Friday Night Qualifying Kicks Off Loaded Weekend for NHRA Northwest Nationals

June 14, 2024 Published by John Ramsey

KENT (June 14, 2024) – For the first time at Pacific Raceways, fans will be treated to night racing from the nitro-burning machines of the NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series at the 35th annual NHRA Northwest Nationals, July 19-21.  

The NHRA Northwest Nationals marks the 11th event of the 2024 season and will feature night qualifying for the first time to kick off an incredible weekend. Fans will see nitro cars like never before with huge header flames under the lights in their 330-mph, 11,000-horsepower machines, as well as Pro Stock Motorcycle and the return of Pro Stock. Combined, it’s the first time all four NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series classes will race at Pacific Raceway during the same weekend in NHRA history.  

The weekend kicks off with a fan fest at Auburn Outlet Collection on Thursday, July 18 at 5 p.m. PT, where fans can meet their drag racing heroes. On Friday between qualifying sessions, fans can take part in a special SealMaster Track Walk and an autograph power hour in the pro pits, while the nitro at night qualifying session will give fans an opportunity to win a unique wristwatch from Ben Bridge Jewelers TAG Heuer.  

Add in the popular Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge on Saturday and eliminations on Sunday, and it marks one of the biggest NHRA race weekends in Pacific Raceways history.  

Last season, Steve Torrence (Top Fuel), Tim Wilkerson (Funny Car) and Gaige Herrera (Pro Stock Motorcycle) all won in Seattle and this year’s race will be shown on FS1 and the FOX, including eliminations on FOX at 4 p.m. ET on Sunday, June 21.  

Torrence, a four-time NHRA Top Fuel champion, powered to a win when he defeated Doug Kalitta in the finals last year. Torrence will be on the hunt for his third Seattle win and to do so, he’ll need to get past the tough field of competitors including Kalitta, the reigning world champion, Justin Ashley and Shawn Langdon, both with two wins on the season, Bristol winner Tony Schumacher and Top Fuel newcomer Tony Stewart.  

Wilkerson stepped out of his Funny Car and handed driving responsibilities to his son Daniel, who has a runner-up finish this season from Charlotte. If he wants to defend the Wilkerson win in Seattle, he’ll have to get by points leader Austin Prock, who also joined the Funny Car ranks this season, as well as 16-time world champ John Force, J.R. Todd and reigning champion Matt Hagan, Ron Capps and Bob Tasca III.  

Herrera has dominated the Pro Stock Motorcycle division and won last year’s NHRA Northwest Nationals en route to sweeping the Western Swing and winning the world title. He is undefeated in 2024 and currently tied with NHRA legend Bob Glidden for the most consecutive wins in NHRA history (9). Other riders in the class to watch are the six-time champion Matt Smith, Richard Gadson, Angie Smith and Chase Van Sant.  

The popular Pro Stock class will make its return to the Pacific Northwest this year and fans will want to keep an eye on rivals Greg Anderson and Erica Enders. Enders is the reigning Pro Stock champ and has a NHRA Northwest Nationals win to her credit, while Anderson is a three-time Seattle winner. Currently leading the points is standout Dallas Glenn, who has a pair of wins on the season.  

The event also will feature thrilling competition in the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, featuring some of the top drivers in the sport. The weekend includes the NHRA Summit Racing Jr. Drag Racing League Shootout and Drag & Drive Shootout, which is a must-see for any car enthusiast.  

Race fans at Pacific Raceways can enjoy the special pre-race ceremonies that introduce and celebrate each of the drivers racing for the prestigious Wally on Sunday and includes the fan favorite SealMaster Track Walk, hosted by NHRA legend Don “The Snake” Prudhomme. The final can’t-miss experience of any NHRA event is the winner’s circle celebration on Sunday after racing concludes, where fans are invited to congratulate the Seattle event winners.  

Fans will also be invited to the Nitro Alley Stage all weekend, which features Nitro School, meet and greets, music and much more. As always, fans also get an exclusive pit pass to the most powerful and sensory-filled motorsports attraction on the planet in Seattle. They can see teams in action and service their hot rods between rounds, get autographs from their favorite NHRA drivers, and more. Fans can also visit NHRA’s popular Nitro Alley and Manufacturers Midway, where sponsors and race vendors create an exciting atmosphere that includes interactive displays, simulated competitions, merchandise, food, and fun for the entire family.  

NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series qualifying will feature two rounds at 3:30 p.m. and 8:15 PT on Friday, July 19 and two rounds of qualifying on Saturday, July 20 at 1:30 and 3:45 p.m. Final eliminations are scheduled for 10:30 a.m. PT on Sunday, July 21. Television coverage includes qualifying action on FS1 at 10:30 p.m. ET on Friday, 1 p.m. on Sunday, and then eliminations on FOX at 4 p.m. ET on Sunday.   To purchase tickets to the NHRA Northwest Nationals, fans can visit or call 800-884-6472. For more information about NHRA, visit    

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    

About NHRA  Headquartered in San Dimas, Calif., NHRA is the primary sanctioning body for the sport of drag racing in the United States. NHRA presents 20 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 presented by LearnEV+, 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,®, 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, or visit the official NHRA pages on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.