Mind The Blocks: NHRA Makes Changes To Centerline Rule Violations During National Events


Mind The Blocks: NHRA Makes Changes To Centerline Rule Violations During National Events

Yesterday evening the NHRA announced a procedural rule change which will be employed at Mello Yello series national events regarding centerline violations. All of the same stuff applies as it always has meaning that if you cross the line, hit a block, etc your run is thrown out and you are disqualified. The addition here is that NHRA will subtract championship points from you on each violation. It starts with 5 points and escalates with each violation from there on out. These are “season” violations meaning that we’re not talking deductions that build up per race but actually per season. It does not “go back” to five points at the next race, it gets bigger and bigger.

The other thing here that’s interesting is that after the finish line of a race, you can basically do whatever you want and not be DQ’d and that is kind of changing. Fuel cars who run to 1,000ft will now have to keep their lane integrity all the way to the 1,320ft finish line used by everyone else, meaning that you can win the race and cross at 1,150ft and then be penalized points.

Here’s the full story from NHRA.com

Click on the image below to visit NHRA.com and see the official announcement –


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51 thoughts on “Mind The Blocks: NHRA Makes Changes To Centerline Rule Violations During National Events

    1. Mike

      It\’s just not feasible anymore to go to the quarter mile they would be going way too fast most tracks don\’t have runoff room for that kind of speed remember the reason we\’re doing it now scott Kalitta

    2. Jim Smith

      1/4 mile is 1320 feet. Top fuel cars have a shortened 1000 feet run in order to slow the cars down. But since its adaptation teams have figured out how to get back up to speeds once thought too dangerous

    3. Kim Potter

      That extra feet would generate some real uneasy speeds with how fast there going now.Maybe we should switch to match box cars !!!

    4. Rod

      Not replying to anyone in particular, but what if they (NHRA and racers) , put a barrier wall, like on the sides,down the middle all the way, maybe it would help keep cars from crossing in front of the other car, like John Force and many more?

  1. jerry z

    10K hp fuel cars, 4K hp pro mods, yea I can see how this will end. Just another bonehead move by NHRA.

    You cross the line, I keel you!

    1. Brian Lohnes Post author

      Being that the racers brought this to the NHRA and asked for it to be implemented, you are “blaming” the wrong entity.

      1. FRED EBERT

        Using the example in the Force / Head incident were two cars were destroyed….yes these cars and all cars can get out of shape….. that being said …is it just a racing accident leaving each racer out in some cases ….business!….YOU SHOULDN’T BE REWARDED….I could be wrong….maybe Force replaced heads car after that crash…..but if you take a sportsman guy like myself and destroy my life long investment because you cant get out of the gas or stay in your lane before or after the finish….we all don’t have DEEP POCKETS OR 4 BACK UP CARS LIKE THE NASCAR BOYS!……penalties are warranted….

      2. 660 timing block....

        Finally!!!
        After hearing drivers say they purposely drive across the center line. Got me another timing block… I lost a friend there.

  2. AndyB

    Maybe I’m alone in it, but it sounds like a good idea to me.

    Threatening the safety of the guy in the next lane should be taken pretty seriously.

  3. KCR

    The people that now run NHRA.I have a question for them. Do you have a real clue about pro drag racing? This is like watching Trump.You never know whats gona come out of their mouth next.I didn’t realize this was such a problem,that such a penalty would have to be imposed.Myself I think I’m pretty much done with NHRA.There are way too many races to go watch that work for the racers ,not the sponsors .

    1. Brian Lohnes Post author

      Being that the racers and PRO came to the NHRA with this language for the rule change, I think the folks who had it “understand drag racing”. I guess taking a racer suggestion/plan into consideration and implementing it is not “working for the racers”?

