The Professional Racers Owners Organization (PRO), in partnership with Drag Illustrated and Bradenton Motorsports Park, announced today the inaugural PRO Superstar Shootout, a high-stakes, big-money race featuring the stars of Top Fuel, Funny Car, and Pro Stock. Set for February 8-10, 2024, at Bradenton Motorsports Park, the PRO Superstar Shootout will pay out more than $1.3 million in total prize money, with $250,000 going to the Top Fuel and Funny Car winners, and $125,000 to the Pro Stock winner. The entire event will be streamed live via FloRacing, the official livestreaming coverage partner.
“We believe this is a dramatic new leap for professional drag racing,” said Alan Johnson, President, PRO. “The PRO Superstar Shootout will be unlike anything our teams have been a part of, and the result will be a one-of-a-kind show for our fans. This is an opportunity to try some new formats and to showcase our sport to a broad audience worldwide. Whether fans are joining us in-person or tuning in from home through the FloRacing livestream, they’re going to see the best professional drivers and teams in the sport compete in a different way. It’s going to be very exciting to take the expected boost of energy from this action-packed weekend into the start of the 2024 NHRA Drag Racing season.”
PRO partnered with Drag Illustrated to bring the Superstar Shootout to life after seeing the success of the $100,000-to-win Drag Illustrated World Series of Pro Mod at Bradenton in March. Drag Illustrated has now held seven Pro Mod-centric events, with two of those also featuring 500-cubic-inch Pro Stock. The PRO Superstar Shootout will be the group’s first foray into nitro racing.
“This is an extremely exciting time for the sport of drag racing,” said Wes Buck, Founder and Editorial Director, Drag Illustrated. “This is a sport that runs on passion. Many things have contributed to its success over some 70 years of organized history, but nothing more so than the unique passion of these racers. We’re excited to match the passion of those racers on the event production and promotion side of the equation. We believe the time is right for the ultimate in drag racing events. We are going to do things a little different with the PRO Superstar Shootout and that’s exciting.”
The PRO Superstar Shootout will also be the first time Bradenton Motorsports Park has hosted an event with 11,000-horsepower Top Fuel dragsters and Funny Cars. Located on Florida’s Gulf Coast, the historic facility plays host to one of the longest running independent events in drag racing, the Snowbird Outlaw Nationals, as well as the U.S. Street Nationals, FL2K, and more. It’s also a favorite for Pro Stock and Pro Modified teams looking to test over the offseason.
“It’s a really big deal to bring an event of this magnitude to Bradenton,” said Victor Alvarez, track owner, Bradenton Motorsports Park. “This has been a goal that we’ve worked towards, myself and Wade Rich [Dragway Operations Director] and Dave Lansberry [Track Manager]. We’ve all said we want to get to a point where we can host a race like this and have cars that people only really see on TV. It’s really cool for our local fans. Pro Mod has always been our thing, but to see some of these names and some of these cars at a small, hometown track like this is just really cool. It’s rewarding. It feels like all the upgrades we’ve done and a couple of years of just working really hard to have really good events is paying off.”
The PRO Superstar Shootout will be an invitation-only race, with invitees to be announced very soon. Drivers will run four qualifying sessions to determine the eight-car fields in Top Fuel and Funny Car and the 16-car field in Pro Stock. Random chip draws will determine the pairings for all rounds of eliminations up to the final rounds. The complete event will be streamed live on FloRacing, which will also produce driver and team features to run during downtime.
“We plan to bring a level of promotion and production value to this event that has not been seen before in drag racing,” Buck said. “I truly believe nothing is the same in the sport of drag racing after that second weekend in February. Our goal is to create destination events that are far more than drag races alone. This is something that will have a tremendous impact on our sport, its history, and its trajectory. Above all else, I’m humbled at the opportunity to work with true difference makers in drag racing like Alan Johnson, Michelle Domagala, Chad Head, Richard Freeman, Paul Lee, Tony Stewart, Bob Tasca III, Steve Torrence, Scott “Woody” Woodruff, and others to put on what I believe will be the biggest drag race in the world.”
Teams competing in the PRO Superstar Shootout will have the opportunity to test at Bradenton starting Tuesday, February 6, through Thursday, February 8. Qualifying will kick off with one session on Thursday night and three sessions on Friday, February 9. Eliminations are set for Saturday, February 10.