WHERE: Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis, Brownsburg, Ind. From I-465, exit Crawfordsville Road (Hwy. 136). Head west for four miles past downtown Clermont. The facility's main entrance is on the left, one-half mile past Raceway Road. From I-74 go south on Ronald Reagan Parkway, exit 68 and turn south. Turn east on U.S. 136 and entrance on the track will be on the right.
COURSE: Championship dragstrip; Track elevation is 700 feet above sea level; Track direction is south to north.
WHEN: Wednesday, Aug. 27 through Monday, Sept. 1.
THURSDAY, Aug. 28 - LUCAS OIL SERIES qualifying and Class eliminations
FRIDAY, Aug. 29 - LUCAS OIL SERIES (featuring Mopar HEMI Challenge)
SATURDAY, Aug. 30 - LUCAS OIL SERIES qualifying and eliminations
SUNDAY, Aug. 31 - LUCAS OIL SERIES qualifying and eliminations
MONDAY, Sept. 1 - Pre-race ceremonies, 9:45 a.m.
2013 EVENT WINNERS: Shawn Langdon, Top Fuel; Robert Hight, Funny Car; Mike Edwards, Pro Stock; John Hall, Pro Stock Motorcycle;
MOST VICTORIES: Tony Schumacher, Top Fuel, 9; Bob Glidden, Pro Stock, 9; Don Garlits, Top Fuel, 8; Don Prudhomme, Top Fuel and Funny Car, 7; Warren Johnson, Pro Stock, 6; Dave Schultz, Pro Stock Motorcycle, 6; Ed McCulloch, Funny Car and Top Fuel, 6; Greg Anderson, Pro Stock, 6; John Force, Funny Car, 4; Larry Dixon, Top Fuel, 4.
EVENT HISTORY: The most historic and prestigious event in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals has been contested annually since 1955. Originally known as "The Nationals" and first held at an abandoned airstrip in Great Bend, Kan., the event made stops at Kansas City, Mo., Oklahoma City and Detroit before eventually moving to Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis in 1961. Past winners include "Big Daddy" Don Garlits, an eight-time winner in Top Fuel; Shirley Muldowney, 1982 Top Fuel winner; Don "The Snake" Prudhomme, a seven-time winner and one of a handful of drivers to win the event in both Top Fuel and Funny Car; and Bob Glidden, the legendary Pro Stock driver who dominated the race by advancing to the final round in 13 consecutive seasons from 1977-'89. The Indiana native won the event a record nine times, a mark he shares with current Top Fuel driver Tony Schumacher. It is the only major motorsports event to be contested on Labor Day.
FAST FACTS: The Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals is the final of 18 regular season Mello Yello Series races. Following the conclusion of this event the top 10 drivers in each Mello Yello Series category will qualify for the Countdown to the Championship, NHRA's six-race playoffs that begin Sept. 12-14 at zMAX Dragway in Charlotte, N.C.. The Traxxas Nitro Shootout will offer $100,000 to the winners in special bonus events for qualified Top Fuel and Funny Car drivers. Tony Schumacher is an 11-time U.S. Nationals finalist in Top Fuel (winning nine). Schumacher's first career NHRA start came at the U.S. Nationals in 1996 and the then rookie posted a runner-up finish to Cory McClenathan. John Force, 16-time NHRA Mello Yello Series world champion and winner of a record 141 events, has won the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals four times, his last coming in 2002. Three women have earned Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals victories, including Shirley Muldowney once in Top Fuel, Ashley Force Hood twice in Funny Car and Angelle Sampey twice in Pro Stock Motorcycle. Pro Stock's Bob Glidden and Top Fuel's Tony Schumacher are the winningest drivers in the history of the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals, with nine victories each. Kenny Bernstein, Don Prudhomme, Jim Head and Ed McCulloch have won the race in both Top Fuel and Funny Car, while Antron Brown has also won the race in multiple MYDRS classes, Top Fuel and Pro Stock Motorcycle. The event also will feature competition in the NHRA Lucas Oil Series and the NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series, featuring high-horsepower machines that accelerate to more than 250 mph.
