KENT (Jan. 30, 2024) – For the first time ever at Pacific Raceways in Kent there will be qualifying under the lights, as the NHRA announced a Friday Primetime session will take place on Friday, July 19 as part of the 35th annual NHRA Northwest Nationals.
The longtime stop on the NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series has never had a night qualifying session, but that will change in 2024 as fans will be treated to all the incredible sights and sounds of 11,000-horsepower, 330-mph Top Fuel dragsters and Funny Cars at night, adding an exciting, must-see element to the race weekend.
The full race weekend takes place July 19-21 at Pacific Raceways and is the 12th of 21 races during the 2024 NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series season. The scenic facility has played host to NHRA national events for more than three decades, but this year’s race will undoubtedly be one of biggest ones in event history. Along with the first-ever night qualifying session, fans will have the chance to see the Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge bonus race on Saturday and then eliminations on Sunday.
“We are excited to bring our NHRA fans a Friday nitro qualifying show that starts in the late afternoon and runs into the night. This night session will be epic and something our fans won’t want to miss,” Pacific Raceways General Manager John Ramsey said. “We are working with engineers from Musco Lighting to bring in temporary lighting to give fans a Friday night nitro qualifying show that hasn’t ever been seen in the Northwest!
“The two pro qualifying sessions on Friday will allow fans to come later in the afternoon and see the best qualifying show we can offer. This is something our fans have asked for and we’re pleased to provide this very cool opportunity for them this year.”
Last year’s winners in Seattle included Steve Torrence (Top Fuel), Tim Wilkerson (Funny Car) and Gaige Herrera (Pro Stock Motorcycle), as the two-wheeled category also made its Seattle debut in 2023. This season, Pro Stock will also return to Seattle, giving fans to see all four professional categories under the lights on Friday to open the weekend. The race will again be broadcast on the FOX broadcast network.
In the Top Fuel ranks, fans will be able to see racing legend Tony Stewart in his debut season in the nitro category. Eight-time world champion Tony Schumacher has five Seattle wins, which is tied with Joe Amato for the most in class history.
Wilkerson retired from the Funny Car ranks, with his son, Daniel, now running a full season for the first time in his career. John Force leads all Funny Car drivers with nine Seattle wins, while Greg Anderson leads all active Pro Stock drivers with three wins at Pacific Raceways. A year ago, Herrera put on a dominant performance in the first-ever appearance in Seattle for the Pro Stock Motorcycle category, using that momentum to win his first world title.
“It’s exciting to see everyone at Pacific Raceways take this big step and offer night qualifying to the fans for the first time in the track’s great history,” said Evan Jonat, NHRA Vice President of Live Events. “With the header flames and the chance for incredible runs, night qualifying runs are always a huge thrill for our fans and race teams. With an awesome backdrop in the Pacific Northwest, we can’t wait to see phenomenal runs Friday night to kick off what will be a spectacular weekend in Seattle.”
To purchase tickets to the 35th annual NHRA Northwest Nationals, fans can visit www.NHRA.com/tickets. All children 12 and under will be admitted free in the general admission area with a paid adult. For more information about NHRA, visit www.NHRA.com.
About Mission Foods
MISSION®, owned by GRUMA, S.A.B. de C.V., is the world’s leading brand for tortillas and wraps. MISSION® is also globally renowned for flatbreads, dips, salsas and Mexican food products. With presence in over 112 countries, MISSION® products are suited to the lifestyles and the local tastes of each country. With innovation and customer needs in mind, MISSION® focuses on the highest quality, authentic flavors, and providing healthy options that families and friends can enjoy together. For more information, please visit https://www.missionfoods.com/
Headquartered in San Dimas, Calif., NHRA is the primary sanctioning body for the sport of drag racing in the United States. NHRA presents 21 national events featuring the NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series and NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, as well as the Congruity NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series, NHRA Flexjet Factory Stock Showdown™, NHRA Holley EFI Factory X and Johnson’s Horsepowered Garage NHRA Mountain Motor Pro Stock at select national events. NHRA provides competition opportunities for drivers of all levels in the NHRA Summit Racing Series and NHRA Street Legal™. NHRA also offers the NHRA Jr. Street® program for teens and the Summit Racing Jr. Drag Racing League® for youth ages 5 to 17. With 110 Member Tracks, NHRA allows racers to compete at a variety of locations nationally and internationally. NHRA’s Youth and Education Services® (YES) Program reaches over 30,000 students annually to ignite their interest in automotive and racing related careers. NHRA’s streaming service, NHRA.tv®, allows fans to view all NHRA national events as well as exclusive features of the sport. In addition, NHRA owns and operates three racing facilities: Gainesville Raceway in Florida; Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park; and In-N-Out Burger Pomona Dragstrip in Southern California. For more information, log on to www.NHRA.com, or visit the official NHRA pages on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.