NHRA makes slight change to 2019 Countdown playoff schedule

Leave a comment

While there will be no changes in race track facilities, the 2019 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule will have a slight adjustment, according to the sanctioning body.

The change involves the six-race Countdown to the Championship playoff lineup.

While Maple Grove Racetrack near Reading, Pennsylvania, and Gateway Motorsports Park near St. Louis will remain the kickoff races to the Countdown, the order of the venues of the following two races will change.

Texas Motorplex has historically been the third race of the Countdown and zMAX Dragway near Charlotte, North Carolina, has been the fourth race. But the 2019 schedule will see those two venues swapped.

In other words, Carolina will be Race No. 3 of the Countdown going forward, while the remaining three races of the playoffs moving from east to west, with Texas (Oct. 17-20, 2019) followed by Las Vegas (Oct. 31-Nov. 3) and the season finale at Pomona, California (Nov. 14-17).

According to a NHRA media release, “The schedule refinement moves the AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals to take place after the NHRA Carolina Nationals in order to streamline travel across the country during the Countdown To The Championship.”

Follow @JerryBonkowski

Indy 500 qualifying: Today’s schedule, TV times, how the 33-car field is set

Indy 500 qualifying schedule
Doug Mathews/IndyCar
Leave a comment

The 33-car field of the 104th Indianapolis 500 will be set through the two-day Indy 500 qualifying schedule Saturday and Sunday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Today’s session will determine the nine cars that will compete for the pole position and starting positions 10-30.

On Sunday, the pole position then will be determined in a Fast Nine Shootout (the top nine qualifiers also received NTT IndyCar Series points).

All on-track activity will be on NBC Sports Gold’s IndyCar pass (click here for streaming Saturday and here for Sunday), and Indy 500 qualifying will be on NBC from 3-5 p.m. ET Saturday and Indy 500 pole qualifying from 1-3 p.m. ET on NBC.

Last year, Simon Pagenaud captured the pole position on the way to winning last year’s Indy 500.

Qualifying speeds at Indianapolis Motor Speedway are determined by a four-lap average around the 2.5-mile track.

Here is the Indy 500 qualifying schedule and how to watch on TV:

Saturday, Aug. 15

5:30 a.m. – Garage opens

6 a.m. – Tech inspection

8:30-9:30 a.m. – Indianapolis 500 practice (NBC Sports Gold)

11 a.m.-5 p.m. – Indianapolis 500 qualifying (NBC Sports Gold; NBC coverage from 3-5 p.m.; NBCSN 5-6 p.m.)

7:30 p.m. – Garage closes

Sunday, Aug. 16

8 a.m. – Garage opens

9 a.m. — Tech inspection

11-11:30 a.m. – Indianapolis 500 practice (NBC Sports Gold)

1:15-2:15 p.m. – Fast Nine pole qualifying (NBC begins at 1 p.m., NBC Sports Gold)

3:30-6 p.m. – Indianapolis 500 practice (NBCSN, NBC Sports Gold)