New NHRA Policy Could Result In Season “Co-Champions”

A unique policy instituted last season by the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) that technically remains in effect could in theory produce the first ever (that we know of) co-champions in a professional Camping World Drag Racing Series category.

The NHRA’s COVID-19 driver replacement policy was created last July, prior to the series’ return from a lengthy hiatus due to the pandemic, that granted points to the car rather than the driver — or rather, to any replacement driver in said car — if the original driver has to be replaced due to a COVID-19 diagnosis or order to quarantine due to a close contact with the virus. The policy ultimately proved to have no bearing on the 2020 championship battles in the four pro categories (nor Pro Mod or Top Fuel Harley, which were also included in the policy).

Jeffrey Young, NHRA’s VP of Marketing and Communications, confirmed that while the COVID driver replacement policy previously expired, a similar driver replacement policy with virtually the same parameters that replaced it will allow, again, for replacement drivers to accumulate points and hand them off to another driver.

This season, the policy could actually play into the outcome of the championship. 

Don Schumacher Racing driver Matt Hagan entered the Dodge/SRT NHRA U.S. Nationals as the Funny Car points leader, but was stricken by COVID-19 in the days leading up to the event and was forced to miss the regular season finale. In his place, former DSR stablemate Tommy Johnson, Jr. took over the controls for the Indianapolis event. Johnson ultimately failed to qualify, dropping Hagan’s car to fifth in the standings entering the Countdown.

An inquiry sent to DSR regarding Hagan’s status for this weekend’s race in Maple Grove was not responded to as of this writing, but he remains on the official entry list. But, depending on how you look at the statistics, Hagan had the best Funny Car in the class this season and so the real possibility exists that if Hagan misses another race or two, he and Johnson could go Batman and Robin, Ben and Jerry, Starsky and Hutch on the field and team up to win the championship together in the same car.

And really, with seven races to go and virus cases on the rise, it’s a reality that could befall any of the 43 drivers in all that are a part of this year’s Countdown to the Championship. Two drivers on the awards podium at season’s end raising the same championship trophy…wouldn’t that make for an interesting story?

About the author

Andrew Wolf

Andrew has been involved in motorsports from a very young age. Over the years, he has photographed several major auto racing events, sports, news journalism, portraiture, and everything in between. After working with the Power Automedia staff for some time on a freelance basis, Andrew joined the team in 2010.
Read My Articles

Drag Racing in your Inbox.

Build your own custom newsletter with the content you love from Dragzine, directly to your inbox, absolutely FREE!

Free WordPress Themes
Dragzine NEWSLETTER - SIGN UP FREE!

We will safeguard your e-mail and only send content you request.

Dragzine - Drag Racing Magazine

We'll send you the most interesting Dragzine articles, news, car features, and videos every week.

Dragzine - Drag Racing Magazine

Dragzine NEWSLETTER - SIGN UP FREE!

We will safeguard your e-mail and only send content you request.

Dragzine - Drag Racing Magazine

Thank you for your subscription.

Subscribe to more FREE Online Magazines!

We think you might like...



Hot Rods & Muscle Cars

Diesel Army

Engine Tech

Dragzine - Drag Racing Magazine

Thank you for your subscription.

Subscribe to more FREE Online Magazines!

We think you might like...

  • Hot Rods & Muscle Cars
  • Diesel Army
  • Engine Tech

Dragzine - Drag Racing Magazine

Thank you for your subscription.

Thank you for your subscription.

Dragzine - Drag Racing Magazine

Thank you for your subscription.

Thank you for your subscription.

Loading