Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals stays intact as NHRA revises 2020 Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule

The Mello Yello Drag Racing Series at Brainerd International Raceway’s Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals was left intact after the NHRA revised the 2020 series schedule in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

NHRA officials today announced revisions to the series’ schedule, which is tentatively planned to resume June 5-7 with the Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gaternationals in Florida. The revised schedule consists of 17 events, with six of them being shortened to two-day competition schedules for the Mello Yello Drag Racing Series classes due to economic and logistical factors, the NHRA said in a news release. The NHRA has two open weekends for make-up dates in case there are further delays. The entire schedule is on the NHRA’s website: www.NHRA.com.

BIR’s Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals was one of the events that was unaffected by the NHRA’s changes. The event is still scheduled for Aug. 13-16 and will include three days of Mello Yello Drag Racing Series action, which features Top Fuel Dragster and Funny Car classes. This year’s lineup does not include Pro Stock or Pro Stock Motorcycle. It did include the return of the Mickey Thompson Tires Top Fuel Harley class and the debut of the E3 Spark Plugs Pro Mod Series and the Mountain Motor Pro Stock classes. The NHRA says that revised schedules for the Top Fuel Harleys, Pro Mod, Mountain Motor and Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series (Sportsman classes) will be announced soon.  

“This is great news for our fans who have been concerned that a shortened NHRA season could be bad news for our Nationals event,” BIR Owner Kristi Copham said. “We’re not out of the woods yet in terms of the COVID-19 outbreak, but we can feel a little more reassured that the stars of the NHRA will be in Brainerd in August for our signature race. That’s great news.”

For the time being, all NHRA-sanctioned drag racing series competition is suspended. At BIR, that includes the Bracket Drag Racing Series, which starts May 1-3; the NAPA Street Legals, which starts April 29; and the Muscle Car Series, which starts Memorial Day weekend with the Street Car Showdown. 

“Our schedule starts April 18-19, so we’re watching the situation very closely and have contingency plans in place,” Copham said. “We’re hoping that the impact on our season will be minimal and that we’ll be racing before summer gets here. We ask everyone to be patient, be safe and follow all federal and state guidelines in terms of social distancing and unnecessary contact with others.”

BIR’s entire 2020 race schedule, along with details and ticket prices, is on its website, at www.BrainerdRaceway.com, and on its free app.