FOX Sports plans broadcast television debut of NHRA drag racing series

NHRA Funny Car driver John Force at the 2015 Mopar Parts Mile High Nationals at Bandimere Speedway July 24, 2015.  

Andy Cross/Denver Post via Getty Images

For the first time in the sanctioning body’s 65-year history, an NHRA event airs live on broadcast television as FOX delivers the Mopar Mile-High Nationals from Denver’s Bandimere Speedway on Sunday, July 24 (3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. ET). This weekend’s event is the first of three consecutive NHRA races on FOX, with the prestigious U.S. Nationals also scheduled to air on FOX over Labor Day weekend.

"What grows our sport is exposure," said 16-time NHRA Funny Car champion John Force. "We are going onto the FOX broadcast network for our ‘Western Swing,’ and that is huge. For our sport, growth is very important and getting new fans is important. We love the bigger ratings we have seen on FS1, but to move up to what I call ‘prime time’ with FOX, where all of America can see NHRA drag racing, is very exciting. The positive growth for our sport and sponsors and fans has me ready to get in my hot rod. I would just say we’ve done good."

Dave Rieff and two-time NHRA Funny Car champion Tony Pedregon call the action for FOX, with Jamie Howe and Bruno Massel reporting from the pits.

"It is a historic time for the NHRA," Pedregon said. "The sport has stood the test of time and with many of the teams peaking in time for their broadcast television debut, the drama of two fire-breathing machines racing to the finish line at 330 mph needs only additional exposure to continue to grow … and that’s what the FOX Sports partnership is delivering. I still have vivid memories of watching drag racing on TV when I was 11 or 12 years old, and those races weren’t even live. It’s exciting to think that some viewers will have that same experience this weekend on FOX."

In addition to live broadcast network coverage of the final round on FOX, FOX Sports also delivers NHRA Qualifying on Friday, July 22 (8:00 to 9:00 p.m. ET) and Saturday, July 23 (11:00 p.m. to midnight ET) on FS1.