Lucas Oil Raceway in Brownsburg is geared up for the 60th annual U.S. Nationals, which is underway and runs through Labor Day weekend. Don Schumacher Racing Senior Vice President Mike Lewis says more than 100,000 fans, National Hot Rod Association legends and more than 1,000 competitors are expected to be on hand for the anniversary celebration. He says advanced ticket sales are up 15 percent from last year. During an interview on Inside INdiana Business Television, Lewis talked about the economic impact of race teams in central Indiana. He says NHRA racing teams employ around 1,000 people in the region. The iconic event leads up to the series' playoffs.
August 27, 2014
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis will transform into a showcase of drag racing history during the 60th annual Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals, Aug. 27-Sept. 1. The most iconic moments in event history, the drivers that made them, classic cars and more, will be proudly celebrated during the weekend.
On the racetrack, the 60th anniversary Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals will feature intense side-by-side racing at more than 320 mph, as drivers in Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle compete for their share of the $2 million purse and battle for important world championship points. The race is the final regular season stop for the circuit and will establish the top 10 fields for the Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship playoffs. Perhaps more importantly, drivers will compete to earn a permanent spot in NHRA history, as a Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals winner.
During the weeks leading up to the running of the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals, NHRA unveiled six of the most iconic moments in the history of the event that looked back at the thrilling races. During the event, the racers who created the memories will take part in official presentations to honor each of the moments in the Hot Rod Junction on Friday-Sunday of the Indy race weekend.
Six separate presentations will occur and at each of the presentations hosted by legendary NHRA announcer Bob Frey, NHRA will distribute a commemorative milestone hard card to the first 300 fans in attendance at each presentation. These limited edition keepsakes will be a very hot commodity at the event and fans will want to make sure they attend each of the presentations to collect all six.
The Hot Rod Junction, a movie tent, and a special photography exhibit will serve as the epicenter for all of the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals milestone events and will be located in the concourse behind the grandstands on the east side of the track.
60th CHEVROLET PERFORMANCE U.S. NATIONALS SPECIAL EVENTS SCHEDULE
Friday, Aug. 29
Noon, Hot Rod Junction, “Heart Like a Wheel” will be featured in the movie tent
3 p.m., Hot Rod Junction, “Snake and Mongoose” will be featured in the movie tent
5:30 p.m., 60th Main Event Tent, 1970 Top Fuel final between Jim Nicoll and Don Prudhomme. Both Nicoll and Prudhomme will relive the moment when Nicoll’s car exploded at the finish line and fearing the worst for Nicoll, Prudhomme was so shaken at the sight of the crash and resulting wreckage that he said he was through with the sport of drag racing. Upon hearing Nicoll was unscathed, he continued on with his career.
Saturday, Aug. 30
9 a.m., Hot Rod Junction, “Snake and Mongoose” will be featured in the movie tent
11:30 a.m., Hot Rod Junction, “Heart Like a Wheel” will be featured in the movie tent
1:45 p. m., 60th Main Event Tent, Three-time Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals champion (one Top Fuel, two Funny Car) Kenny Bernstein will be recognized as the first double-up winner at Indy. Bernstein earned the double when he won the Big Bud Shootout, an all-star bonus race for the sport’s quickest Funny Car teams, and then raced to the win at Monday’s U.S. Nationals.
2:15 p.m., 60th Main Event Tent, Shirley Muldowney will take center stage to look back at her Indy memories including her 1982 victory, one she called the greatest victory of her outstanding Top Fuel career.
3:25 p.m., Return Road, 60th anniversary Cacklefest
5:30 p.m., 60th Main Event Tent, Fans can take part in a remembrance of the 1978 Funny Car final where Tom McEwen defeated Don Prudhomme just days after McEwen lost his son to Leukemia.
Sunday, Aug. 31
8:30 a.m., Hot Rod Junction, “Snake and Mongoose” will be featured in the movie tent
10:45 a.m., 60th Main Event Tent, The greatest racers in the history of the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals will be honored for their performances at the event. Don Garlits, Tony Schumacher and Bob Glidden, who account for 26 Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals victories, will be feted for the accomplishments.
11:55 a.m., Return Road, 60th anniversary Cacklefest
2 p.m., 60th Main Event Tent, Don Garlits will also be honored for the most historical memory of the event, his 1967 Top Fuel win. Garlits, who vowed to not shave his beard until he posted a performance quicker than seven seconds, not only won the event but dipped into the six-second range for the first time in his career on his wining pass. True to his word, the legendary racer shaved his beard in the winner's circle after the race. Garlits again made a vow this year to not shave until Indy and fans across the country have followed in his #GrowLikeGarlits footsteps, and have put down their razors until Indy. During his presentation on Sunday, the first 500 fans will get a wristband and after the presentation, those with wristbands will be given special access to the starting line area. Garlits, in the original Swamp Rat 11, will parade down the return road and will re-enact his iconic shaving on the starting line in front of all the fans. Barbers will also be available during the course of the weekend to shave fans with proceeds going to charity.
5 p.m., Hot Rod Junction, “Heart Like a Wheel” will be featured in the movie tent
Monday, Sept. 1
8a.m., Hot Rod Junction, “Snake and Mongoose” will be featured in the movie tent
9:30 a.m., Track/Staging Lanes, legendary drivers Tom McEwen, Don Prudhomme, and racing dignitary Linda Vaughn will take part in a special Monday edition of the SealMaster NHRA Track Walk. This is a one of a kind opportunity to visit the track and walk alongside the legends down the historic dragstrip that will later be center stage for thrilling racing action.
To purchase tickets for the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals, fans can contact NHRA’s Ticket Sales Center at (800) 884-NHRA (6472), or get their tickets online at www.NHRATIX.com
Source: National Hot Rod Association, Inside INdiana Business Television