IHRA World Champions returning to compete against full fields in all pro classes

The International Hot Rod Association (IHRA) kicks off its 46th season of the IHRA Drag Racing Series this weekend with the AMSOIL Nitro Nationals at Orlando Speed World Dragway. The inaugural event will feature 2015 World Champions, full fields in all classes, intertwined with some of the best sportsman racers, and new IHRA President Mike Dunn at the helm of the series.

Racers from across the country will start their quest for the 2016 World Championship this weekend when all professional classes take center stage for the three-day event. The driver entry list includes full fields in all four classes:  AMSOIL Nitro Funny Car, Nitro Motorcycle, Pro Mod and Pro Stock. In addition, Larsen Motorsports will be making exhibition runs in their jet cars after the final round of racing each night. 

The on-track action starts Friday, March 4 with sportsman and pro test & tune sessions in the afternoon and the first round of pro qualifying at 8 p.m. ET. Saturday’s schedule includes the continuation of qualifying at 6 p.m. ET and the start of sportsman eliminations. Sunday wraps the inaugural event up with three rounds of pro eliminations at noon and the conclusion of sportsman eliminations.


The breakdown:

  • Mr. President: New IHRA president Mike Dunn will make his presidential debut at the AMSOIL Nitro Nationals this weekend. Dunn, one of the most successful drivers and team organizers in the history of motorsports, joined the IHRA after spending the last 14 years as the face of major league professional drag racing for ESPN.
  • We are the Champions: The 2015 IHRA World Champions are returning to defend their title this season: Jason Rupert, AMSOIL Nitro Funny Car; Cary Goforth, Pro Stock, Dina Parise, Pro Modified and Jay Turner; Nitro Motorcycle are scheduled to return to full-time competition in 2016 and defend their championships.
  • Seven to go: The 2016 IHRA Drag Racing Series consists of seven events this season with two of them taking place at new venues. Orlando Speed World Dragway will host the season opener and Dragway 42 was added to the schedule to host the World Finals.
  • Welcome to the family: The IHRA proudly announced new sponsorship partners for the 2016 season during the PRI Show in December. The new IHRA roster includes: Edelbrock, the nation’s premier designers, manufacturers and distributor of performance replacement parts for the automotive aftermarket; WELD Racing, the technology pioneer and trend setter in the racing wheel industry; and Central Ohio Insurance Services, the official racer insurance provider of the IHRA.
  • No room available: Fans will see some of the best racers in the country compete at the season opener in Orlando. The professional driver entry list for each class is full and the competition on the 1/4-mile dragstrip is going to be second-to-none after a long winter break.

 Noteworthy items:

2015 IHRA Drag Racing Series Champions

AMSOIL Nitro Funny Car – Jason Rupert secured back-to-back titles after defeating Mike McIntire Jr. in the finals at Memphis

Nitro Motorcycles – Jay Turner secured his third IHRA Championship in 2015 after claiming the victory in the final race of the season.

Pro Stock – the championship was decided in the final round of the last race in 2015. Carey Goforth took home the trophy by 12 points over John Montecalvo

      •  Pro Modified- Dina Parise became a first-time IHRA World Champion in 2015. She defeated second-place finisher, Bill Lutz, by 50 points. 
    • The sportsman racers will take center stage during the three-day event as they run in conjunction with the professional classes and compete for a coveted IHRA trophy.

The AMSOIL Nitro Nationals is March 4 – 6 at Orlando Speed World Dragway . The track is located at: 19164 East Colonial Drive, Orlando, Florida 32820  

Tickets are available online at BuyIHRATix.com. Each ticket includes free access to the pit area.

Adam Sinclair