The National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) is a drag racing governing body in the United States and Canada. It currently has over 40,000 drivers in its rooster and is thus one of the world´s largest sanctioning bodies for motorsports.
The NHRA sets rules in drag racing and hosts events in the United States and Canada. There are over one hundred NHRA member tracks found cross the United States, and the NHRA currently leases the Auto Club Raceway at Pomona in California, the Gainesville Raceway in Florida, and the Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway in Indiana.
- The NHRA U.S. Nationals are officially known as the U.S. Nationals.
- The NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series is the premier series in drag racing and brings together top-level drag racers from across North America and the world. It is comprised of 24 races per year.
Winners of national NHRA events are awarded with a trophy statue. In honour of NHRA founder Wally Parks, the trophy statue is called Wally.
The NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series
The NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series is the top competition series of the NHRA.
It has four main professional classes:
- Top Fuel Dragster (the oldest category)
- Funny Car (since 1966)
- Pro Stock (since 1970)
- Pro Stock Motorcycle (since 1987)
Points are given based on finishing placement and qualifying effort, and it is this point system that determines who wins each category.
The season consists of two parts, and the first part is comprised of 18 races. Once these 18 races have been completed, the top-ten of each pro category are locked in and will compete in the following six races – the second part of the season.
Top speeds exceeding 300 mph are not unusual in the Top Fuel and Funny Cars classes, and you will fairly often seen vehicles complete 1,000 feet in 3.7 to 4 seconds. For the Top Fuel and Funny Cars classes, the cars currently use a fuel consisting of 90% nitromethane and 10% methanol.
For the Pro Stock class, the current speed record is 214 mph, and you will fairly often see vehicles complete 1,000 feet in 6.4 to 6.7 seconds.
The Pro Stock Motorcycles usually reach an excess of 190 mph.
Wally Parks, a dry lakes racer and editor of Hot Rod magazine, founded the NHRA in California in 1951. The goal was to establish a governing body that could organize and promote the drag racing sport while also promoting safety, sportsmanship and fellowship among hot rodders.
Within a year, the NHRA had gained about 25,000 members.
In 1954, the NHRA launched the Drag Safari, a nationwide tour sponsored by Mobil Oil. The Drag Safari crew would travel from town to town, and meet with local law enforcement and local city officials to explain their program for legal and responsible drag racing as an alternative to illegal and ungoverned events. The crew would involve local car clubs, and then set up a site and arrange drag races there.
The first NHRA Nationals took place in Great Bend, Kansas, in 1955.