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Mon, 13 May 2013, 15:16 PM

NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Returns to Heartland Park Topeka
Courtesy of NHRA Communications

For the 25th NHRA Kansas Nationals

TOPEKA, Kan. --

Johnson, Grubnic and Beckman
celebrate wins last year.
Photo copyright 2013 Auto Imagery, Inc.
The spectacular high-speed racing excitement of the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series thunders into Heartland Park Topeka for the 25th annual NHRA Kansas Nationals, May 17-19. The eighth event of the 24-race season will feature competition in the Top Fuel, Funny Car, and Pro Stock categories.

NHRA is providing a great opportunity for Kansas families to get up close and personal with the NHRA's personable drivers and experience the amazing sensory experience of watching their favorite race cars on the track with a special ticket offer: Children 12 and younger will be admitted free into general admission areas at the NHRA Kansas Nationals when accompanied by a paid adult.

All of the biggest stars in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series will be revved up to compete at the site of many record-breaking performances throughout NHRA history. The 2012 winners of this event were David Grubnic (Top Fuel), Jack Beckman (Funny Car), and Allen Johnson (Pro Stock). The thrilling race action will once again be televised on ESPN2 and ESPN2HD.

Grubnic at Atlanta last weekend.
Photo Courtesy Kalitta Motorsports
The native Australian Grubnic, who last season hoisted his first Wally trophy since 2006 in Topeka, will try to add a third victory at the event to his resume. He will be challenged by series leader Tony Schumacher, defending world champ Antron Brown, last season's runner-up Spencer Massey, Morgan Lucas, Doug Kalitta and Brandon Bernstein, among others.

In Funny Car, Beckman is in the hunt to defend his event win and his world championship crown, but will face a tough lineup of competitors including two-time Topeka winner Robert Hight, sophomore-sensation Courtney Force, and NAPA Dodge driver Ron Capps, who is a three-time Topeka winner, working hard to claim the victory.

Reigning Pro Stock world champion Allen Johnson in his Team Mopar Dodge Avenger is building steam with two early season wins and is eager to get back to Topeka to try and defend his victory from last year. Johnson will have to battle with some tough contenders in the 200-mph factory hot rod category including Summit Racing Chevy Camaro driver Greg Anderson, a four time Topeka winner, and Erica Enders-Stevens, who has some early season momentum following an early season victory in Arizona and runner-up finishes in Las Vegas and Charlotte, N.C.

Drivers sign autographs
at Speed Fest last year.
Photo copyright 2013 NHRA
To kick off the Kansas Nationals, fans will also be treated to a sneak preview of the action during the annual Speed Fest on Thursday, May 16, noon to 7 p.m. in the heart of downtown Topeka, at 8th Avenue and Kansas Avenue. This free event will provide fans the opportunity to see some amazing cars on display and meet some of the biggest NHRA stars for autographs including Robert Hight, Brandon Bernstein, Shawn Langdon, Morgan Lucas, Allen Johnson, and Erica Enders-Stevens to name a few. Autograph sessions will be held from 6-7 p.m.

As always, fans will have the opportunity to interact with their favorite drivers as they're granted an exclusive pit pass to the most accessible motorsports attraction on the planet.

NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series qualifying will begin on Friday, May 17, with sessions at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. The final two qualifying sessions will take place Saturday, May 18, at 12:15 and 2:30 p.m. Final eliminations will begin at 11 a.m. on Sunday, May 19.

To purchase tickets, please call (800) 884-NHRA (6472). Tickets are also available online at For more information about NHRA, please visit

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