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Gateway Motorsports Park’s AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals a make-or-break stop for Top Fuel championship contenders

September 19, St. Louis Region – The AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals — scheduled for September 29 to October 1 at Gateway Motorsports Park in Madison, Illinois — marks the halfway point in the Mello Yello Drag Racing Series’ Countdown to the Championship. The event is the third of six races in the six-race NHRA playoffs and can be a make-or-break stop for contending teams.

Steve Torrence is chasing first championship. Torrence currently is second in the Countdown to the Championship standings, just 14 points behind leader Doug Kalitta and 24 ahead of three-time champion Antron Brown, who has won four times at Gateway. After finishing the 2016 season in a career-best third place in the Top Fuel points standings, Torrence has taken his Capco Contractors dragster to a new level this season. Torrence recently won his first U.S. Nationals at Indianapolis and entered the Countdown to the Championship as the No. 1 seed. He has raced to seven victories in the first 18 races as well as two runner-up finishes.

The 2017 campaign has been a breakout year for Leah Pritchett and her Papa John’s Top Fuel dragster. Pritchett has been to six final rounds this year and has four wins. Pritchett has earned six No. 1 Qualifier awards and holds the current elapsed time record with a 3.640-second pass, posted in Brainerd, Minnesota in August.

Antron Brown continues to chase history as pursues his fourth total and third consecutive Top Fuel world championship in 2017. Last season, Brown raced his Matco Tools dragster to a category-best seven victories, including three playoff wins in the Countdown to the Championship. He is the only African-American driver to win a major U.S. auto racing season championship and it is the first time in seven years that a Top Fuel champion has won back-to-back titles.

AAA Insurance NHRA Nationals
NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series
Gateway Motorsports Park

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 29
6:30 a.m. — Parking lots open.
7:30 a.m. — Spectator gates open.
8:30 a.m. — Sportsman class racing begins.
Noon — Midway opens.
2:15 p.m. — Pro Mod qualifying session.
3:45 p.m. — Pro Stock Motorcycle and Pro Stock qualifying session.
4:30 p.m. — Funny Car and Top Fuel Dragster qualifying session.
5:45 p.m. — Pro Mod qualifying session.
6:15 p.m. — Pro Stock Motorcycle and Pro Stock qualifying session.
7 p.m. — Funny Car and Top Fuel Dragster qualifying session.
8:15 p.m. — Jet Dragsters.
8:20 p.m. — Track closed.

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 30
6:30 a.m. — Parking lots open.
7:30 a.m. — Spectator gates open.
8:30 a.m. — Sportsman class racing begins.
9:30 a.m. — Midway opens.
Noon — Pro Mod qualifying session.
1:15 p.m. — Pro Stock Motorcycle and Pro Stock qualifying session.
2 p.m. — Funny Car and Top Fuel Dragster qualifying session.
3 p.m. — First round of Pro Mod eliminations.
3:30 p.m. — First round of Factory Stock Showdown eliminations.
3:45 p.m. — Pro Stock Motorcycle and Pro Stock qualifying session.
4:30 p.m. — Funny Car and Top Fuel Dragster qualifying session.
7 p.m. — Track closed.
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 1
6:30 a.m. — Parking lots open.
7:30 a.m. — Spectator gates open.
9 a.m. — Midway opens.
10 a.m. — Pre-race ceremonies.
11 a.m. — First round of Funny Car and Top Fuel Dragster eliminations.
Noon — First round of Pro Stock Motorcycle and Pro Stock eliminations.
12:20 p.m. — Second round of Pro Mod eliminations.
12:45 p.m. — Second round of Funny Car and Top Fuel Dragster eliminations.
1:15 p.m. — Second round of Pro Stock Motorcycle and Pro Stock eliminations.
1:30 p.m. — Semi-final round of Pro Mod eliminations.
2 p.m. — Second round of Factory Stock Showdown.
2:15 p.m. — Semi-final round of Funny Car and Top Fuel Dragster eliminations.
2:33 p.m. — Semi-final round of Pro Stock Motorcycle and Pro Stock eliminations.
2:40 p.m. — Final round of Pro Mod eliminations.
3 p.m. — Final round of Factory Stock Showdown eliminations.
3:30 p.m. — Final round of Pro Stock Motorcycle and Pro Stock eliminations.
3:37 p.m. — Final round of Funny Car and Top Fuel Dragster eliminations.
3:45 p.m. — Track closed.
Schedule subject to change.

To purchase tickets or obtain additional information, please call (618) 215-8888 or visit www.gatewaymsp.com. Follow GMP on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram.

About Gateway Motorsports Park
Gateway Motorsports Park is the home of INDYCAR, NASCAR and NHRA racing in the St. Louis region. Located just five minutes from downtown St. Louis and covering more than 340 acres, Gateway Motorsports Park is the largest outdoor entertainment facility in the area. Gateway Motorsports Park’s facilities include a 1/4-mile drag strip, 1.25-mile superspeedway, 1.6-mile road course, a state-of-the-art Karting facility and a 14-acre, multi-purpose dirt off-road venue.

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