    2. Mike

      When are pro drag racers going to start getting paid like they should be average salary $500,000 a year NASCAR driver makes that in a week and drag racing is alot more dangerous

  4. DICK DICKENS

    THE NHRA IS AND HAS BEEN FOR A LONG TIME A TOTAL JOKE. THROTTLE STOPS 13 AND 14 CAR FIELDS IN THE PRO RANKS.NOTHING MORE THAN MONSTER JAM AND AT LEAST THATS FUN TO WATCH.

    1. Brian Lohnes Post author

      Have not had a short field in 2018 and likely will not. Also, there are nearly 600 cars coming to the Gators with about 100 of them using throttle stops. The other 500? Not so much.

      1. Art Ist

        Maybe that is true so far but it is always the same clowns on the track. There needs to be new blood but it takes $4mil to run a nitro car now.

  5. joebogey

    So maybe I’m being a little dense, but what is the reasoning behind the rule change? Was this an issue of a driver crossing the line, and although disqualifying themselves showing down the other car for qualifying?

    As for the after the finish line, why only the 1000′ races?

  6. CARL

    Just go back to the 1/4 mile they will get killed at any distance….Kudos to those who gave their lives but too many constraints…seems like more drivers get hurt or killed now than in the past?

  7. William

    Crossing the line is very dangerous to each driver plus the cost of crashing two cars, I doubt they are insured. I know when I was racing no one would insure a race car, so if the same guy, over and over crosses the line because of a crappy setup or poor driving skills, would you want to race next to them?

  8. Joel

    I support the rule change, you need to keep your car in your own lane. JOhn FOrce, (one of my heros) just won a race, then crossed the line and wiped out the other guys car.

    I don’t think many in the stands want to watch the throttle stop cars, but there is a reason for them: THey keep the track busy while the nitro cars and the pro stocks are getting ready for the next hit. Fans need a chance to go buy food and beer, and use the can.

    Don’t bash the NHRA, where would we be without them? Drag racing probably wouldn’t exist, there wouldn’t be any tracks. I don’t agree with everything they do, but I am a member and I stand behind them for the good of the sport.

  9. Willie Williams

    There is always room to improve anything.But over managed and over priced NHRA has pushed all the unsponsored and limited budget racers OUT. Not what Walley had in mind I don’t think. What’s next , put them in a bubble and watch that go down the track. Safety is first and all racers know that.

  10. Greg Rourke

    Why the complaining about this rule? Drag racing is not a contact sport. If a driver is faced with more penalties he may not stay with an out of shape run. It\’s a good rule, and as Brian pointed out it was the RACERS who asked for it.

    1. Milesville Man

      Does the rule apply if, you hit the rail first, have a major mechanical catastrophe, or if the other driver crashes into you and forces you across?

    2. Mike richter

      What makes me get pissed off is all you guys bashing Force for crossing the line I\’ll tell you what how many times has force been down that track?I LL bet not one no not one person that\’s never ran a funny car or topfueler could get the damned thing 100 feet down the track without a major fuck up!I can\’t imagine running that kind of hp!

  11. love the door slammers

    just a coincidence they brought this rule out the first week the pro mods
    are in action I\’m sure!!

    brian must have got too much sleep, he sounds a bit testy on here today

  12. Kdcheetah

    It was kind of said but with rev limiters after 1000 feet they are pretty much done accelerating. After that it is more burned up parts and more fires more fuel burned more money, less safe. Plus 1000 foot has made closer finishes, cutting a good light more crucial but of course less chance to catch up in a pedal fest and so on.

  13. Andy Nelson

    Of course, NHRA could institute engine rules to slow down the fuel cars and let them return to a full quarter mile. NASCAR did this and the cars are actually slower (and safer) now than in the 60\’s. How about limiting cubic inches to 400 instead of 500. Save more motors and expense, and it would still be as exciting as is it is now with the same emphasis on driver skill and crew chief wrenching. Just saying,

    1. Danny Burmer

      How about unlimited engine rules there et and speed limit will eventually end , they hsve come a long way from the 60\’s but lets face it , we are not going to see 1 or 2 second passes ! Unless they alow rockets on the cars !

