NHRA SPORTSnationals®: The tradition continues
It hasn't been that many years ago that the old wooden grandstands at Beech Bend Raceway in Bowling Green, Ky., echoed the sounds of hundreds of Sportsman-category cars in intense wheel-to-wheel competition in hard-sought contests to garner a SPORTSnationals title. "Those were the days!" reminisce many who continue to enjoy various opportunities to race in the hotly contested category, but long for their own national event. The sentimentality hasn't changed; many still ask for those races, and NHRA has brought them back in grand style!
The SPORTSnationals were events on an impressive scale, made exceptionally meaningful by the camaraderie evident throughout the ranks of Sportsman racers, by the intense competition, and by the understandable overall drag racing fun inspired by the events. And the goal is to not just recreate the entire concept in a new series of SPORTSnationals events, but embellish them with exciting new features and the races will be presented at larger and more modern facilities.
The SPORTSnationals series will feature the popular Heads-Up Class racing in Stock and Super Stock; National event champion points; National event contingency payouts; $400,000 cash and contingency postings; and a host of special features, some of which will be unique to each of the events.
This is NHRA Sportsman racing's own "triple crown," three premium events that are destined to be in the tradition of national-level competition events. The first attack on the asphalt among Sportsman racers occurs at No Problem Raceway in Belle Rose, Louisiana, with the JEGS Cajun SPORTSnationals. No Problem continues its tradition of producing first-rate events for NHRA Sportsman racing, boasting a full program of extra features and attractions for racers and spectators alike, not least of which are affairs that offer plenty of Cajun food-fests and other Southern-style celebrations.
Second on the schedule is the JEGS NHRA Northern SPORTSnationals at National Trail Raceway in Columbus, Ohio, home of event sponsor JEGS Mail Order. The final stop, the JEGS NHRA Pacific SPORTSnationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway takes place in October. All three events offer some of the most intense competition among Sportsman racers including the competitive Top Dragster and Top Sportsman classes.
As always, more information on the NHRA SPORTSnationals series is available at nhra.com, or by contacting each track individually: No Problem Raceway:(985-369-3692; National Trail Raceway: 740-928-5706; and The Strip at Las Vegas Motro Speedway, 702-632-8213. Inquiries about the competition structure of the SPORTSnationals, including class breakdowns, points and other data, racers are urged to contact the NHRA Division Director in their area.