NHRA

NHRA: Pro Stock to return to 5 former venues in 2020, but not 5 others

1 Comment

In what will mark its 50th year of Pro Stock competition, the National Hot Rod Association on Monday announced a significantly altered list of venues on the 2020 Pro Stock national event schedule.

The NHRA reduced Pro Stock from a 24-race national event season schedule to just 18 races for 2019. It will remain at 18 races in 2020, but nearly one-third of the venues that played host to Pro Stock cars this season will not do so next season.

Here’s how it breaks down:

* Five tracks that did not host Pro Stock races in 2019 will see them once again return in 2020 as in previous seasons: Houston, Atlanta, Topeka (Kansas), Bristol (Tenn.) and Epping (New Hampshire).

* Conversely, five tracks that hosted Pro Stock races in 2019 will not have the so-called door-slammers back next season: Richmond (Virginia), Chicago, Denver, Brainerd (Minnesota) and St. Louis. Taking St. Louis off the schedule is noteworthy in that it means Pro Stock will compete in only five of the six Countdown to the Championship playoff events next season.

* The other tracks that will remain the same on next season’s schedule are Pomona, California (two races); Phoenix; Gainesville, Florida; Las Vegas (two races); Norwalk, Ohio; Sonoma, Calif.; Seattle; Indianapolis; Reading, Pa.; Charlotte; and Dallas.

* Pro Stock will once again skip the spring 2020 race at zMAX Dragway in Charlotte, North Carolina, as it did earlier this year, but will compete there during fall’s Countdown playoffs.

* By not competing at Bandimere Speedway in suburban Denver, Pro Stock will not be part of all three races of the mid-summer “western swing” for the first time ever (although it will still take part in the “swing’s” other two races at Sonoma, California, and Seattle).

The overall 24-race national event schedule for Top Fuel and Funny Car was previously announced. Click here to see that schedule. The 16-race 2020 schedule for Pro Stock Motorcycle is expected to be released later this week.

Here’s the 16-race 2020 NHRA Pro Stock race schedule:

2020 NHRA MELLO YELLO DRAG RACING SERIES PRO STOCK SCHEDULE

NHRA Mello Yello Series Pro Stock 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

May 15-17 – NHRA Southern Nationals, Atlanta

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

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

Aug. 21-23 – NHRA New England Nationals, Epping, N.H. (Moved from early July)

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. 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.

Follow @JerryBonkowski

WATCH: Red Bull F1 team completes pit stop in zero gravity

1 Comment

The Red Bull Racing pit crew may have already made headlines last weekend when it completed the fastest pit stop in Formula One history, changing Max Verstappen’s tires in 1.82 seconds, but the team’s most recent stunt took their skills to new heights – quite literally.

With the help of the Russian Space agency Roscomos, a group of the team’s mechanics completed the world’s first zero-gravity pit stop, on-board a IIyushin II-76K cosmonaut training plane.

Using a 2005 BR1, the team filmed the viral video over the course of a week, enduring seven flights and about 80 parabolas – periods in which the plane climbs 45 degrees before falling again at a ballistic arch of 45 degrees, creating a period of weightlessness for approximately 22 seconds.

With such a short time frame between weightlessness periods, the car and equipment had to be both quickly and safely secured before gravity once again took effect. Each filming lasted roughly 15 seconds, and the stunt was the most physically and technically demanding activity the live demo team had ever undertaken.

“It pushed us harder than I thought it would,” said Red Bull Support Team Mechanic Joe Robinson. “You realize how much you rely on gravity when you don’t have any!

“It challenges you to think and operate in a different way – and that was brilliant. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity and honestly, I could have stayed and done it all month. It was amazing. I think it’s the coolest, most fun thing the Live Demo team has ever done with a show car.”

Though Red Bull was the first team to perform a pit stop in zero gravity, surprisingly Red Bull was not the first team to put a car through zero gravity. In 1999, McLaren driver David Coulthard and his car experienced zero gravity as part of a promotion for then-sponsor West Cigarettes.

Follow Michael Eubanks on Twitter