Wednesday, February 06, 2013


GLENDORA, Calif. (Feb. 6, 2013) — NHRA will enter the 2013 season with a new anchor on its ESPN telecasts and a fresh approach to the television coverage of the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series.  The 2013 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season opens Feb. 14-17, with the 53rd annual O'Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Winternationals presented by Super Start Batteries at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona.
Dave Rieff, who has been a pit reporter since ESPN began its NHRA coverage in 2001 and a staple of NHRA television for 17 years, will move into the anchor announcer position for the 2013 season. In addition to hosting coverage of the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, Rieff will continue his lead role on the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series telecasts.
Joining Rieff in calling the action from the booth will be former NHRA racer Mike Dunn, who is beginning his 12th year with ESPN as a color analyst for the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series. Gary Gerould will return as a pit reporter at all 24 events. Veteran announcer John Kernan, who joined the NHRA telecast team in 2007, will split pit reporter and trackside duties with Jamie Howe. Howe has served as a pit reporter for the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series telecasts since 2011 and this year she will increase her presence in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series telecasts.

NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series viewers can anticipate a fresh approach to the telecasts in 2013. As ESPN and NHRA constantly work together to bring viewers the highest-quality coverage, programs will capture even more of the drama of NHRA, showcase the stars of the sport, and incorporate new format changes to both the qualifying and race day telecasts.
ESPN will look to deliver more stories and analysis on the strategy of the sport, a stronger focus on head-to-head matchups and more technical pieces.  The stars of NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing will be showcased with all-access wired segments, features on the drivers and the development of power rankings in the categories. ESPN and NHRA also will work to make more use of social media platforms during the telecasts.

In all, ESPN will dedicate more than 110 hours of original programming to the 2013 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, the world's quickest, fastest and most intense motorsport, on a same-day basis.

NHRA and ESPN will experiment with live coverage of qualifying and finals during the year. The first weekend to feature live racing action is the O'Reilly Auto Parts NHRA SpringNationals from Royal Purple Raceway in Houston, April 27-28. The final session of qualifying will air live on Saturday, April 27, from 3-5 p.m. (ET).  In addition, NHRA and ESPN will telecast live on Sunday, joining the racing action beginning with the semifinals in the professional categories. The Sunday telecast will be begin at 2 p.m. (ET) on April 28.
The prestigious NHRA U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis, Aug. 28 – Sept. 2, will again feature 11 hours of wall-to-wall coverage including complete coverage of final eliminations on Monday, Sept. 2, from noon to 6 p.m. ET. 

All telecasts will air in high definition on ESPN2HD or ESPNHD.  ESPN2/ESP2NHD and ESPN/ESPNHD are available in nearly 100 million households nationwide. The telecasts will feature competition from all four classes in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series: Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock, and Pro Stock Motorcycle.

The NHRA will be televised on NHRA networks in 182 countries and territories to more than 56.5 million homes, including coverage in Africa, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Caribbean, Central America, Europe, Middle East, Mexico, New Zealand and South America. In addition, U.S. troops and their families serving around the world in 175 countries and on Navy vessels at-sea can watch NHRA on the American Forces Network.

Headquartered in Glendora, Calif., NHRA is the primary sanctioning body for the sport of drag racing in the United States. NHRA presents 24 national events featuring the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series and NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series. NHRA provides competition opportunities for drivers of all levels in the NHRA Summit Racing Series and the NHRA Drags: Street Legal Style presented by AAA. NHRA also offers the Summit Racing Jr. Drag Racing League for youth ages 8 to 17. In addition, NHRA owns and operates five racing facilities: Atlanta Dragway in Georgia; Auto-Plus Raceway at Gainesville in Florida; National Trail Raceway in Ohio; Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis; and Auto Club Raceway at Pomona in Southern California. For more information, log on to, or visit the official NHRA pages on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

2013 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Television Schedule

Event                                                                                                    Air Time (ET), Date

O'Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Winternationals                            Qualifying, 10 p.m.– Midnight, Sat., Feb. 16
presented by Super Start Batteries                                          Eliminations, 8–11 p.m., Sun., Feb. 17
Pomona, Calif.  

