The NHRA (National Hot Rod Association) announced the 2021 season schedule on Wednesday afternoon and features a 23-race calendar, one race short of the usual 24 events that have been seen in recent years.
The 2021 season will open with the 52nd annual Gatornationals in Gainesville, Florida scheduled for March 11-14. The season will end with the return of the Pomona Nationals at Auto Club on the weekend of November 11-14. The Pomona Nationals was missing from the schedule this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We can’t say enough to thank the loyal NHRA fans who have stuck with us during the trying times of the 2020 season,” said NHRA President Glen Cromwell. “We are grateful to you. All of us at the NHRA look forward to a full season of drag racing in 2021. Thank
you to our fans, racers, and partners for your continued support and cooperation.”
The qualifying formats for these races were also announced as well.
For the 17 races, NHRA will use three-day qualifying sessions on Friday and Saturday with eliminations taking place on Sunday. In addition, NHRA plans to use a two-day format for five races with qualifying on Saturday and eliminations on Sunday. This was the same format used when the NHRA season was restarted back in July.
Included on the 2021 schedule are Atlanta, Pomona I, Phoenix, Richmond and Seattle which will have three-day events followed by two qualifying sessions for the NHRA Camping World Series. While a different format for qualifying is being used currently, NHRA is expected to return to four qualifying runs at some point in their schedule.
Some of the tracks returning to the schedule are Topeka, Houston and Epping. These events were not run in 2020 as they were canceled due to COVID-19.
It is expected that Top Fuel and Funny Car classes will race all of the races on the schedule while the Pro Stock Motorcycle class is scheduled to compete in 16 races. The Pro Stock class will have an 18-race schedule in their category.
Other schedules announced included the E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series. The class returns to their normal 12-race schedule. NHRA Top Fuel Harley Series has a 10-race schedule while the Factory Stock Showdown will have eight races during the 2021 season. Three of these classes will be contested at the season opener in Gainesville.
Finally, the Mountain Pro Stock Class announced a six-race schedule that begins at Richmond, slated for the June 4-6 weekend.
For more information regarding the 2021 NHRA schedule, fans can visit nhra.com.