In what could perhaps be just the first shoe to drop in the NHRA’s aggressive plan to return to racing later this summer, the Flav-R-Pac NHRA Northwest Nationals, scheduled for July 31–Aug. 2 near Seattle, has been cancelled due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and associated restrictions.
As the NHRA statement notes: “restrictions in Washington state and King County that would not allow fans to attend the event. NHRA made this difficult decision after exhaustive deliberation with track officials, local, state and national health officials and government authorities. For the event to proceed with fans in attendance, King County, where the track is located, would need to reach Phase 4 of Washington’s reopening plan. As of today, King County is still in Phase 2 and with the time required before moving into subsequent phases, it would be very unlikely, if not impossible, to arrive at Phase 4 in time for the rescheduled 2020 event.”
“NHRA has hosted national events at Pacific Raceways for 38 years, including the last 32 straight,” said John Ramsey, Pacific Raceways General Manager. “As hard as it is to cancel the race, the health and safety of our fans, competitors and staff of is the utmost importance to us. The bright side is we now turn our focus to next year and look forward to seeing the fans back as we celebrate the 33rd Annual Flav-R-Pac NHRA Northwest Nationals in 2021.”
The Seattle event was to be the first traditional Mello Yello Series stop (not including the two additional races to be held at Indianapolis in July) in the series’ return. The cancellation leaves 16 races in 14 different states, many of which are experiencing varying degrees of restrictions that could hamper efforts to conduct national drag racing events.