JONATHAN GRAY THRILLED TO BE IN E3 SPARK PLUGS NHRA PRO MOD DRAG RACING SERIES TITLE HUNT APPROACHING STOP IN ST. LOUIS
MADISON, IL – Jonathan Gray plans to enjoy every moment of being in the E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by J&A Service championship mix during the rest of the 2020 season. But he’s not going to let the moment overwhelm him.
Gray is just three points back of reigning world champion Stevie “Fast” Jackson as the series closes in on its annual St. Louis stop, the Mopar Express Lane NHRA Midwest Nationals presented by Pennzoil at World Wide Technology Raceway on Oct. 2-4. It’s an exciting time for Gray, who returned to the class this year after a two-year absence and already has one victory during the 2020 campaign driving for multi-time class champion Rickie Smith.
“You just have to race each event hard and if it’s your day, it’s your day, but as far as the championship is concerned, I’m not going to worry about it,” Gray said. “You just can’t worry about it. Rickie has been as good to me as anybody I could ask for. What’s made it better this year is, as I’ve gotten more runs and more laps in a nitrous car and spent more time with him, he’s been able to teach me more. He’s always watching to try to make me better.”
NHRA MELLO YELLO DRAG RACING SERIES TITLE PICTURE STARTS TO TAKE SHAPE IN ST. LOUIS AT MOPAR EXPRESS LANE NHRA MIDWEST NATIONALS PRESENTED BY PENNZOIL
MADISON, IL – With only four races remaining in the 2020 season when the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series arrives at World Wide Technology Raceway on Oct. 2-4 for the Mopar Express Lane NHRA Midwest Nationals presented by Pennzoil, championship contenders know they will need an impressive weekend in St. Louis to stay in title contention.
For Top Fuel’s Justin Ashley, it’s not a situation the rookie standout planned on entering the year, but he’s ready to make the most of it. He picked up his first career victory by winning the NHRA Summernationals in his 11,000-horsepower Strustmasters.com / Manscaped dragster and sits in fourth place in the loaded class, 122 points behind leader Doug Kalitta. He’ll race in St. Louis for the first time in his Top Fuel career, excited about where the team sits heading into the highly-anticipated race at World Wide Technology Raceway.
“I definitely feel really good about our team and getting that win under our belt feels good,” Ashley said. “It’s up to us to carry that momentum forward. For me, it’s my first time racing at lot of these tracks, so it will be really cool to see the fans. There’s no shortage of good competition in this class, so we just have to focus on one round at a time. As a team, the more passes we’ve made have helped us and, mentally, the more laps in the car the better you feel. That seat time has been good for me, but there’s certainly a ton of room for improvement.”
Five days of racing with social distancing and enhanced safety in effect
ENNIS, TX – After months of local and regional events with limited fans thanks to the support from Governor Greg Abbott, Texas Motorplex is set to host one of the largest outdoor motorsports events in the state with the 35th annual AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals, October 14-18, 2020. Working within the approved State of Texas guidelines, Texas Motorplex will be able to welcome up to 50 percent capacity for fans throughout the race week which will mean thousands of drag racing enthusiasts can travel to the race track located in Ennis, Texas, just minutes south of Dallas/Ft Worth for 300 mph side by side racing action. The track will be instituting the standard safety measures that have become commonplace as Texans work together to slow the spread of COVID-19.
“We will be encouraging fans to wear masks when social distancing isn’t an option,” said Andy Carter, Texas Motorplex General Manager. “We have the advantage of 500 acres of outdoor space to host the NHRA FallNationals with our pits open to the public which provides a lot of space for our fans to spread out and enjoying great racing action. I want to thank Governor Abbott and his staff for the support they have shown us since we started racing in May. We have had over a dozen events with fans and could not be more excited to host a national event for North Texas.”
Professional Racers Owners Organization explains efforts to provide best racing environment
GAINESVILLE, FL – The efforts to finish the 2020 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing season began in earnest by the Professional Racers Owners Organization (PRO) leadership team weeks before the July 8-9 Indianapolis national event. Working in conjunction with the NHRA, members of PRO communicated with Top Fuel, Funny Car and Pro Stock team owners and drivers to talk about options for completing the season. The goal was to ensure the teams could commit to race, fields would be full for a national television audience on the FOX broadcast network and state mandated safety and health concerns were met. Originally, the plan was to host two national events at Lucas Oil Raceway but a third was added when the Denver NHRA national event was postponed.
“We were in almost daily contact with the NHRA talking about the feasibility of getting back to racing,” said Alan Johnson, president of PRO. “The convenience of racing Indy made that a natural choice for the restart of the season. We were also working to make sure we secured full fields of competitors and revised the purse structure with the NHRA since we wouldn’t have fans. We wanted to give our teams and sponsors exposure on FOX to restart the season. I was dealing with the NHRA and Chad Head was communicating with the teams. We would get information, evaluate it and then offer our suggestions or recommendations back to NHRA. It was working pretty well once we started racing again.”
REIGNING E3 SPARK PLUGS NHRA PRO MOD SERIES WORLD CHAMP STEVIE “FAST” JACKSON LOOKS TO KEEP ROLLING AT GAINESVILLE RACEWAY
GAINESVILLE, FL – After struggling during the first two races of the 2020 E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series season, Stevie “Fast” Jackson returned to his world championship form at the U.S. Nationals. With the next stop on the schedule a trip to where he made the quickest pass in NHRA Pro Mod history, Jackson may not be slowing down anytime soon.
Following a victory at the U.S. Nationals, the popular Jackson is ready to pounce at the upcoming AMALIE Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals, which takes place Sept. 25-27 at the historic Gainesville Raceway. He made an incredible run of 5.643-seconds in the final round in his blown Bahrain 1 Racing Camaro a year ago, setting the national record in the process, which happened to come in a losing effort after Todd Tutterow won on a holeshot. That leaves Jackson, the defending world champ, with a mix of emotions as he heads to Gainesville hoping to finish the job in 2020.
“My goal is not to lose another round of racing this year,” Jackson said. “I think we have a car that can run well in Gainesville and I want a Gatornationals win bad. These fans are passionate. I’ve always ran well there, and it is a special place for me.”
NHRA MELLO YELLO DRAG RACING SERIES STARS EXCITED FOR UNIQUE HISTORY-MAKING OPPORTUNITY AT AMALIE MOTOR OIL NHRA GATORNATIONALS
GAINESVILLE, FL – The way Shawn Langdon sees it, he has a chance to make NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series history at the upcoming 51st annual AMALIE Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals, which takes place Sept. 25-27 at historic Gainesville Raceway.
Coming off a win at the prestigious U.S. Nationals, the former Top Fuel world champ can follow it with another massive victory at one of the biggest stops on the NHRA tour. After being postponed six months from its traditional March date, the Gatornationals will take place in September for the first time, presenting a unique opportunity for the stars in the NHRA who are eager to do something special in front of the always-passionate fanbase in Gainesville.
New Agreement Provides NHRA its Biggest Television Platform in the Sport’s History
GLENDORA, CA – The National Hot Rod Association and FOX Sports have announced a multi-year extension of their agreement to telecast all NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing series competitions across FOX, FS1 and FS2 well into this decade. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
“FOX is thrilled to extend our relationship with the NHRA as we enhance our coverage for drag racing fans,” said Mark Silverman, President, National Networks, FOX Sports. “The NHRA on FOX has achieved record audiences for the sport, and we look forward to working with the NHRA to continue to expand the audience and grow the sport beyond the middle of this decade.”