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Virginia NHRA Nationals Set to Showcase Two-Day Race Format in Action-Packed Weekend

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After a year away from Virginia Motorsports Park, NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series teams are eager to return to the standout facility for a unique two-day event format featuring three qualifying rounds on Saturday for the upcoming Virginia NHRA Nationals on June 22-23.

For the first time in NHRA history, all professional categories (Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle) will take part in three qualifying sessions on Saturday, leading into eliminations on Sunday at the ninth of 20 races during the 2024 season.

As part of a loaded two days, fans will get the chance to see 11,000-horsepower, 330-mph nitro machines in action three times on Saturday, as well as the thrilling Mission #2Fast2Tasty Challenge for the first time. The specialty race brings competitive racing to Saturday qualifying to Richmond – as well as a bonus purse and bonus points – and will take part during the final two qualifying sessions on Saturday before all the NHRA stars look to win on Sunday on one of the top track surfaces on the NHRA tour.

The 2022 Virginia NHRA Nationals saw Brittany Force (Top Fuel), Robert Hight (Funny Car) and Matt Smith (Pro Stock Motorcycle) take home titles. This year, the event will again be broadcast on FS1, with shows on Saturday and Sunday.

Force, a two-time Top Fuel world champion, claimed the Virginia NHRA Nationals back in 2022, obliterating track records in the process. While she is still seeking her first win of the 2024 season, she’ll be ready to hit the track and take on the other competitors in the class including points leader Justin Ashley, Shawn Langdon, reigning champion Doug Kalitta and former champs Steve Torrence and Antron Brown. Fans at VMP can also watch racing legend Tony Stewart make his Richmond Top Fuel debut.

Austin Prock took over Funny Car driving duties for Hight at the start of the 2024 season and has enjoyed instant success, picking up an event win from Phoenix and four No. 1 qualifiers so far this season. He’ll look to keep rolling along in an absolutely loaded field that features Virginia native and points leader Matt Hagan, 16-time world champion John Force, Gainesville winner J.R. Todd, Bob Tasca III, three-time world champion Ron Capps, Alexis DeJoria, Daniel Wilkerson and Paul Lee.

Returning to Virginia in 2024 is the Pro Stock category, which is led by points leader Dallas Glenn. He won the most recent race in Chicago, but there’s a host of standout competitors, including reigning and six-time world champion Erica Enders, five-time champs Greg Anderson and Jeg Coughlin Jr. as well as standouts like Aaron Stanfield, Cristian Cuadra, Troy Coughlin Jr., Matt Hartford, Jerry Tucker and Deric Kramer.

Former Pro Stock Motorcycle champion Smith will be seeking another win from Virginia Motorsports Park. In 2022, he took down Steve Johnson to take home the Wally. Last year saw the reign of current champion Gaige Herrera. He won 11 races last year and is undefeated so far this season, with three race wins to his credit. Others to watch include Chase Van Sant, Angie Smith, Hector Arana Jr. and Richard Gadson.

Back again in Richmond will be the Congruity NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by LearnEV+. The fan-favorite class will take to the track in their doorslamming hot rods and will be joined by top competitors in the Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, the Pingel NHRA Top Fuel Motorcycle Series and Johnson’s Horsepowered Garage Mountain Motor Pro Stock, providing non-stop entertainment all weekend long in Richmond.

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Fans will also be invited all weekend long to the Nitro Alley Stage, which is the main entertainment hub in the pits, hosting Nitro School, meet and greets, music and much more. Race fans at Virginia Motorsports Park can enjoy the special pre-race ceremonies that introduce and celebrate each of the drivers racing for the prestigious Wally on Sunday and includes the fan favorite SealMaster Track Walk. The final can’t-miss experience of any NHRA event is the winner’s circle celebration on Sunday after racing concludes, where fans are invited to congratulate the event winners.

As always, fans also get an exclusive pit pass to the most powerful and sensory-filled motorsports attraction on the planet in Richmond. This opportunity gives fans a unique chance to see teams in action and service their hot rods between rounds, get autographs from their favorite NHRA drivers, and more. Fans can also visit NHRA’s popular Nitro Alley and Manufacturers Midway, an exciting atmosphere that includes interactive displays, merchandise, food and fun for the entire family.

NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series qualifying features three rounds of action on Saturday, June 22 at 11:00 a.m., 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. ET, with eliminations beginning at 12 p.m. on Sunday, June 23.

Television coverage begins Saturday with a qualifying recap at 1 p.m. ET then with a second show on Sunday at 1 p.m. Finals coverage starts at 5 p.m. on Sunday on FS1.

To purchase tickets to the Virginia NHRA Nationals on June 22-23 at Virginia Motorsports Park, visit https://nhra.com/tickets. All children 12 and under will be admitted free in the general admission area with a paid adult. For more information about NHRA, including the full 2024 schedule, visit www.NHRA.com.

This story was originally published on May 24, 2024. Drag Illustrated

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