The Indiana Insider Blog

Mac Tools U.S. Nationals at O’Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis this weekend

When you think of motorsports in Indianapolis, you probably think of the Indy 500 and NASCAR, maybe even Formula 1 and the Moto GP, but did you know that the oldest and arguably most anticipated National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) event of the year is this weekend at O’Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis? Say hello to the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals presented by Lucas Oil, the granddaddy of all NHRA events.

I had the opportunity to attend a Media Luncheon yesterday that featured five high-profile NHRA drivers to promote the Mac Tools US Nationals event, scheduled to start at O’Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis today.

The five featured drivers were:

Tony Schumacher (Top Fuel) – He won his fifth consecutive and sixth overall Full Throttle Series world championship in 2008 and became the first driver in NHRA history to win five consecutive Top Fuel championships. Aiming for his record-tying eighth U.S. Nationals win in 2009

Photo Credit: ShoeRacing.com

Robert Hight (Funny Car) – Hight is a two time Mac Tools U.S. Nationals winner, including 2008. He currently sits 12th in points, but is only 15 points from a berth into the Countdown to the Championship.

Photo Credit: RobertHight.com

Eddie Krawiec (Pro Stock Motorcycle) – Krawiec earned his first Full Throttle Series world championship in 2008 and became only the second driver since 1979 to win a championship without winning a race. Kraweic is once again in contention for a world championship in 2009.

Photo Credit: Racin’ Today.com

Morgan Lucas (Top Fuel) – Raced to semifinals finishes at Pomona 1, Chicao and Richmond in 2008. Lucas has 19 career final rounds, six in Top Fuel and 13 in Top Alcohol Dragster. Currently sits seventh in the Countdown to Championship points.

Photo Credit: MogranLucas.com

John Force (Funny Car) – Earned his first win since the season-ending crash in Dallas in 2007 that left him with multiple serious injuries. As team owner, Force has a 22-year streak of seasons with at least one win. Force has four Mac Tools U.S. Nationals presented by Lucas Oil wins.

Photo Credit: JohnForce.com

The schedule is jam packed with six days of activities, including four days of racing.

Here is the schedule of events for the 55th Mac Tools U.S. Nationals presented by Lucas Oil:

WEDNESDAY, September 2, 2009
Spectator Gates Open
9:00 AM
Registration/Tech Inspection (all categories)
8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Sportsman Qualifying (SS, STOCK, SG & SC only)
8:30 AM
Secure Track
6:00 PM
THURSDAY, September 3, 2009
Spectator Gates Open
7:30 AM
Registration/Tech Inspection (all categories)
7:30 AM - 6:00 PM
Sportsman Qualifying/Eliminations
8:00 AM
Comp Eliminator Qualifying Sessions (2)
1:30 PM & 4:30 PM
Secure Track
7:00 PM
FRIDAY, September 4, 2009
Spectator Gates Open
7:00 AM
Registration/Tech Inspection (Pro’s and TAD/TAFC only)
7:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Sportsman Eliminations (incl. Mopar Hemi Challenge)
7:30 AM
Top Alcohol Qualifying Sessions (2) (Funny Car / Dragster)
12:00 PM & 3:30 PM
Comp Eliminator Qualifying Session
1:45 PM
Pro Mod Qualifying Session
5:00 PM
Pro Stock Qualifying Session (PS Motorcycle / PS Car)
5:30 PM
Nitro Qualifying Session (Funny Car / Top Fuel Dragster)
7:00 PM
Secure Track
8:30 PM
SATURDAY, September 5, 2009
Spectator Gates Open
7:00 AM
Sportsman Eliminations
7:30 AM
Comp Eliminator – Round 1
10:00 AM
Top Alcohol Qualifying Session (Dragster / Funny Car)
10:30 AM
Pro Stock Qualifying Session (PS Car)
12:00 PM
Ringers Gloves Pro Bike Battle Introductions
12:45 PM
Ringers Gloves Pro Bike Battle – Round 1
1:15 PM
Pro Stock Qualifying Session (PS Motorcycle)
1:25 PM
Nitro Qualifying Session (Top Fuel Dragster / Funny Car)
1:45 PM
Pro Mod Qualifying Sessions (2)
3:00 PM & 5:00 PM
Ringers Gloves Pro Bike Battle - Round 2
5:30 PM
Pro Stock Qualifying Session (PS Motorcycle / PS Car)
5:45 PM
Nitro Qualifying Session (Top Fuel Dragster)
7:00 PM
Ringers Gloves Pro Bike Battle – Final
7:40 PM
Nitro Qualifying Session (Funny Car)
7:45 PM
Secure Track
9:00 PM
SUNDAY, September 6, 2009
Spectator Gates Open
7:00 AM
Sportsman Eliminations
7:30 AM
Comp Eliminator – Round 2
9:15 AM
Top Alcohol Qualifying Session (Funny Car / Dragster)
9:30 AM
Pro Stock Qualifying Session (PS Motorcycle / PS Car)
11:30 AM
Nitro Qualifying Session (Funny Car / Top Fuel Dragster)
12:30 PM
Pro Mod Qualifying Session
2:00 PM
Pro Stock Qualifying Session (PS Motorcycle / PS Car)
2:30 PM
Nitro Qualifying Session (Funny Car / Top Fuel Dragster)
3:30 PM
Pro Mod – Round 1
5:00 PM
Top Alcohol (Funny Car / Dragster) – Round 1
5:30 PM
Secure Track
7:00 PM
MONDAY, September 7, 2009
Spectator Gates Open
7:30 AM
Pre-Race Ceremonies
9:30 AM
Final Eliminations
11:00 AM
Secure Event
4:30 PM
Schedule subject to change

While prices for admission vary depending on where you sit and which events are going on each day, Kids 12 and under are free for General Admission (not including reserved seating).
As I was preparing to write this post, I came across this great video that Fox 59′s Jeremiah Johnson put together about the upcoming event. NHRA events are very different than the events at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and it was great to get an insight into another sport where the center of it’s universe is Indianapolis.

If you’re interested in attending the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals presented by Lucas Oil, check out their schedule and prices for their weekend-long event.

If you attend the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals presented by Lucas Oil, be sure to come back to the Indiana Insider blog and let us know what you thought!

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