  14. Mitch

    This Is Turning Into Something Like The IRS or Government. Tax tax tax pretty soon everyone gets feed up and disappears. Go back to the basics besafe build on safe put a big engine or two in it and smash the dang gas. May the best driver win and not who has the most money. I love fast but it\’s time to stop taxing the Racers everytime something comes up. Race on.

  15. ALAN

    Don\’t really understand where the IGNORANCE of the rule makers for NASCAR and NHRA come up with these rules changes. Been a fan and a spectator of both sports for 30 years. Now instead of fans growing, there are taking seats out to make the stands LOOK full, and then talk about time issues with the race by crossing centerline. Got an idea, STOP WORRING ABOUT TV TIME SLOTS AND FOCUS ON THE PEOPLE THAT SHOW UP TO SUPPORT THE EVENT!!!!!!!! There\’s not enough room in this box for things I\’ve watched go down hill over the years

    1. Glenn menard

      There are not enough people in the stands to support the costs of an NHRA National event. TV time slots, sponsors, marketing, etc. are a must to maintain the sport.

      I was in the room when 1000’ was implemented. Goodyear would not have stayed at 1320 ft.

      The problem is that the big bucks teams would not agree to the great ideas to slow the cars down and contain costs. (See the late Dale Armstrong’s plan)

  16. Jeri McClain

    But John force had no choice but to cross the line his car went air born after an explosive pass. Now you people are not looking at what it said. It said they have to keep it in their lanes until,1320, not make a full 1320 Pass…. Understand what you read before making comments. They all make the 1000 for pass but keep it in their lane until 1320. Why would they speed up the when the traps are at the 1000 foot mark.

    1. Mike richter

      Well for one thing these cars don’t stop at 1000 ft they need room to slow down don’t forget 300 mph stops take some kind of skill not to loose it the outher guys over in the outher lane trying to get stopped also he doesn’t need cut off by a car crossing over into his space!!

  17. Ob

    I said this before in another one of these Wally is turning in his grave NHRA is not what it used to be is too overpriced caters to the sponsors and not the racers and they should be ashamed of that regardless of whether the racers and other people came up with this it\’s still stupid I think the people up in the office need to pull their head out of their asses

  18. Milesville Man

    Does the rule apply if, you hit the rail first, have a major mechanical catastrophe, or if the other driver crashes into you and forces you across?

  19. Hank C

    Back when racers needed to put on a Great Show to get booked into more races at the track that paid well , the entertainment value was in my opinion much higher then now . Match racing events groomed showmanship , and fan interest. National events were only a few times a year when racers from far corners of the country could get together for bragging rights . What if fan involvement by Tweeting in to the track during the race for the driver who exhibits the best SHOW( long burnout , dry hops and such ) and award points for this ? Better show and fans getting more bang for there buck . And yes I’m an old guy .

  20. Victor Canale

    Lower the max fuel pressure that will slow the cars down a little, whats another second? Of pleasure worth?

  21. Don Griggs

    The NHRA sold out when Willie G bought his first Pro Stock Motorcycle Wally. Can\’t build a bike that can win? Throw in enough $$$ and they will change the rules for you. Your motor isn\’t fast enough? Yours can be lighter. Go ahead and add those big scoops even if no production Harley has them. You get to run fuel injection 4 years before anyone else. Before he bought the rule changes Harley rarely qualified let alone won. BTW, I ride a Harley, just think the rules should be the same for everyone in the class.

  22. Art Ist

    Imagine it looks like your going to hit a cone so you steer the other way and cause the car to crash. Another NHRA goofy idea.

  23. Duane

    NHRA and NASCAR must be ran by the same people. It has become a big corporate game. Now let me get this straight. A any driver of all category crossed the center line they lose points! Now a driver crossed the center line to avoid a car or debris. Does that driver losses points too??? I say a driver should be penalized. For hitting the wall and that involves another car. Not for regaining control to avoid a serious crash. Also it should only implemented only in the pro classes. They can afford it…

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