The International Hot Rod Association (IHRA) announced Nov. 21, it will be returning to national event-style drag racing for its sportsman competitors beginning in 2015 with increased payouts, contingency and prestige at Nitro Jam Drag Racing Series (NJDRS) events across North America.
The 2015 edition of the IHRA Nitro Jam Drag Racing Series will return to the look and feel of traditional national event-style class racing for competitors in Top Sportsman, Top Dragster, Super Stock, Stock, Quick Rod, Super Rod (above) and Hot Rod.
The national event class racing program will feature a single race contested during the weekend with an increase in purse and contingency, a welcome change for racers, sponsors and fans.
“We are getting very positive responses from our contingency sponsors when we tell them we are getting back to the old IHRA sportsman racing structure at most of the NJDRS events” said Dan Driscoll, IHRA Contingency Director. “This is certainly an exciting time as the IHRA continues its journey back to its roots while bringing racers back into the national spotlight at IHRA Nitro Jam events.”
Qualifying for sportsman racers during Nitro Jam weekends will be held on Friday and Saturday, with eliminations beginning immediately following final qualifying. Sunday will be reserved for completing the event if weather prevents competition from being concluded on Saturday. The sportsman national event program will be contested at the NJDRS events in Tucson, San Antonio, Bradenton, Palm Beach, Cordova, Budds Creek, Grand Bend, Martin and West Salem.
In addition to the increased purse and contingency program, each of these sportsman national events will count as one Summit Pro-Am Tour divisional points claim. The Tucson and Cordova races will be “Wild Card” events where all competitors may use that event as an in-division points claim. A double-race weekend with Summit Pro-Am Tour point claims on both events will be held in Division 6 during the Edmonton and Spokane events. The top three in Summit Pro-Am Tour points at the end of the season will again meet at the Summit Racing Equipment World Finals at Memphis International Raceway to race for the National Championship.
The new NJDRS national event payout structure has increased significantly across the board for the seven Summit Pro-Am classes and will be divided as follows: Top Sportsman and Top Dragster will receive $2,000 for an event win and $1,000 for runner-up. Second round winners will receive $200, with each additional round winner receiving $100 per round win. Competitors in Super Stock, Stock, Quick Rod, Super Rod and Hot Rod will receive $1,500 for an event win with $900 for runner-up. All classes will receive $150 starting with a second round win with $50 increases for each remaining round won.
“We hope that the increase in event payout will solidify our position to our Pro-Am competitors. We are committed to doing everything within our control to make the racing at IHRA events a viable alternative when you are determining your racing plans for 2015,” said Mike Baker, IHRA Senior Director of Racing Operations.
(Photo courtesy IHRA.com)