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NHRA Summer Nationals return to Topeka’s Heartland Park in May 2012 as part of Full Throttle Drag Racing Series


NHRA Summer Nationals return to Topeka’s Heartland Park in May 2012 as part of Full Throttle Drag Racing Series


TOPEKA, KS (September 9, 2011) – The NHRA Summer Nationals will return to Heartland Park Topeka May 18-20, 2012. The event, which has been held at Heartland Park every year since 1989, is the eighth event of the 23-race schedule announced by the NHRA yesterday. The Heartland Park event will kick off the summer on its traditional date one weekend before Memorial Day.


“We are excited to welcome the NHRA Summer Nationals back to Topeka and to Heartland Park again in 2012. This is one of the biggest events in Topeka and Kansas each year; our fans support it and our local businesses benefit from it and that makes it a first-class sporting event for our community” track owner Raymond Irwin said. “Our facilities are second to none in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series, and the fans in this region look forward all year to seeing the racers and their teams return to Heartland. In addition to enjoying the great NHRA racing, our fans show up early and stay late; camping and participating in all the festivities during the weekend.”


Advance tickets sales will begin in October. Drivers scheduled to appear at the NHRA Summer Nationals in 2012 include all the fan favorites such as multi-championship winning drivers Tony Schumacher and John Force.


Last year’s NHRA Summer Nationals showcased the sport’s 60th anniversary with Drag racing legend “Big Daddy” Don Garlits on hand for the event, drawing impressive crowds from a six-state region over the three-day weekend. Spencer Massey won his first top fuel race of the season, Robert Hight pulled off the 200th victory for John Force Racing in the funny car division and Shane Gray took home top honors in only his second career win in the pro stock division. The event was broadcast on ESPN2 and ESPN2HD.




Heartland Park Topeka is a multimillion-dollar complex, including a quarter-mile drag strip with 23 luxury suites, a 2.5-mile championship road course and a 3/8-mile dirt oval track. The track began a $15-million renovation in 2003 that rebuilt the entire racing facility, including added 33 garages, a state-of-the-art tech building and a new timing and scoring building for road course events. The multipurpose facility hosts a wide variety of entertaining events, including the annual NHRA Drag Racing Summer Nationals event featuring Top Fuel, Funny Cars and Pro Stocks. Attractions at Heartland Park Topeka events have brought TV crews from ESPN, MTV, SPEED TV and others to the City of Topeka.  Activities at the facility keep the tires smoking and the fans excited over 225 days each year at this 700-acre site in Central Kansas.