Look at the popularity of Pro Mod, I’d almost rather go watch them run all day instead of a Funny Car meet. And, don’t get me started on 1000′ racing, if a track can’t handle the shut-down lengths of a 300mph car, they lose the date. Imagine the uproar of the Daytona 250?

  4. NHRA will hurt the class with the new rules. I understand the desire for EFI to be part of the future although I still think carb when I think hot rod or prostock. Removing the hood scoops makes me angry. WTF? EFI….fine. Set RPM limit…OK. Define wheelie bar length….no problem. But eliminate the hood scoop??? Double middle finger salute to you NHRA!!!!

  5. I miss the racing from 1985 through 1995,……The racing, personalities, event coverage(TNN,ESPN,ect) with Steve and the guys!

  6. Why not make it fun and cheaper for everyone? Just put all the car number in a hat and draw out the winners! Then email or put on the 10 O’clock news and we would save admission prices and travel time! NHRA want to be politically correct. With forcing the driver’s owners to put the name of the car across the windshield and what no hood scoops…why not just add a 1,000 lbs to each car? NHRA is getting to be a real pain, Hi ticket prices,high food cost wit poor taste, $60.00 six packs of beer and the list goes on.
    I am 64 been going to the races since 1964 it was Great back then. We now have 1,000 foot tracks…Why not just do the 60′ or 120′ and we can be in and out of the races on race day in a hour or less? I’ll keep going as many other will but not very happy with the changes.

  7. No hood scoops? Is this Pro Stock or street stock? S—ks! Restrict this configuration don’t eliminate scoops. Make some changes that improve safety so the cars don’t get as loose in the middle and top end of the track. That saves money and reduces chance of injury to the drivers.

  8. The one thing I’m trying to figure out is, how are they going to get that tunnel Ram under a hood with out a scoop?

  9. The Race Teams are gona havta hava little talk with the Maufacturers and have them Redesign the Car Hoods / Air Scoops….Whata Think………..LATERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR

  10. It’s near impossible anymore to tell one car from another, at least the name of the car on the windshield doesn’t look nearly as stupid as putting a big decal on the roof so you have a clue what kind of car it was.

  11. Pro Stock has gotten way out of hand, all the cars look alike they all run the same and so on. What happened to real drivers and tuners, shifting an H pattern (Ronnie Sox) tuners like (Dyno Don, Bob Glidden, Bill Jenkins etc. These kind of racers made drag racing what is was, not what it is now. Get real bodies back, run only engines manufactured by the car maker. Let’s get back to the roots of Drag Racing. Why did you think Nostalgia Pro Stock, Nostalgia Funny Car, Nostalgia Super stock and Front Engine Dragster races have a good turn out? Get a clue NHRA! Does NHRA want to go the NASCAR way?

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