NHRA’s 2011 schedule: pretty good

The schedule for next year’s Full Throttle Drag Racing Series looks pretty good with some bold moves.

The biggest is starting the season two weeks later than in the past. It shortens the season by two weeks and keeps the Winternationals a week away from NASCAR’s Daytona 500.

Another good change is having three races in August instead of one like it did this year.

It was announced last week that the Arizona race would move to the fall to get it away from the Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway. That will move the first of two annual races at Las Vegas Motor Speedway to the third event of the year with a date of April 1-3, which is two weeks earlier than it was this year.

I like that because of great April Fools Day jokes I can make.

NHRA also announced that New England Dragway will join the NHRA member track network in 2011 and once facility improvements are made at the track in Epping, N.H., it could host a national event.

The following is the new NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series schedule. What do you think?

2011 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series
    Feb. 24-27, Winternationals, Pomona, Calif.
    March 10-13, Gatornationals, Gainesville, Fla.
    April 1-3, SummitRacing.com Nationals, Las Vegas
    April 14-17, 4-Wide Nationals, Concord, N.C.
    April 29-May 1, Spring Nationals, Houston
    May 13-15, Southern Nationals, Commerce, Ga.
    May 20-22, Summer Nationals, Topeka, Kan.
    June 2-5, SuperNationals, Englishtown, N.J.        
    June 17-19, Thunder Valley Nationals, Bristol, Tenn.
    June 23-26, Summit Racing Nationals, Norwalk, Ohio
    July 7-10, Route 66 Nationals, Chicago
    July 22-24, Mopar Mile-High Nationals, Denver
    July 29-31, FRAM-Autolite Nationals, Sonoma, Calif.
    Aug. 5-7, Northwest Nationals, Seattle
    Aug. 18-21, Lucas Oil Nationals, Brainerd, Minn.
    Aug. 31-Sept. 5,  U.S. Nationals, Indianapolis

Countdown to the Championship
    Sept. 15-18, O'Reilly Auto Parts Nationals, Concord, N.C.
    Sept. 22-25, Fall Nationals, Dallas
    Sept. 29 Oct. 2, Toyo Tires Nationals, Reading, Pa.
    Oct. 14-16, Arizona Nationals, Phoenix
    Oct. 27-30, Las Vegas Nationals, Las Vegas
    Nov. 10-13, Automobile Club Finals, Pomona, Calif.