ENNIS, Texas – In all of motorsports, there’s nothing quite like the electric atmosphere produced when a pair of richly-tuned, nitro-burning Top Fuel dragsters cackle at the starting line, awaiting the green light to flash.
The explosive blast that thunders from two 7,000-horsepower dragsters marching side-by-side down the dragstrip is guaranteed to provide an extreme shot of adrenaline to even the most conservative attendees.
One blink and it’s over.
Triangles of fire dance from four sets of header pipes and glimmers of color deflect from all points as flashbulbs from a thousand cameras try to capture the surreal moment. Two dragsters streak off into the distance, leaving only a trail of vapor and thousands of jolted fans in their wake.
For four spectacular days at historic Texas Motorplex, legions of fans who crave 300-mph blasts that last less than five seconds will flock to the sport’s first all-concrete ‘Supertrack’ for the O’Reilly Auto Parts Super Start Batteries NHRA Fall Nationals (Sept. 23-26).
Larry Dixon is a two-time NHRA Top Fuel world champion and drive of the Al-Anabi Racing dragster. Dixon said drag racing leads the way in jaw-dropping performances.
“Drag racing is the ultimate and original extreme sport,” Dixon said. “It’s a sport where two people step up to face each other one-on-one and only one person walks away the winner. We don’t race to be in the top five, we race to win. Sometimes going after the win means the engines that produce 8,000 horsepower catch on fire. Sometimes we crash and sometimes we drive 320 mph. Drag racing is truly, the most extreme sport.”
The NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series event, which will feature competition in Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle, is the third of six races in the Countdown to 1, NHRA’s championship playoffs.
With valuable NHRA Full Throttle Series championship points on the line, this festival of speed will be fierce, as NHRA’s powerbrokers of high-horsepower set their machines for maximum performance. No doubt, fans will be treated to a record-breaking showcase given the list of performances displayed during the sport’s regular season.
National records have been set in every category, while the chase for NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series championship glory is as close as ever.
The Texas Motorplex was the first all-concrete stadium-style drag racing facility ever constructed. Built in 1986, The Texas Motorplex has been the place of many drag racing milestones and world record performances. The Billy Meyer-owned facility hosts a number of racing and car show events between March and November each year and also features the Champions Club – an 11,000 square-foot facility – that serves fully catered events throughout the year.
For schedule and ticket information, please call (800) MOTORPLEX or go online to www.texasmotorplex.com.
25th ANNUAL O’REILLY FALL NATIONALS FACT SHEET
WHAT: DRAG RACING… is the quickest and fastest form of motorsport. Cars exceed speeds of 320 mph. Engines roar with 8,000 horsepower. Flames blast out of the pipes, propelling drivers as quickly as 0-100 mph in less than half a second.
The 25th annual O’Reilly Fall Nationals is an annual race held at the Texas Motorplex in Ennis, Texas. The Motorplex is an all-concrete quarter-mile drag racing facility located in Ennis, Texas. The facility opened in 1986, becoming the first super-stadium built specifically for drag racing. The Motorplex has hosted national event racing since 1986 and has been the site of record-breaking passes, championship-clinching performances and jaw-dropping races.
The 25th annual O’Reilly Fall Nationals will feature some of the biggest names in racing, including John Force, Ashley Force-Hood, Larry Dixon, Tony Schumacher, Greg Anderson and more. The event is the third of six playoff events in the NHRA’s Countdown to 1 championship playoff system.
WHERE: Texas Motorplex, Ennis, Texas. Track is located on Hwy. 287, two miles west of Ennis, between Interstates 35 and 45.
WHEN: September 23-26, 2010.
WINNERS: 1986 winners: Don “Big Daddy” Garlits (TF), Kenny Bernstein (FC), Bob Glidden (PS).
2009 winners: Tony Schumacher (TF), Robert Hight (FC), Greg Anderson (PS).
SCHEDULE: Gates open at 10 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 23 as sportsman qualifying runs between 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Gates open at 8:30 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 24 with sportsman qualifying starting at 8:30 a.m. and professional qualifying at 2:15 and 5:15 p.m.; Gates open at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 25 with sportsman eliminations starting at 8 a.m. and the final two professional qualifying sessions running at 11:15 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.; Gates open at 8:30 a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 26 with pre-race ceremonies starting at 10 a.m. and final professional eliminations starting at 11 a.m.. Complete schedule.
TICKETS: Tickets and merchandise are available 24 hours a day at www.texasmotorplex.com. Adult tickets range from $10-$370. Youth tickets (12 years old and under) range from $5-$33. Call (800) MOTORPLEX for more information.
