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

NHRA
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

X44 Racing win 2022 Extreme E championship as Abt Cupra score first race victory

2022 Extreme E Uruguay
Extreme E
0 Comments

Abt Cupra Racing’s Nasser Al-Attiyah and Klara Andersson scored their first win in the Extreme E Energy X Prix in the 2022 finale in Uruguay as Lewis Hamilton’s X44 Vida Carbon Racing drivers Sebastien Loeb and Cristina Gutierrez survived a chaotic finale to edge the 2021 champion Rosberg X Prix team of Johan Kristoffersson and Mikhaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky, by two points.

“There are so many emotions,” Andersson said in Extreme E’s coverage. “I’ve been waiting for this for so long. In my second race, first full weekend to be at the top of the podium: it’s big.”

Andersson was behind the wheel at the finish.

Rosberg Racing entered the event with a 17-point advantage over X44, but the standings were close enough that four teams remained in contention in Round 5.

“It’s a crucial weekend for us,” Loeb said in Extreme E’s coverage prior to the race. “We are not in the best position to win the championship, but the only thing we can do is try to win the race and score as many points as possible.”

The top two title contenders each crashed in qualification and were relegated to the Crazy Race, Extreme E’s version of the Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ). For the moment, they had the steepest hill to climb, but then the other two championship contending teams, Chip Ganassi Racing and Acciona Sainz Racing failed to advance from their heats.

Only one team advances from the Crazy Race, so the X44 drivers were in a must-win situation to simply keep hope alive.

More: Extreme E 2023 schedule

Ahlin-Kottulinsky and Gutierrez ran wheel to wheel into the first turn at the start of the LCQ.

The Rosberg racer experienced crash damage in that turn that damaged her front steering, but managed to limp back to the pits at the end of her two-lap stint. The team attempted to fix the steering, but incurred a penalty for having too many mechanics in the pit area.

Meanwhile, Gutierrez took the early lead, but knew she would need to sit through a five-second penalty for an incident earlier in the weekend. The female half of the gender equal pair erased the penalty by entering the Switch Zone with a five-second lead before turning the car over to Loeb.

That was all the nine-time World Rally Championship titlist needed to give him the advantage needed to win the Crazy Race.

But the championship was not over yet. X44 Racing needed to finish third or better in the five-car finale to earn enough points for the title and after advancing from the LCQ, they were forced to take the worst grid position.

A chaotic start to the Finale saw Loeb run as high the lead and low as fourth after getting pushed off course during his first lap. And that is how he entered to Switch Zone.

On her first lap, Gutierrez slammed into Molly Taylor. With one lap remaining, X44 and Gutierrez were still in fourth and the title hope was quickly evaporating, but it was announced halfway through the lap that the third-running Andretti United team would suffer a penalty for a Switch Zone infraction. The seven-second deduction for Timmy Hansen braking too late in the zone made the difference in the title.

Coming off a disappointing Copper X Prix when Tanner Foust and Emma Gilmour crossed under the checkers first, but were relegated to fifth by penalty, the McLaren pair scored their first podium of the season in second.