NHRA Countdown to the Championship format changes in 2020

By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher

The news that has been talked about for quite some time has finally been released. The NHRA is changing it’s Countdown to the Championship format.

In a press release, the governing body said that there will be new elements to it this year. Drivers can earn a bid into the playoffs in two ways.

NHRA
NHRA

“[NHRA made] this change in order to better reward driver endurance and encourage participation in regular season events,” the press release said.

One Way In:

  • If you’re in the Top 10 at the beginning of Countdown to the Championship, you’re locked in.

Second Way In:

  • The teams who were not in the Top 10 in Funny Car, Top Fuel, Pro Stock, or Pro Stock Motorcycle can still qualify for the Countdown to the Championship if they meet the following qualifications:

  • The team attends all 18 Top Fuel and Funny Car races before the Countdown begins and makes two qualifying attempts THEN you’re in
  • The team attends 13 Pro Stock races and makes two qualifying attempts THEN you’re in
  • The team attends 11 Pro Stock Motorcycle races and makes two qualifying attempts THEN you’re in

In Top Fuel and Funny Car, the top two contenders will be separated by 20 points. After that, the others will be separated by 10 points each.

The scoring format for Pro Stock and PSM will be a bit different. Like the Nitro categories, the top two drivers will be separated by 20 points.

However, drivers, who finish between 3-5, will be separated by 10 points each. Then, the remaining drivers, who qualify, will be separated by five points each.

The Top 10 drivers will be recognized at the end-of-year Award Banquet on the Monday after the season. In addition, the season finale at Auto Club NHRA Finals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, will continue to be on a points-and-a-half format.

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