Courtesy:
Kevin McKenna
Senior Editor, National DRAGSTER
www.nhra.com

In a show of strength for the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series, 27 Top Fuel dragsters and 21 nitro Funny Cars are pre-entered for next weekend’s NHRA Las Vegas Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. In addition, a healthy 27 Pro Stock entries and 23 Pro Stock Motorcycles are expected to compete.

The last time an event attracted 27 Top Fuel dragsters was in 2005 for the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals presented by Lucas Oil, and to find a number larger than 27, one would have to go back to the 1994 Winternationals. The Las Vegas field features all of the current stars of the NHRA Full Throttle Series, including championship contenders Larry Dixon, Cory McClenathan, and Tony Schumacher, as well as a worldwide presence that includes Europeans Lex Joon of the Netherlands, Stig Neergaard of Denmark, and Australian Mark Mariani.

The 21-car Funny Car field represents the biggest entry list since the 2008 Winternationals. Though much of the attention will be on the championship battle being waged among Matt Hagan, John Force, and Jack Beckman, a large contingent of independent racers will be trying to make the 16-car field, including Jeff Diehl, James Day, and veteran Gary Densham.

The numbers in Pro Stock have been strong all season, and the Las Vegas event is no exception. Twenty-seven drivers are expected to attempt to qualify for 16 available spots. In addition to quantity and quality, there is a lot of variety as the pre-entry list includes four Dodge entries and five Ford Mustangs.

The Pro Stock Motorcycle field, which numbers 24 entries, has been bolstered by the addition of several West Coast-based part-time racers, including Matt Guidera, James Surber, Chris MacLauren, Dawn Bauges, Katie Sullivan, Scotty Pollacheck, and Australian native Rhett Lougheed.

Tickets for the Oct. 28-31 NHRA Las Vegas Nationals may be purchased by calling the LVMS ticket services office at (702) 644-4444 or online at www.LVMS.com. Follow LVMS on Facebook and Twitter.

Wednesday, Oct. 27
6 p.m. – Speedway Children’s Charities Cards for Kids poker tournament at Cannery Hotel & Casino.

Thursday, Oct. 28
7:30 a.m. – Spectator gates open.
7:30 a.m.-5 p.m. – Registration, tech inspection open (all categories).
8 a.m. – Sportsman qualifying.
4 p.m. – Comp Eliminator qualifying.
6 p.m. – Track closed.
6-8 p.m. – Free NHRA Fanfest and driver autograph session at Fremont Street Experience.
6-8 p.m. – Free Don Schumacher Racing driver autograph session at New York New York Hotel & Casino.
6-8 p.m. – Free NHRA driver autograph session (Terry McMillen) at Golden Gate Hotel & Casino.

Friday, Oct. 29
7:30 a.m. – Spectator gates open.
7:30 a.m.-Noon – Registration, tech inspection open (pro teams and Top Alcohol only).
8 a.m. – Sportsman eliminations.
10 a.m. – Comp Eliminator qualifying.\
10:30 a.m. – Top Alcohol Dragster and Top Alcohol Funny Car qualifying.
11:45 a.m. – Pro Mod qualifying.
12:15 p.m. – Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle qualifying.
1 p.m. – Top Fuel Dragster and Funny Car qualifying.
2 p.m. – Top Alcohol Dragster and Top Alcohol Funny Car qualifying.
3:15 p.m. – Comp Eliminator qualifying.
3:45 p.m. – Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle qualifying.
4:30 p.m. – Top Fuel Dragster and Funny Car qualifying.
5:30 p.m. – Pro Mod qualifying.
6 p.m. – Track closed.

Saturday, Oct. 30
7:30 a.m. – Spectator gates open.
8 a.m. – Sportsman eliminations.
10:30 a.m. – First round of Comp Eliminator eliminations.
11:15 a.m. – Pro Mod qualifying.
11:45 a.m. – Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle qualifying.
12:30 p.m. – Top Fuel Dragster and Funny Car qualifying.
1:30 p.m. – Top Alcohol Dragster and Top Alcohol Funny Car qualifying.
2:45 p.m. – Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle 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.
6 p.m. – Track closed.

Sunday, Oct. 31
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.

Schedule subject to change.