It is impossible to succeed in this town without a little bit of luck. Whether you're into high stakes poker at The Palms, playing the slots at the Monte Carlo or driving an 8,000 horsepower race car at The Strip at LVMS -- the site of this week's ninth annual NHRA Las Vegas Nationals -- you need something more than mere skill to attain your goals. 

Ashley Force Hood understands that and accepts it.  Two years removed from her Rookie-of-the-Year season, she just considers herself lucky to be one of those in contention for the NHRA's $500,000 Full Throttle Funny Car Championship.

"We're really pumped," said the 26-year-old daughter of drag racing icon John Force.  "We've had a really great season and we're right where we want to be (in second place, one round behind teammate Robert Hight).

"It's easy to get caught up in the stress of it all," acknowledged the driver of the national record-holding, 312.13 mile-per-hour Castrol GTX Ford Mustang, "but we're trying to look at it from another point of view.

"Here we are in just our third year (as a team) and we're battling for the NHRA championship," she said.  "That's a pretty neat spot to be in (and) we're trying to enjoy it and not let the (pressure) take away the fun of it."

Listen to the announcers on 103.9 FM.

Thursday, Oct. 29
7:30 a.m. - Spectator gates open.
8 a.m. - Sportsman qualifying.
4 p.m. - Comp Eliminator qualifying.
6 p.m. - Track closed.
6-8 p.m. - Free NHRA driver autograph session at Fremont Street Experience.

Friday, Oct. 30
7:30 a.m. - Spectator gates open.
8 a.m. - Sportsman eliminations.
11 a.m. - Top Alcohol Dragster and Top Alcohol Funny Car qualifying.
Noon - Pro Mod qualifying.
12:30 p.m. - Pro Stock Motorcycle and Pro Stock qualifying.
1:30 p.m. - Top Fuel Dragster and Funny Car qualifying.
2:30 p.m. - Comp Eliminator qualifying.
3 p.m. - Pro Stock Motorcycle and Pro Stock qualifying.
4 p.m. - Top Fuel Dragster and Funny Car qualifying.
5 p.m. - Top Alcohol Dragster and Top Alcohol Funny Car qualifying.
7:30 p.m. - Track closed.

Saturday, Oct. 31
7:30 a.m. - Spectator gates open.
8 a.m. - Sportsman eliminations.
11 a.m. - Pro Mod qualifying.
11:30 a.m. - Pro Stock Motorcycle and Pro Stock qualifying.
12:30 p.m. - Top Fuel Dragster and Funny Car qualifying.
12:30 p.m. -- Children's Halloween costume contest begins (midway area behind main grandstands).
1:30 p.m. - Top Alcohol Dragster and Top Alcohol Funny Car qualifying.
2:30 p.m. - Pro Stock Motorcycle and Pro Stock qualifying.
3:30 p.m. - Top Fuel Dragster and Funny Car qualifying.
4:30 p.m. - First round of Pro Mod eliminations
5 p.m. - First round of Top Alcohol Dragster and Top Alcohol Funny Car eliminations.
5 p.m. - Spectator gates open at the Bullring for Supermodified, USAC Midget, stock car races.
6 p.m. - Track closed.

Sunday, Nov. 1
7:30 a.m. - Spectator gates open.
9 a.m. - Sportsman eliminations.
10 a.m. - Pre-race ceremonies.
11 a.m. - Final eliminations begin.
4:30 p.m. - Track closed.