GM Performance NHRA Sport Compact Nationals at The Strip at LVMS to open 2003 NHRA Summit Sport Compact Drag Racing Series season

 

Sport Compact drag racing weekend kicks off 2003 Midnight Mayhem series

 

 

The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway will host the opening race of the 2003 NHRA Summit Sport Compact Drag Racing Series.  The three-day event, the inaugural GM Performance NHRA Sport Compact Nationals, will take place on March 14-16.

The 10-race, $1.4 million series will once again feature exciting competition at many of the nation's premier drag racing facilities with each race being showcased on ESPN2. A year-end championship bonus fund of $144,000 as well as purses at each event totaling $260,500 are guaranteed. The series also offers the sport's most lucrative contingency program.

"Sport Compacts are the future of drag racing and we are excited to be a part of the NHRA Summit Sport Compact Drag Racing Series," said Chris Blair, LVMS' director of drag racing operations.  "The 2003 season promises to be a revolutionary year for this series and we're proud to see it kick off at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

"Our event will feature special editions of our popular Midnight Mayhem street racing program, car shows, displays, a bikini contest and other youth-oriented lifestyle events.  The NHRA Summit Sport Compact race will be more than just another drag event -- it will be a major happening in Las Vegas."

NHRA officials have realigned the series' professional "heads-up" categories, providing a logical progression for enthusiasts to step up from a novice class to the ultimate level of professional competition.

In 2003, the NHRA Summit Sport Compact Drag Racing Series will feature two professional "heads-up" categories competing for a world championship: the Pro RWD (rear-wheel drive) class, and the new Pro FWD (front-wheel drive) category.

The current Hot Rod (front-wheel drive) and All-Motor classes will be maintained in 2003 and compete for an NHRA Summit Sport Compact Drag Racing Series Championship.  The current Modified category will feature rear-wheel drive only vehicles. In all, five NHRA Summit Sport Compact Drag Racing Series championships (Pro RWD, Pro FWD, Hot Rod, Modified, All-Motor) will be up for grabs in 2003.

Last year, the NHRA Summit Sport Compact Drag Racing Series consistently featured the biggest names in professional import drag racing, including 2001 NHRA Summit Sport Compact Series Pro champion R.J. Simrock of El Cajon, Calif.

The Strip's Midnight Mayhem program also will begin on this weekend.  The program, aimed at getting illegal street racers off the roads of Las Vegas and Clark County and onto the drag strip, attracted an average of 400 cars and 2,500 spectators per night.

 

Friday, March 14 -- Titan Auto Insurance Midnight Mayhem and NHRA Summit Sport Compact Series Kick-off Party Presented by GM Performance and Car Audio Magazine

Noon-5 p.m. -- Parking for pro teams and midway displays

7 p.m. -- Gates open for Midnight Mayhem spectators and racers

8 p.m.-2 a.m. -- Titan Auto Insurance Midnight Mayhem grudge drags

10 p.m.-2 a.m. -- NHRA Summit Sport Compact Series Kick-off Party featuring autograph session, DJs, International All-Star Models, Project Mayhem motorcycle stunt team and Wild 102 FM.

 

Spectator admission -- $5 all ages

Racer and show entry fee -- $10

 

Saturday, March 15 -- GM Performance NHRA Sport Compact Nationals

8 a.m. -- Gates open

9 a.m.-5 p.m. -- Tech inspection

10 a.m.-6 p.m. -- Sport Compact time trials

2 p.m. -- Pro qualifying session No. 1

4 p.m. -- Pro qualifying session No. 2

6 p.m. -- Pro qualifying session No. 3

 

Saturday spectator admission:

Adult general admission -- $15

Children 6-12 -- $5

Two-day adult general admission pass -- $30

Two-day children's' general admission pass -- $10

 

Sunday, March 16

GM Performance NHRA Sport Compact Nationals

8 a.m. -- Gates open

8 a.m.-10 a.m. -- Bracket tech inspection (for new arrivals)

10 a.m.-Noon -- Bracket time trials

10 a.m.-4 p.m. -- NHRA Stylefest (car audio competition, car show, bikini contest, DJ contest)

Noon-12:30 p.m. -- Opening ceremonies

12:30 p.m. -- First-round eliminations

3:30 p.m. -- Project Mayhem motorcycle stunt show

4 p.m. -- Burnout contest

4:30 p.m. -- Final rounds of elimination

 

Sunday spectator admission:

Adult general admission -- $20

Children 6-12 -- $8

 

$70 Club Nitro Backstage Pass (available by calling 702-632-8285)

Includes: lunch, access to café seating, members-only cash bar, behind-the-stage access to NHRA Stylefest.  Hang out with the International All-Star Models, NHRA Pit Crew Girls, Alluring Angels and Xtreme Bikini Jam contestants.  Only 200 Club Nitro passes will be sold.

 

Car show registration -- $45 advance registration for car and driver.  Call Kimberly Lansing at (702) 632-8213 to enter.

 

Racer registration -- $65 entry fee for all classes.  Registration will take place at credentials gate.

 

Midway displays -- Contact Jason Golden, LVMS Sales & Marketing at (702) 632-8285.

 

Alcoholic beverages -- No alcoholic beverage sales to general public.  Cash bar available at Club Nitro only.

 

Television -- Event will be televised as two 30-minute shows on ESPN2.

 

Race rules -- NHRA.com