WHAT TO WATCH: The Traxxas Nitro Shootout will offer $100,000 to the winners in special bonus events for qualified Top Fuel and Funny Car drivers. Tony Schumacher is seeking a record 10th Top Fuel victory at the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals. A victory by Schumacher would break a tie with Pro Stock's Bob Glidden for most Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals victories. Four-time Pro Stock world champion Greg Anderson is seeking his seventh Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals victory. A driver from John Force Racing has earned the Funny Car victory at this event each season since 2008, including Robert Hight last season and in '08, Ashley Force Hood in '09 and '10 and Mike Neff in '11 and '12. Seven female drivers representing all four Mello Yello Series categories are pre-entered for the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals. Several high-profile drivers are looking for their first victory in the world's most prestigious drag race, including two-time Indy runner-up and current series points leader Doug Kalitta in Top Fuel, Matt Hagan, Ron Capps, Jack Beckman and Tony Pedregon in Funny Car, defending world champ Allen Johnson in Pro Stock, and three-time Pro Stock Motorcycle world champ Eddie Krawiec. Drivers in several Mello Yello Series categories who are on the bubble to make it into the top 10 in points, including J.R. Todd, Bob Vandergriff and Clay Millican in Top Fuel, Tim Wilkerson and Jack Beckman in Funny Car, Greg Anderson and Jonathan Gray in Pro Stock and Steve Johnson, Adam Arana and Jerry Savoie in Pro Stock Motorcycle, will be trying to earn every point possible to secure their berths into the Countdown to the Championship, NHRA's six-race postseason playoffs.
TRACK HISTORY: In 1958, led by Tom Binford, Frank Dickie, Rodger Ward and Howard Fieber, 15 Indianapolis-area businessmen and racing professionals invested $5,000 each to fund the development of what would become Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis. The group purchased a 267-acre farm about seven miles from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and developed a multipurpose auto racing facility. The original intention in creating Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis was to design a 15-turn, 2.5-mile road course. Nearly as an afterthought, and as an insurance measure against economic problems, the investment group decided to incorporate a quarter-mile drag strip into the long straightaway of the 2.5-mile road course design. Constructed with assistance from the NHRA, the drag strip was the first of the three courses to be completed, with the facility's first event held on the strip in the fall of 1960. During the 1960 U.S. Nationals in Detroit, a handshake agreement between Binford and NHRA founder Wally Parks promised that the event would move to Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis in 1961. The historic three-year pact was signed and sealed under a tree in Detroit Dragway's pits, and Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis eventually became the home of NHRA's biggest annual event. The NHRA purchased the entire facility in 1979. The first major improvement came in 1983 with the construction and dedication of Parks Tower, the four-story drag strip tower. In 1998, new grandstands, suites and a tower complex on the front straightaway were completed at the oval track at a cost of nearly $2.5 million, which included the repaving of the entire oval surface as part of a three-phase facility improvement project. In 2001, NHRA and Lucas Oil Raceway constructed a new drag strip racing surface, replacing the strip with a 660-foot concrete pad and laying new asphalt on the remainder of the track and shutdown area. Prior to the 2003 race, eight new luxury suites were added along the top of the west-side grandstands of the drag strip, giving fans a unique perspective of the action on the famed track. In 2006, new soft barrier walls were added to the oval. In 2007, the track announced its first track entitlement with O'Reilly Auto Parts. In 2011, the track announced a new track entitlement with Lucas Oil Products. The track - formerly known as Indianapolis Raceway Park - is now known as Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis. During the winter of 2008, a new main track office building was constructed near the track entrance.
TICKETS: For tickets call (800) 884-NHRA (6472). Tickets also are available online at www.NHRAtix.com.