CONTACT: Texas Motorplex: (972) 878-2641, (800) MOTORPLEX or www.texasmotorplex.com
NHRA Full Throttle champion John Force will be in the DFW area on Monday, Aug. 30 to make a special announcement about the 25th anniversary O’Reilly Auto Parts Super Start Fall Nationals! Stay tuned for details, but be sure and make plans to meet the champ and NHRA legend who is battling for another championship title.
The NHRA Full Throttle Series tour passes through 20 cities in all regions of the United States, bringing its excitement to millions each year. The events are four-day spectacles of color and speed, chrome and flash, ingenuity and engineering. NHRA will be at the famed Texas Motorplex for the 25th anniversary O’Reilly Auto Parts Super Start Fall Nationals, Sept. 23-26, 2010. Want to know what to expect? Here are some quick fun facts about the quickest and fastest form of motorsports on the planet.
Though every NHRA sanctioned track measures the same distance, each venue differs. For the uninitiated, here is what to expect when you head out for a day at the drags.
Unlike a typical three-hour football game or two-hour concert, NHRA drag racing is an all-day affair. The best advice for you as fans might well be the same advice given to the teams you’re coming to watch: Come early, stay late, and be prepared.
As you would for a ball game or a rock concert, plan ahead, beginning with your tickets. Get your tickets early! Go online at www.texasmotorplex.com or call the Motorplex at (800) MOTORPLEX. Buying ahead gives you a better choice of reserved seats, and you never know when you can take advantage of advance-ticket discounts ranging in amount and availability.
OK, you’ve got your tickets and your car is loaded with the essentials — a hat, sunglasses, earplugs, and a blanket (to sit on or bundle up with depending on the weather) — now what? Race-day attendance can be massive, so it’s a good idea to be early. The first round of Top Fuel, Funny Car, and Pro Stock eliminations on Sunday comprises 24 heats: the remainder of elimination rounds consists of 21. And that’s not counting the Pro Stock Motorcycle rounds. Miss the first round, and you’ve missed half the show.
At the end of the day, don’t make a headlong rush for the gates the instant the last nitro car runs. While the majority of the crowd heads for the parking lot, hit the pits, where the teams are relaxing after a long day and likely to be more than accommodating to autograph requests or the opportunity to talk about racing. You can also get up close to the day’s winners at the Full Throttle Winner’s Circle.
Everyone knows that the action on Sunday determines who wins and who loses, but if you attend only the final day, you’ll miss the spectacle and variety of qualifying. At Pomona fans get the chance to see three days of qualifying, with one session on Thursday and Friday and the final two qualifying sessions on Saturday, to set the 16-car fields in each pro category for Sunday. Most other races feature two days of qualifying, on Friday and Saturday, with two sessions each day.
Qualifying is your chance to see all of the cars run, not just the quickest 16. You’ll get to see some of the local cars that run only once or twice a year and are attempting to make the competitive fields in their respective categories. Saturday, you’ll witness the high drama of final qualifying, where drivers have a last chance to fight their way into or are bumped from the field. Track and weather conditions can change from session to session and affect performance, so to get a better idea of how the drivers rate, compare runs made within a single session, not across sessions.
Try watching the races from different spots in the stands. Seeing a race unfold from a finish-line vantage point is a world apart from watching it from the starting line. The difference in the sights and sounds will amaze you.
Drag racing is unique among motorsports because fans have direct access to the teams, watching from as close as five to 10 feet away as the highly-skilled mechanics service their race cars. Hot tip: Some of the most frantic action takes place in the first 30 minutes after a car returns to the pits. If you want a front-row seat to watch the teams at their best, head for the pits a little early. If there’s a major engine meltdown on the track and you don’t mind missing the rest of the action, you can secure a great vantage point in the pit area to watch the hectic engine rebuilding process and probably won’t have to fight as hard for elbowroom.
If you want to get a real feel for the power of a fuel-burning engine, hang out until a team test-fires its engine, generally 45 minutes to an hour before it expects to run. (For run times, click here for the event schedule.) You’ll get a nose full of nitro fumes and a genuine body-shaking thrill whenever the driver taps the throttle.
Every drag strip and every drag race is different. Take the time to scout the track layout, talk to other fans who have attended the race before, and listen to the buzz in the pits. You may well discover your own secrets for taking in an NHRA Full Throttle Series event at the Texas Motorplex.
Full Throttle TV is a trackside digital network that takes fans behind the scenes and in the pits with the drivers and crews of the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series. FTTV which features stories and interviews with the personalities of the NHRA, also can be found online at NHRA.com.