The big announcement was that starting with this 56th NHRA Mello Yellow Winternationals and including the 2016 NHRA Mello Yellow Drag Racing Series, the races will be televised by Fox Sports 1(FS1). Fox will be providing coverage for the next several years.
There are more changes. The Pro Stock class has new rules that will help the factory doorslammers recapture their fan appeal. Backup runs are no longer required for NHRA national records.
In July 2015 the fourth president of the NHRA was announced, Peter Clifford. He clearly has a new vision for America’s number two motorsport. The new TV deal should help elevate the sport even further.
During the 2016 Season the NHRA celebrated 50 years of the Funny Car. At this particular event the “Hot Rod Junction” had many nostalgia Funny Cars on display. The legends participated in a Q&A session and an autograph session. In addition, several nostalgia Funny Cars made exhibition runs, thrilling the crowd with long, Smokey burnouts.
The weekend weather was great with temperatures in the mid to high 70s. That was truly fortunate given that only four days later it rained.
The wheel standing Stock Eliminator’s & Super Stock’s were a very moving show. As usual, fans had the opportunity to interact with their favorite drivers as their ticket was an exclusive pit pass to the most powerful motorsports attraction on the planet. And along Nito Alley, food vendors were packed with families goings-on.
Editor’s Note: A version of this article first appeared in the June 2016 print issue of the Drive Magazine.