All month long, our racing guru David Scoggan is blogging LIVE from Lucas Oil Raceway! Check back here regularly for a dose of Dave’s wit and whimsy.
Popular wisdom would have you believe that the Chevrolet Performance NHRA U.S. Nationals doesn’t begin until the Friday evening Professional qualifying session. That line of thought is completely wrong.
Wednesday, August 28, at 8:00 AM (weather permitting), a pair of Stock Eliminator competitors will blast down the LOR strip and THAT, my friends, is the start of The Big Go. Four separate categories will receive 2 qualifying passes on Wednesday: Stock, where a 15-second 1976 Pinto wagon could match up against an 8-second 2019 Mustang Cobra Jet, and Super Stock, where you might witness a 12-second ’55 Chevy in one lane and a V-10 Viper-powered Challenger on the other side. True “Muscle Car” heaven! (Those performance discrepancies are rectified in eliminations by handicap starts based on each class’ index system.)
The other two divisions kicking off Day One are Super Comp and Super Gas. These are eliminators based on a fixed ET target (8.90 for SC and 9.90 for SG). If you go quicker than those parameters, you lose — unless your competition does the same and is “more guilty” than you are! Super Comp entrants are predominately rear-engine, big-block Chevy dragsters, with the occasional 23T-altered or late-model “door car” thrown in. Super Gas features a smorgasbord of vehicles — the ubiquitous Corvette roadster the most popular, plus Vegas, Opel GTs, ’48 Anglias, Darts, Mustangs, and the like.
There are approximately 160 entries in both Stock and SS, while SC and SG will probably hit 100 entries for each class. That’s over 500 different machines that will make passes on Wednesday — not exactly a “non-happening”, is it? Thursday, August 29, features a similar schedule with Competition Eliminator included and the “new-to-the-USN” categories of Top Dragster and Top Sportsman making their debuts.
Bottom line, as John Force would say, if you wait until Friday evening to visit Lucas Oil Raceway, you’ve cheated yourself out of some great action!