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NHRA releases 2020 Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule

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NHRA Media Release

GLENDORA, Calif. – NHRA officials announced the 24-race 2020 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule, which will again feature intense racing action at tracks across the country. Millions of fans will experience sensory overload at its best with side-by-side racing action where victories may be determined by mere thousandths of a second. Competition schedules for individual categories will be released this summer.

Throughout the season, NHRA will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Pro Stock Car. Fans will experience special treats and features along the tour to commemorate this important category and honor its history.

A special highlight on the 2020 tour will be the 60th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals, which will kick off the 2020 season at Auto Club Raceway in Pomona, Calif. February 6-9. One of the most iconic events in the series, the Winternationals draws fans from all around the world to experience the power of NHRA Championship Drag Racing at its best during the season opener.

The 40th annual NHRA Southern Nationals in Atlanta will take place May 15-17. Fans won’t want to miss joining the stars of NHRA as we celebrate 40 years of heart-pounding racing action. Other milestone events include the 20th annual NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals June 19-21 in Bristol, Tenn., the 35th annual AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals at fan-favorite Texas Motorplex October 15-18 and the 20th annual Dodge NHRA Nationals October 29-November 1 at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

All locations on the series schedule are confirmed for the 2020 season and several stops are changing dates. The Virginia NHRA Nationals in Richmond, Va. move to the end of the month, taking place May 29-31. The Route 66 NHRA Nationals in Chicago will commence July 9-12 to lead in to the iconic Western Swing. Fans of the NHRA New England Nationals will get a chance to see the series as competition heats up at the end of summer, August 21-23. Two events in the Mello Yello Countdown To The Championship are changing places with the NHRA Carolina Nationals in Charlotte, N.C. September 25-27, followed by the AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals October 2-4.

As always, the 2020 season will conclude with the Auto Club NHRA Finals, November 12-15 at Auto Club Raceway in Pomona.

All 24 events in this exciting series will be aired exclusively on FOX Sports with select events on FOX broadcast network. With over 575 hours of programming, fans can tune into action from Friday and Saturday qualifying rounds as well as Sunday finals.

2020 NHRA MELLO YELLO DRAG RACING SERIES SCHEDULE

NHRA Mello Yello Series Regular Season

Feb. 6-9 – Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals, Pomona, Calif.

Feb. 21-23 – Magic Dry Organic Absorbent NHRA Arizona Nationals, Phoenix

March 12-15 – AMALIE Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals, Gainesville, Fla.

April 3-5 – DENSO Spark Plugs NHRA Four-Wide Nationals, Las Vegas

April 17-19 – Mopar Express Lane NHRA SpringNationals, Houston

April 24-26 – NGK Spark Plugs NHRA Four-Wide Nationals, Charlotte, N.C.

May 15-17 – NHRA Southern Nationals, Atlanta

May 29-31 – Virginia NHRA Nationals, Richmond, Va.

June 12-14 – Menards NHRA Heartland Nationals, Topeka, Kan.

June 19-21 – NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals, Bristol, Tenn.

June 25-28 – Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals, Norwalk, Ohio

July 9-12 – Route 66 NHRA Nationals, Chicago

July 17-19 – Dodge Mile-High NHRA Nationals, Denver

July 24-26 – NHRA Sonoma Nationals, Sonoma, Calif.

July 31-Aug.2 – Magic Dry Organic Absorbent NHRA Northwest Nationals, Seattle

Aug. 13-16 – Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals, Brainerd, Minn.

Aug. 21-23 – NHRA New England Nationals, Epping, N.H.

Sept. 2-7 – NHRA U.S. Nationals, Indianapolis

NHRA Mello Yello Countdown To The Championship playoffs

Sept. 17-20 – Mopar Express Lane NHRA Nationals, Reading, Pa.

Sept. 25-27 – NHRA Carolina Nationals, Charlotte

Oct. 2-4 – AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals, St. Louis

Oct. 15-18 – AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals, Dallas

Oct. 29-Nov. 1 – Dodge NHRA Nationals, Las Vegas

Nov. 12-15 – Auto Club NHRA Finals, Pomona, Calif.

Helio Castroneves ‘hustling’ for IndyCar, IMSA rides; talking with four to five teams

Helio Castroneves IMSA IndyCar
IMSA
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As his season gathers steam, Helio Castroneves said his prospects for finding new rides for 2021 in IMSA and IndyCar also are gaining momentum.

The three-time Indianapolis 500 winner said Monday he is optimistic about landing in either or perhaps a combination of both series when Team Penske and Acura end their DPi partnership after this season.

“A lot of people I spoke with, four to five teams, are interested,” Castroneves said. “Whether it’s doing Indy 500 only, whether it’s pushing to do full time or do the sports cars as well. It’s been a very nice conversation.

LOOKING AHEADTeam Penske drivers seeking new rides for 2021

“I have a lot of respect for all the teams that have been talking, and I feel the same feedback. We just have to wait for their (sponsor) connections, and I’m also looking for some connections on my side as well, so hopefully we’ll be able to put this together and get something very soon.”

Given two decades of success with Penske in IndyCar and IMSA, Castroneves’ resume hardly needs burnishing. But the Brazilian has combined with co-driver Ricky Taylor in the No. 7 Acura DPi to win the past two overall victories at Road America and Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.

But Castroneves, who doesn’t have a manager, said he has been working the phones hard rather than wait for the strong results to bring in the calls.

“At this point, I feel like I’m the one who needs to be talking to them because people need to know I want to continue racing and understand my desire,” Castroneves, 45, said. “There is opportunity, no question, in both (IndyCar and IMSA), which I’m really happy about it. However, because of the COVID-19, a lot of things sometimes have to be a little delayed. But I’m excited. Whatever the opportunity and whatever destiny guides me, whether IndyCar or sports cars, trust me I’ll be as happy as it could be and doing my 100 percent like I always did.

“It’s like politics, you need to be out there, good news or bad news. People have to make notice of your presence. I’m hustling. I want to continue to keep it going. Hopefully, we’ll have good news very soon.”

The news has been all good lately on track for Castroneves and Taylor, who hope to continue their run Sunday at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

The No. 6 duo has surged to sixth in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship standings, 10 points out of the lead with four races remaining. After thinking there was “no hope” to be competitive after opening the season with three consecutive poor finishes, Taylor now sees an opportunity for a happy ending.

“With the program going away, Helio has won all the big races and given so much back to the team and left such a mark, he’s really part of Penske history,” Taylor said. “For me, it’s been an opportunity of a lifetime to be a part of it. I’d like to leave my little mark as well. Helio has won everything except for a championship.

“Obviously, we’ve won races already together, but we can win a championship now. I think if both of us can do that together and both win our first championship for ‘The Captain,’ that would be an absolute dream come true, and we can tie a bow on it and be happy.”