With excitement high for the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series’ return to Route 66 Raceway during the 2023 season, tickets are now on sale for the upcoming 23rd annual Route 66 NHRA Nationals presented by PEAK Performance, which takes place May 19-21 at the fan-favorite facility.
The race marks the first time since 2019 the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series has appeared at Route 66 Raceway and all four professional classes (Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle) will be competing at the event to add to the anticipation for NHRA’s Chicago return.
Since its debut in 1998 on the NHRA tour, the track has been a favorite for fans and race teams, with the 2023 event serving as the sixth of 21 races during the upcoming season. With race teams looking to pick up an early-season win, fans will be treated to all the thrills and incredible moments that comes with 11,000-horsepower, 330-mph nitro action, and the exciting side-by-side action in Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle as it all returns to the Windy City.
“When the announcement was made that Route 66 Raceway was returning to the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series schedule, it was great to see the initial excitement from the fans and the race teams, and that has only continued in recent weeks,” said NHRA Vice President of Track Management & Operations, Kasey Coler. “We’re thrilled to have this terrific facility back on the NHRA tour and we know our fans can’t wait to see another spectacular event at Route 66 Raceway in 2023.”
Steve Torrence (Top Fuel), Tommy Johnson Jr. (Funny Car), Deric Kramer (Pro Stock) and Matt Smith (Pro Stock Motorcycle) won the most recent event at Route 66 Raceway in 2019, and this year’s race will be broadcast on Fox Sports 1 (FS1). In the two-plus decades of racing at Route 66 Raceway, fans have come to enjoy the night qualifying sessions that have been a trademark of the event, helping carve out a storied history at the facility. Several major moments have taken place at Route 66 over the years as well, including the first career Pro Stock victory for five-time Pro Stock world champion Erica Enders.
In the Top Fuel ranks, Chicago-area native Tony Schumacher, who returned to full-time racing in 2022, has five wins at the facility, which leads everyone in the class. Antron Brown and Doug Kalitta both have three, while John Force and Matt Hagan’s three wins in Funny Car lead the way among active drivers. Torrence holds the track record in Top Fuel with a blast of 3.677-seconds at 333.58 mph, while points leader Robert Hight’s 3.851 at 334.73 are the top runs in track history in Funny Car.
In Pro Stock, five-time world champion Greg Anderson, who picked up his 100th win earlier this year, is the only active driver with more than one victory in Chicago. Pro Stock Motorcycle’s Hector Arana Jr., Angelle Sampey and Matt Smith all have two wins in Chicago, with defending world champion Smith winning the two most recent events at Route 66 Raceway.