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NHRA restructures Countdown points eligibility rules

The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series competitors in the two premier series may earn their way into the Countdown to the Championship, by one of two ways in 2020.

Funny Car four wide action

As in previous years, the top 10 drivers in each of the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series categories at the conclusion of the NHRA U.S. Nationals will earn positions in the Countdown to the Championship.

New for 2020, drivers in the Mello Yello Drag Racing Series who meet a minimum set of requirements will also earn their place in the playoffs. 

In NHRA’s Top Fuel and Funny Car classes – collectively referred to as “Nitro” classes – drivers who compete at all 18 events in the regular season and run a minimum of two qualifying sessions at each event will also earn their place in the playoffs.

In Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle, drivers who compete at all 13 or 11 events respectively, in the regular season and run a minimum of two qualifying sessions at each event will get to compete for the championship in five events throughout the Countdown to the Championship.

Those who secure a position in the Countdown to the Championship will have their NHRA Mello Yello points adjusted at the conclusion of the NHRA U.S. Nationals.

In the Nitro categories, first and second place will be separated by 20 points and each consecutive position will be separated by a 10-point differential. In Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle, first and second place will be separated by 20 points while second through fifth place will be separated by 10 points and all following positions will be separated by five points.

Accumulation of points will remain the same, with points-and-a-half rewarded at the Auto Club NHRA Finals. The top ten drivers at the conclusion of the Countdown to the Championship will be recognized at NHRA’s annual awards banquet.

NHRA officials made this change in order to better reward driver endurance and encourage participation in regular season events.

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