The last big racing event of the year in Indianapolis will take place this weekend with the NHRA U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway.
Action begins today at 8:30 a.m. and culminates on Labor Day with the champions decided in the Funny Car, Top Fuel, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle Divisions.
On Saturday and Sunday are the competition in the TRAXXUS Nitro Shootout for the Top Fuel and Funny Cars that offer $100,000 to the winners of the special events.
The track record for the Top Fuel dragsters is 324.83 miles per hour and for the Funny Cars stands at 315.19 mph.
Over the years at the US Nationals I have always found the best time for spectators is at night when the Top Fuel dragsters light up the night with flames shooting from the exhaust pipes.
What stands out is the roar of the engines, use ear plugs, and the vibration the engines send out, literally causing your chest to pound.
Scott Smith with Lucas Oil Raceway said this is the last event leading up to the countdown for the NHRA Nationals. He said drivers will be looking to be in the top ten in the point standings when the series leaves Indiana.
He said the Nitro Shootout is for bragging rights among the teams, in additional to a potential $100,000 payday.
With threatening weather forecast for the weekend, Smith said it may make for some longer nights at the facility. He said Lucas Oil Raceway has lights and there is no noise curfew in effect in Clermont.
In other racing news
• Tempers flared at Bristol during the Sprint Cup night race with Tony Stewart throwing his helmet at the car of Matt Kenseth following an altercation and crash on the track.
Stewart’s aim was perfect as his helmet bounced off the front of Kenseth’s Ford as it came down pit road.