NHRA Arizona Nationals                                                                Qualifying, 1-2:30 a.m., Sun., Feb. 24
Phoenix                                                                                               Qualifying re-air, 8-9 a.m., Sun., Feb. 24
                                                                                                                Eliminations, 8-11 p.m., Sun., Feb. 24

Amalie Oil NHRA Gatornationals                                                Qualifying, 1:30-3 a.m., Sun., March 17
Gainesville, Fla.                                                                                 Qualifying re-air, 8-9 a.m., Sun., March 17
                                                                                                                Eliminations, 7-10 p.m., Sun., March 17 NHRA Nationals                                        Qualifying, 10 p.m. – Midnight, Sat., April 6
Las Vegas                                                                                            Eliminations, 11 p.m. – 2 a.m., Sun., April 7


NHRA Four-Wide Nationals                                                         Qualifying, 5–7 p.m., Sat., April 20
Charlotte, N.C.                                                                                  Eliminations, 7–10 p.m., Sun., April 21

O'Reilly Auto Parts NHRA SpringNationals                             Qualifying, 3-5 p.m., Sat., April 27
presented by Super Start Batteries                                          Eliminations, 2-5 p.m., Sun., April 28

Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals      Qualifying, 8-10 p.m., Sat., May 4
Atlanta                                                                                                 Eliminations, 6:30-9:30 p.m., Sun., May 5

NHRA Kansas Nationals                                                                 Qualifying, 5 - 7 p.m., Sat., May 18
Topeka, Kan.                                                                                      Eliminations, 8-11 p.m., Sun., May 19

Toyota NHRA Summernationals                                                Qualifying, 5-6 p.m., Sat., June 1 (ESPN)
Englishtown, N.J.                                                                             Qualifying, 1-2 a.m., Sun., June 2
                                                                                                                Eliminations, 4:30–7 p.m., Sun., June 2

Ford NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals                                     Qualifying, 7–9 p.m., Sat., June 15
presented by Tri-Cities Area Ford Dealers                             Eliminations, 1-3 p.m., Sun., June 16
Bristol, Tenn.                                                                                     Eliminations, 11 p.m. – Midnight, Sun., June 16

NHRA New England Nationals                                                    Qualifying, 8-10 p.m., Sat., June 22
Epping, N.H.                                                                                       Eliminations, 7-10 p.m., Sun., June 23

O'Reilly Auto Parts Route 66 NHRA Nationals                      Qualifying, 5-7 p.m., Sat., June 29
presented by Super Start Batteries                                          Qualifying, 11 p.m. – Midnight, Sat., June 29
Chicago                                                                                                Eliminations, 9 p.m. – Midnight, Sun., June 30

Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals                          Qualifying, 6 – 8 p.m., Sat., July 6
Norwalk, Ohio                                                                                   Eliminations, 7 – 10 p.m., Sun., July 7

Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals                                             Qualifying, 10 p.m. – Midnight., Sat., July 20
Denver                                                                                                 Eliminations, 6 – 9 p.m., Sun., July 21

NHRA Sonoma Nationals                                                              Qualifying, 7 – 9 p.m., Sat., July 27 (ESPN)
Sonoma, Calif.                                                                                   Eliminations, 8 – 11 p.m., Sun., July 28

O'Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Northwest Nationals                  Qualifying, 10:30 p.m. – Midnight, Sat., Aug. 3
presented by Super Start Batteries                                          Eliminations, 8 – 11 p.m., Sun., Aug. 4

Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals                                                              Qualifying, 11 p.m.–1 a.m., Sat., Aug. 17
Brainerd, Minn.                                                                                Eliminations, 9 p.m. – Midnight, Sun., Aug. 18

NHRA U.S. Nationals                                                                       Qualifying, 11 a.m.–2 p.m., Sun., Sept. 1
Indianapolis                                                                                        Qualifying, 5–7 p.m., Sun., Sept. 1
                                                                                                                Eliminations, Noon–6 p.m., Mon., Sept. 2

NHRA Nationals                                                                                Qualifying, TBD
Charlotte, N.C.                                                                                  Eliminations, 8:30–11:30 p.m., Sun., Sept. 15

AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals                                                   Qualifying, TBD
Dallas                                                                                                    Eliminations, 8:30 –11:30 p.m., Sun., Sept. 22

AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals                              Qualifying, TBD
St. Louis                                                                                               Eliminations, 8 – 11 p.m., Sun., Sept. 29

Auto-Plus NHRA Nationals                                                           Qualifying, TBD
Reading, Pa.                                                                                       Eliminations, 8 -11 p.m., Sun., Oct. 6

NHRA Nationals                                                                                Qualifying, TBD
Las Vegas                                                                                            Eliminations, 8 – 11 p.m., Sun., Oct. 27

Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals       Qualifying, TBD
Pomona, Calif.                                                                                   Eliminations, 7–10 p.m., Sat., Nov. 10

* All telecasts on ESPN2 except where noted.  All times Eastern.  Schedule subject to change, please check local listings.