The 2018 NHRA Mellow Yello Drag Racing Series schedule is now whole again.
Two weeks ago, Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in Englishtown, New Jersey, shocked the drag racing world when it announced it was immediately and permanently cancelling all NHRA and sportsman drag racing at the track.
Among events cancelled was the 49th NHRA Summernationals, which was scheduled for June 8-10. OBTRP had been hosting drag racing at its facility about an hour southwest of New York City for 52 years.
The loss of Englishtown dropped the NHRA schedule from its original 24-race lineup to 23. NHRA said it likely would not return to 24 races until 2019.
But in an equally surprising move as Englishtown’s departure, NHRA on Tuesday announced there indeed will be 24 national events after all in 2018.
Virginia Motorsports Park in Petersburg, Virginia, has been named to replace Englishtown on the NHRA national schedule.
“We’re excited to return to Virginia Motorsports Park under its new ownership and the VMP team is eager to host our drivers, sponsors and fans,” NHRA president Glen Cromwell said in a media release.
VMP was recently purchased by Tommy Franklin and family and were one of the first groups to step forward to attempt and fill the void left by Englishtown’s departure from the schedule.
The last NHRA national event held at VMP was in 2009. Franklin is looking forward to having his track back on the NHRA national event schedule.
“We are thrilled to get the opportunity to host an event in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series,” said Franklin. “We want to have the fastest track in the series and make this a premier destination for drivers and fans alike. It’s going to be a fantastic event!”
Tickets will go on sale in March.