NHRA Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals: TV listings, all the facts, numbers
Here’s everything you need to know about the 63rd annual Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals, the final event of the NHRA regular season:
At stake: At the conclusion of this event, the top-10 drivers in four categories — Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle — will be locked in to begin the six-race Countdown to the Championship playoffs, leading to the 2017 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series world championships.
Where: Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis
The course: Championship drag strip; track elevation is 700 feet above sea level; track direction is south to north.
Points: A special world championship points system is in effect at this event, where drivers in the Mello Yello Series categories will earn points based on a point-and-a-half system (150 points to win). A single racer in each category can earn a maximum of 195 points at this event. All other NHRA Mello Yello Series events offer 100 points to win. Teams also will get 15 points instead of 10 for making a qualifying attempt. Qualifying bonus points will remain at 1-2-3 for the five sessions and the standard 1-8 points will be given for qualifying positions.
When: Wednesday, Aug. 30 through Monday, Sept. 4.
Sunday, Sept. 3, FS1 will televise two hours of qualifying coverage at noon (ET).
Sunday, Sept. 3, FS1 will televise two hours of qualifying coverage at 5 p.m. (ET).
Monday, Sept. 4, FS1 will televise two hours of live finals coverage at 11 a.m. (ET).
Monday, Sept. 4, Fox will televise three hours of live finals coverage at 1 p.m. (ET).
Ron Capps can wrap up the regular-season top spot in Funny Car by qualifying for eliminations at the U.S. Nationals.
Event schedule (all times local):
Thursday, Aug. 31 – Lucas Oil Series qualifying and eliminations
Friday, Sept. 1 – Lucas Oil Series qualifying and eliminations (featuring Mopar HEMI Challenge)
NHRA J&A Service Pro Mod Series qualifying at 6:30 p.m.
Mello Yello Series qualifying at 7:15 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 2 – Lucas Oil Series qualifying and eliminations
NHRA J&A Service Pro Mod Series qualifying at 1:45 and 5:30 p.m.
TRAXXAS Nitro Shootout: (Top Fuel) rounds at 3:45, 5:45 and 7:40 p.m.
Mello Yello Series qualifying at 2:30 p.m. and 6:15 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 3 – Lucas Oil Series qualifying and eliminations (featuring Factory Stock Showdown)
NHRA J&A Service Pro Mod Series qualifying at 2 p.m.; first round of eliminations at 5:25 p.m.
TRAXXAS Nitro Shootout: (Funny Car) rounds at 12:45, 2:45 and 4:40 p.m.
Mello Yello Series qualifying at 11:30 a.m. and 3:15 p.m.
Monday, Sept. 4 – Pre-race ceremonies, 9:45 a.m.
Mello Yello Series eliminations begin at 11 a.m.
2016 U.S. Nationals winners:
Tony Schumacher, Top Fuel; Matt Hagan, Funny Car; Chris McGaha, Pro Stock; Andrew Hines, Pro Stock Motorcycle.
Most U.S. Nationals victories:
Tony Schumacher, TF, 10; Bob Glidden, PS, 9; Don Garlits, TF, 8; Don Prudhomme, TF/ FC, 7; Greg Anderson, PS, 6; Warren Johnson, PS, 6; Ed McCulloch, FC/TF, 6; Dave Schultz, PSM, 6; Larry Dixon, TF, 4;John Force, FC, 4.
Bo Butner is the Pro Stock points leader.
Event history: The most historic and prestigious event in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals has been contested annually since 1955. Originally known as “The Nationals” and first held at an abandoned airstrip in Great Bend, Kansas, the event made stops at Kansas City in Missouri, Oklahoma City and Detroit before eventually moving to Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis in 1961. Past winners include “Big Daddy” Don Garlits, an eight-time winner in Top Fuel; Shirley Muldowney, 1982 Top Fuel winner; Don “The Snake” Prudhomme, a seven-time winner and one of a handful of drivers to win the event in both Top Fuel and Funny Car; and Bob Glidden, the legendary Pro Stock driver who dominated the race by advancing to the final round in 13 consecutive seasons from 1977-’89. The Indiana native won the event nine times. Tony Schumacher has the most wins at the event with 10 victories, including his 2010 win. It is the only major motorsports event to be contested on Labor Day.
