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HomeEventsElectrifying news: NHRA adding EV classes for 2022

Electrifying news: NHRA adding EV classes for 2022

How will all that instant torque perform on the drag strip?

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You likely have been impressed with the 0-60 mph sprint times being posted by electric vehicles. So has the National Hot Rod Association, which has announced a new racing class to launch in 2022 — and it’s for electric vehicles. 

“Electric cars will compete within the Summit Racing Series in all seven NHRA Divisions,” the drag racing sanctioning body announced.

electric vehicles, Electrifying news: NHRA adding EV classes for 2022, ClassicCars.com Journal
eCOPO Chevrolet Camaro

“We are thrilled for this new opportunity for our NHRA competitors,” said NHRA president Glen Cromwell. “NHRA Drag Racing is about performance and innovation, and we look forward to seeing how these vehicles will perform in 2022.”

“For decades, NHRA’s member tracks have seen EVs, hybrids, and alternative-energy vehicles use their racetracks as a proving ground,” the NHRA noted. “Creating an EV class within the NHRA Summit Series accelerates the NHRA’s commitment to its racers and partners looking to develop new technology. 

“With the rise in performance of electric street vehicles also comes the need for the NHRA to provide a safe place to race and a platform for competitors to evolve and demonstrate their capabilities. The NHRA’s EV race car initiative was launched to bring automakers, racers, the safety industry, and the performance aftermarket together.”

For its part, title sponsor Summit Racing Equipment is on board.

Summit Racing Equipment supports all forms of motorsports, and we are excited to help bring EV technology to the track through our longstanding partnership with the NHRA,” Jim Greenleaf, Summit Racing Equipment motorsports and events manager, is quoted in the announcement. 

“This is a great opportunity to expand on one of the most successful grassroots Sportsman drag racing programs in the country.”

electric vehicles, Electrifying news: NHRA adding EV classes for 2022, ClassicCars.com Journal
Ford’s Cobra Jet 1400 electric powertrain

“We’re ready to support the EV market in the same way we support the internal combustion engine market — by leading the way in selection, service, and technical resources,” added Summit’s chief marketing officer Al Noe. “No matter what the powerplant, we will continue to help racers push the limits of power and performance through a huge selection of quality parts from respected brands.”

The NHRA said it has been involved for four years in meetings with automakers producing electric vehicles, discussing technical challenges and opportunities. 

“During  that time, NHRA fans have seen the debut of the Chevrolet eCOPO, a match-race between a supercharged Ford Cobra Jet Mustang and the all-electric Cobra Jet 1400, all-electric motorcycles in the hands of Vance & Hines, and a 200-mph EV-record breaking pass by an all-electric dragster

“The NHRA will continue to foster EV development as drag racing is the motorsport best suited to demonstrate the electrification of vehicles.”

Added Ned Walisser, NHRA vice president of competition: “The NHRA is excited to provide the OEM’s a platform to showcase their EV technology, production, and racing efforts. Adding an EV category to Summit Racing Series expands our involvement in EV racing and better solidifies our effort to provide a platform of Speed for All.”

The NHRA said it will publish rules for the new EV class as soon as possible to give builders and racers time to prepare for the 2022 season.

Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

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