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Bristol Dragway to host Thunder Valley Nationals in October

Bristol Dragway to host Thunder Valley Nationals in October

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Top Fuel driver Mike Salinas launches from the start line on his way to capturing the Top Fuel title last June at the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway. Salinas will have to wait until October this year to defend his title.

BRISTOL, Tenn. – Speed and power, and plenty of both, will be on display at the Bristol Dragway in October.

The National Hot Rod Association released its revised Mellow Yellow Drag Racing Series schedule for the 2020 season and the Thunder Valley Nationals is on the slate for Oct. 9-11, according to a press release.

Originally scheduled for June, the event had to be moved due to the COVID-19 pandemic that has shut down sports across the nation and world.

The Thunder Valley Nationals will be one of the five final races of the season and is expected to play a pivotal role in championships related to Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle categories.

“We can’t wait to hear the roar of nitro-powered engines rumbling once again at historic Bristol Dragway,” said Jerry Caldwell, executive vice president and general manager of Bristol Dragway, in the release. “We anticipate a lot of championship drama in the top classes taking place during the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals given the event’s new location on the 2020 Mello Yello Series schedule.”

The revised weekend schedule will include a condensed format, with NHRA Sportsman qualifying, time trials and exhibition classes held on Friday, Oct. 9. That will be followed by Pro qualifying on Saturday, and Pro and Sportsman final eliminations on Sunday.

Pro Stock is also making its return to Bristol after a one-year absence, while Pro Stock Motorcycle competitors will make their Bristol points race debut. The Pro Mod category also will be featured during the event.

Among the competitors expected are to attend are defending champions Mike Salinas (Top Fuel) and Bob Tasca III (Funny Car). Others to watch include three-time Bristol winner Doug Kalitta, and two-time defending Top Fuel world champion and 2013 champion Steve Torrence. Ron Capps and four-time Funny Car winner and last year’s Bristol runner-up John Force will also compete.

Two-time Bristol Pro Stock winners Greg Anderson, Erica Enders, Jason Line and Jeg Coughlin Jr. will return to Thunder Valley, all looking to pull within one win of Mike Edwards, who holds the all-time Bristol mark in Pro Stock with four victories.

The Pro Stock Motorcycle category returns for the first time since 2000 when Matt Hines won back-to-back titles. Among the competitors include six-time world champion Andrew Hines, four-time champ Eddie Krawiec and three-time champ Angelle Sampey.

Bristol Dragway officials also announced several schedule updates for the Thunder Valley Street Fights, which will be held on June 6 and June 20. The DER Series will be held on June 12-14, June 26-28 and July 24-26.

The annual Monster Truck event scheduled for July 11 has been canceled.

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