Fast facts: The Traxxas Nitro Shootout will offer $100,000 to the winners in special bonus events for qualified Top Fuel and Funny Car drivers … Tony Schumacher is an 11-time U.S. Nationals finalist in Top Fuel (winning 10) … Schumacher’s first career NHRA start came at the U.S. Nationals in 1996 and the then-rookie posted a runner-up finish to Cory McClenathan … John Force, 16-time NHRA Mello Yello Series world champion and winner of a record 148 events, has won the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals four times, his last coming in 2002 … Four women have earned Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals victories, including Shirley Muldowney once in Top Fuel, Ashley Force Hood twice in Funny Car, Alexis DeJoria once in Funny Car and Angelle Sampey twice in Pro Stock Motorcycle … Kenny Bernstein, Don Prudhomme, Jim Head and Ed McCulloch have won the race in both Top Fuel and Funny Car, while Antron Brown has also won the race in multiple MYDRS classes, Top Fuel and Pro Stock Motorcycle … The event also will feature competition in the Lucas Oil Series and the J&A Service Pro Mod Drag Racing Series, featuring high-horsepower machines that accelerate to more than 250 mph.
Top Fuel – 3.692 sec. by Clay Millican, September 2016; 330.31 mph by Tony Schumacher, September 2016.
Funny Car – 3.858 sec. by Matt Hagan, September 2016; 333.08 by Jack Beckman, September 2016.
Pro Stock – 6.538 sec. by Jason Line, September 2011; 211.13 mph by Mike Edwards, September 2012.
Pro Stock Motorcycle – 6.812 sec. by Angelle Sampey, September 2016; 197.25 mph by LE Tonglet, September 2016.
Top Fuel – 3.658 sec. by Leah Pritchett, February 2017, Phoenix; 333.66 mph by Brittany Force, May 2017, Topeka, Kansas
Funny Car – 3.802 sec. by Matt Hagan, May 2017, Topeka, Kan.; 339.87 mph by Robert Hight, July ’17, Sonoma, California
Pro Stock – 6.455 sec. by Jason Line, March 2015, Charlotte, North Carolina; 215.55 mph by Erica Enders, May 2014, Englishtown, New Jersey
PS Motorcycle – 6.728 sec. by Andrew Hines, October 2012, Reading, Pennsylvania; 199.88 mph by Hector Arana Jr., March 2015, Charlotte, N.C.
LE Tonglet is at the top of the standings in Pro Stock Motorcycle.
Point standings (top 10) heading into the U.S. Nationals (top 10 qualify for the Countdown):
1. Antron Brown, 1,513; 2. Steve Torrence, 1,482; 3. Leah Pritchett, 1,453; 4. Tony Schumacher, 1,121; 5. Brittany Force, 1,052; 6. Doug Kalitta, 1,038; 7. Clay Millican, 1,014; 8. Terry McMillen, 722; 9. Scott Palmer, 649; 10. Troy Coughlin Jr., 576; 11, Shawn Langdon 568.
1. Ron Capps, 1,383; 2. Robert Hight, 1,247; 3. Matt Hagan, 1,214; 4. Tommy Johnson Jr., 1,180; 5. Jack Beckman, 1,160; 6. Courtney Force, 1,012; 7. John Force, 954; 8. Tim Wilkerson, 792; 9. J.R. Todd, 788; 10. Alexis DeJoria, 664; 11. Cruz Pedregon, 652; 12, Jim Campbell, 624; 13, Jonnie Lindberg, 611; 14, Del Worsham, 604.
1. Bo Butner, 1,526; 2. Tanner Gray, 1,300; 3. Greg Anderson, 1,263; 4. Jason Line, 1,123; 5. Drew Skillman, 1,089; 6. Erica Enders, 1,044; 7. Jeg Coughlin, 1,006; 8. Vincent Nobile, 899; 9. Allen Johnson, 657; 10. Chris McGaha, 645; 11, Alan Prusiensky, 552.
Pro Stock Motorcycle
1. LE Tonglet, 874; 2. Eddie Krawiec, 690; 3. Jerry Savoie, 655; 4. Hector Arana Jr, 632; 5. Matt Smith, 581; 6. Andrew Hines, 529; 7. Scotty Pollacheck, 528; 8. Joey Gladstone, 427; 9. Karen Stoffer, 408; 10. Angie Smith, 394; 11, Steve Johnson, 347. 12, Angelle Sampey, 304.