NORWALK, Ohio --
Expanding upon the successful double-event format from last season, nearly all of the 2007 races will be doubles. This allows drivers to travel to a scheduled event and compete and earn points for two races, all in one weekend. In addition, two venues will host an event where the points can be counted toward multiple divisions.
"Travel costs are not going down anytime soon, so this format, combined with the sportsman-friendly restructure of the national and Pro-Am points system will provide incredible value to IHRA sportsman competitors and host track operators," said IHRA Vice President of Racing Operations Skooter Peaco. "Creating innovative solutions to help sportsman competitors compete both on the national and Pro-Am level is what makes IHRA uniquely different from the mainstream.
"The best way to measure the success of the double-event concept is by how the competitors responded," added Peaco. "The racers spoke, as we saw substantial car count increases at those events over most single event weekends."
The series kicks-off in Florida, February 10-11, at Immokalee Regional Raceway, the first opportunity for competitors to take advantage of the double-event format. Immokalee Regional Raceway is an award-winning 1/8th-mile track in southern Florida.
"We've created a schedule with proximity and venue-quality in mind," said IHRA Director of Competition and Technical Services Mike Baker. "The tracks making up the schedule are either some of the nicest smaller venues in the country, or current IHRA national event tracks, offering competitors good facilities to race.
"For 2007 we are instituting a new points format for the Pro-Am series that will increase the value of the events and in turn the World Championship as well," added Baker. "Our goal is to continue to provide competitors with flexibility in scheduling and increase the value of the events for our host track operators, competitors and sponsors."
New venues to the schedule include Ohio's Mansfield Motorsports Park and South Carolina's Darlington International Dragway. Darlington's September 1 - 2 event is one in which competitors can earn points in both the Heat Wave and Raiders divisions. The other multiple-division event is at Kanawha Valley Motorsports Park in West Virginia, June 8 - 10.
"As always, we try to keep travel to a minimum for our Pro-Am competitors," said Baker. "This accounts for the double-event format, as well as the two multiple-division races, which are held at tracks located near a shared border between divisions.
The schedule appears below.
2007 IHRA Pro-Am Schedule
Patriots (Division 1)
*April 14 Maryland International Raceway 1/4 *April 15 Maryland International Raceway 1/4 **June 8-10 Kanawha Valley Motorsports Park 1/8 *July 7 Pittsburgh Raceway Park 1/4 *July 8 Pittsburgh Raceway Park 1/4
Heat Wave (Division 2)
*February 10 Immokalee Regional Raceway 1/8 *February 11 Immokalee Regional Raceway 1/8 *May 5 Douglas Motorsports Park 1/8 *May 6 Douglas Motorsports Park 1/8 **September 1-2 Darlington International Dragway 1/8 *September 15 Carolina Dragway 1/8 *September 16 Carolina Dragway 1/8
North Stars (Division 3)
*May 26 US-131 Motorsports Park 1/4 *May 27 US-131 Motorsports Park 1/4 **June 8-10 Kanawha Valley Motorsports Park 1/8 *June 30 Mountain Park Dragway 1/8 *July 1 Mountain Park Dragway 1/8 *July 14 Milan Dragway 1/4 *July 15 Milan Dragway 1/4 *September 22 Mansfield Motorsports Park 1/4 *September 23 Mansfield Motorsports Park 1/4
Renegades (Division 4)
*March 17 San Antonio Raceway 1/4 *March 18 San Antonio Raceway 1/4 *April 28 Tulsa Raceway Park 1/4 *April 29 Tulsa Raceway Park 1/4 *June 23 Pine Valley Raceway Park 1/4 *June 24 Pine Valley Raceway Park 1/4 *August 18 TBA 1/4 *August 19 TBA 1/4
Thunder (Division 5)
To Be Announced
Raiders (Division 9)
March 2-4 Rockingham Dragway 1/8 March 16-18 Farmington Dragway 1/8 March 30-April 1 Mooresville Dragway 1/8 April 27-29 Piedmont Dragway 1/8 **September 1-2 Darlington International Dragway 1/8 September 21-23 Kinston Dragstrip 1/8
* Double Events
** Multiple Division Events