The weekend is the start of NHRA’s six-race playoff-style Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship to crown world champions in Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock, and Pro Stock Motorcycle.
Catch all the action from this weekend’s event on ESPN News and ESPN2/ESPN2HD. Television coverage of the Carlyle Tools NHRA Carolina Nationals presented by NAPA Auto Parts will include an additional 90-minute qualifying show on ESPN News Saturday night beginning at 11:30 p.m. (ET)/8:30 p.m. (PT). This show is in addition to the late-night qualifying show on ESPN2 at 3:30 a.m. (ET)/12:30 a.m. (PT). Sunday’s race-day coverage Sept. 15, where every round counts, begins in prime time at 8:30 p.m. (ET)/5:30 p.m. (PT) on ESPN2.
Here’s what the viewers at home can expect when they tune-in this weekend:
In last year’s NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship, three of the four points leaders heading into the Charlotte fall race went on to win the championship. Only Jack Beckman was able to work his way up from a spot other than the No. 1 position to earn his first championship. Beckman only won one race and set one national record during the Countdown during his championship run, which proved no one is out of the hunt when the Countdown begins.
In only five fall Charlotte races, there have been no repeat winners in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series. In 20 different races, there have been 20 different winners. Several big name drivers have yet to take home a fall Charlotte Wally. No John Force, no Spencer Massey, no Allen Johnson have taken the win light in the fall finals. Who will step up and win their first Charlotte race, and will this be the first year a driver earns their second Wally at this race?
Shane Gray flipped his Pro Stock car completely upside down at last year’s Charlotte race. Mike Dunn will break down that wild ride in his weekly Traxxas Extreme Tractionary piece that explains how these NHRA Mello Yello drag racers try and tame these powerful drag racing vehicles.
In this weekend’s E3 Spark Plugs Hot Shot personality piece, you'll get to know Pro Stock Motorcycle driver and Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals winner Jon Hall. Does a win in Indianapolis define a career, or do most drivers want more?
Saturday, Sept. 14: 11:30 p.m. (ET)/8:30 p.m. (PT) ESPN NEWS
Sunday, Sept. 15: 3:30 a.m. (ET)/12:30 a.m. (PT) ESPN2
Sunday, Sept. 15: 8:30 p.m. (ET)/5:30 p.m. (PT)