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The NHRA competition committee today announced changes to qualifying procedures at all NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series events, changes to the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Countdown to the Championship, and also announced an added point-and-a-half scale to the season ending Auto Club NHRA Finals at Pomona, Calif.
Starting this year drivers at the final event of the year in Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle will be racing for increased points that could secure a world championship. The winner of the Auto Club NHRA Finals in each Pro class will claim 150 points; the runner-up will earn 120 points; the semifinalists will earn 90 points apiece; the second-round finishers will earn 60 points each; and the first-round finishers will all claim 30 points.
No more provisional Friday Qualifying: After years of forcing nitro racers to make passes that didn't count, the NHRA has instituted new qualifying procedures for every event this season; qualifying will be based off the quickest 16 elapsed times at the end of each qualifying session. A tip of the Agent’s fedora to the NHRA management for making this change.
Changes to Countdown qualifying: Changes to the NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship will also be in store during the six-race playoff system. The regular season champion will have his or her Countdown points reset to 2,100 while positions two through 10 will again have their points reset on 10-point increments from 2,080 to 2,000.
NHRA also announced a change to qualifying at Countdown events in 2017. If a driver who qualified for the playoffs and is eligible for the championship does not qualify at a Countdown event in which two qualifying sessions were not completed, said driver will be guaranteed a qualifying position in the event’s final 16-car field. That driver will be inserted into the ladder in the position of the non-championship eligible driver with the least amount of points entering the event.
First round money will remain with the original qualifier. Round points will be awarded to the Countdown driver but qualifying points will remain with the original qualifier. [01/11/17]
Agent 1320 has learned that Larry Jeffers of Larry Jeffers Race Cars has sold the ADRL to a Florida businessman who owns several drag racing-based businesses, Jeff Biegun of American Safety Products. The deal was completed in the last week and Jeffers no longer has any stake in theADRL.
Sources tell the Agent that as part of the sale Kenny Nowling would continue to run the series, but would not have any ownership position in the ADRL. The series opening event will be at historic Rockingham Dragway this year. [01/11/17]