Serious drag racing fans already have marked their calendars and made arrangements to attend one of the most exciting events of the year: the 10th annual NHRA Las Vegas Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. For a variety of reasons, the Halloween weekend nitrofest is one no one should miss.
The Oct. 29-Nov. 1 national event is the next-to-last race on the 2009 NHRA Full Throttle Racing Series calendar and is crucial in the quest for Top Fuel Dragster, Funny Car, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Bike championships.
Twenty-two Top Fuel Dragster entries have registered so far for the NHRA Las Vegas Nationals. Defending Top Fuel Dragster champion Tony Schumacher is locked in a fierce battle with Antron Brown and Larry Dixon for the 2009 title. Schumacher returns to Las Vegas after winning the NHRA SummitRacing.com Nationals in April and is determined to sweep The Strip at LVMS’ 2009 Top Fuel titles.
The Top Fuel category will take on an international flavor at the NHRA Las Vegas Nationals as Australia’s David Grubnic returns to the Full Throttle Series and is joined by Switzerland’s Urs Ehrbacher and Dutch racer Lex Joon.
Grubnic became the first non-North American driver to win an NHRA national event after earning the coveted Wally trophy in 2005 at Topeka, Kans.
Joon, the Netherlands’ most successful drag racer, won the FIA European Top Fuel Championship in 2005 and will launch his U.S. tour in Las Vegas.
“This opportunity is not only a dream-come-true for me but it also is the next step in my career,” explained Joon. “There is not a much better place to start your NHRA career then in Las Vegas.”
Ehrbacher – without a doubt the most colorful of the trio – is the 2007 FIA European Top Fuel champion and no stranger to the bright lights of Las Vegas.
The icing on the Top Fuel cake, of course, will be the appearance of Chris “The Golden Greek” Karamesines. Karamesines, who began racing in the 1950s, recently turned 80 and will attempt to qualify for the 16-car Top Fuel field.
Seventeen Funny Car teams have filed entries for the Las Vegas national event. The battle for Funny Car supremacy is intense as 2007 champion Tony Pedregon, Ashley Force-Hood and most recent Las Vegas victor Ron Capps all have their eyes on professional drag racing’s ultimate prize.
The reasonably-priced event weekend also appeals to families: many take advantage of the Oct. 30 Nevada Day holiday to spend the entire day at the track and return the following morning for Halloween trick-or-treating in the pits while the biggest names in professional drag racing burn up the drag strip at speeds in excess of 300 mph.
NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series returns to Las Vegas twice in 2010
Looking ahead, The Strip at LVMS again will host two NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series events in 2010. The NHRA SummitRacing.com Nationals will take place on April 16-18 and the NHRA NHRA Las Vegas Nationals are slated for Oct. 28-31. The spring event will feature fireworks and also will mark the return of nighttime qualifying sessions.
Fifth annual Pro Stock Showdown, Supreme Sportsman Series and pro testing
The fifth annual Las Vegas Pro Stock Showdown will take place Feb. 5-6. The event – the biggest pre-season professional drag racing competition in the country – also will include the first-ever Las Vegas Supreme Sportsman Series with racers in Super Comp, Super Gas, Top Dragster and Top Sportsman categories competing for record purses.
The inaugural Las Vegas Supreme Sportsman Series offers sportsman-category racers the opportunity to compete for purses that far exceed any paydays awarded at the divisional and national- event level. The possibility of a $12,000-to-win payday is attracting attention from racers from across the U.S. and Canada.
The Feb. 5-6 event also will include professional testing for Funny Car, Top Fuel Dragster, Top Alcohol Dragster, Top Alcohol Funny Car and Pro Stock Motorcycle classes.
To purchase tickets or obtain additional information, please call LVMS at (702) 644-4444 or visit www.LVMS.com. Follow LVMS on Twitter and Facebook.