The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Countdown to the Championship will see some new elements this year

Wednesday, Jan 22 560
The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Countdown to the Championship will see some new elements this year Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images North America
Competitors in the premier series may earn their way into the Countdown to the Championship, NHRA’s version of the playoffs, by one of two ways.
 
As in previous years, the top ten drivers in each of the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series categories at the conclusion of the NHRA U.S. Nationals will earn positions in the Countdown to the Championship.
 
New for 2020, drivers in the Mello Yello Drag Racing Series who meet a minimum set of requirements will also earn their place in the playoffs. 
 
In NHRA’s Top Fuel and Funny Car classes, collectively referred to as “Nitro,” drivers who compete at all 18 events in the regular season and run a minimum of two qualifying sessions at each event will also earn their place in the playoffs.
 
In Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle, drivers who compete at all 13 or 11 events, respectively, in the regular season and run a minimum of two qualifying sessions at each event will get to compete for the championship in five events throughout the Countdown to the Championship.
 
Those who secure a position in the Countdown to the Championship will have their NHRA Mello Yello points adjusted at the conclusion of the NHRA U.S. Nationals. In the Nitro categories, first and second place will be separated by 20 points and each consecutive position will be separated by a 10-point differential. In Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle, first and second place will be separated by 20 points while second through fifth place will be separated by 10 points and all following positions will be separated by five points.
 
Accumulation of points will remain the same, with points-and-a-half rewarded at the Auto Club NHRA Finals. The top ten drivers at the conclusion of the Countdown to the Championship will be recognized at NHRA’s annual awards banquet.
 
NHRA officials made this change in order to better reward driver endurance and encourage participation in regular season events.
Adam Sinclair

Adam has been a race fan since the first time he went through the tunnel under the Daytona International Speedway almost 30 years ago. He has had the privilege of traveling to races all across the state of Florida (as well as one race in Ohio), watching nearly everything with a motor compete for fame and glory, as well as participating in various racing schools to get the feel of what racecar drivers go through every week.  

Adam spent several years covering motorsports for Examiner.com., where he had the opportunity to see the racing world from behind the scenes as well as the grandstands. He invites everyone to follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus, and looks forward to sharing his enthusiasm for all things racing with the readers of SpeedwayDigest.com.

Be sure to tune in for his sports talk program, Thursday Night Thunder, where he discusses the latest in motorsports news with drivers, crew members, and fans. The show takes place (almost) every Thursday at 8:00 pm EST on the Speedway Digest Radio Network. 

Contact Adam: Email