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The Ultimate Guide on NHRA Drag Racing Series Betting in the US

The Ultimate Guide on NHRA Drag Racing Series Betting in the US

Key Takeaways

  • Understanding the structure and classes of the drag racing series is crucial for effective and successful betting.
  • Nearly forty states have legalized online sports betting, thus providing opportunities for NHRA betting enthusiasts.
  • Selecting a reputable and user-friendly sportsbook is essential for a positive betting experience.
  • The future of NHRA betting in the U.S. looks promising, with sports betting legalized in more states and the rise of mobile sports betting platforms.

The NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series was founded in 1951. With cars that boast over 11,000 horsepower and speed down-track at over 330 mph, drag racing has captivated the interest of many, including renowned corporate sponsors such as Toyota, Chevrolet, Dodge, Ford, IN-N-Out Burger, US Air Force, and many others. This distinctiveness has fueled its growth and progress, thus establishing it as one of the top motorsport giants.

Additionally, Mission Foods, a tortilla manufacturing company in Texas, has signed a multi-year title sponsorship deal with NHRA that begins with the 2024 season (NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series). With the action sport’s rising popularity and recent surge in betting interest, there is also a crucial need for a comprehensive guide on NHRA drag racing series betting in the US. In this article, NXTBets seeks to enrich your knowledge by helping you understand the available betting options and empowering you to make informed betting decisions.

Understanding the NHRA Drag Racing Series

National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) | Sportsbook Sign Up Offers

The NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series is the top league of drag racing in the world, organized by the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA). NHRA is one of the largest motorsports governing authorities, founded by Wally Parks in 1951. Since then, it has witnessed tremendous success and growth as a motorsports governing body.

Drag racing involves two vehicles racing side-by-side down a straight track. Whoever reaches the finish line first with the fastest time wins. The drag racing series’ ultimate focus is reaction time and acceleration. These machines are built for speed and can go from 0 to super fast in the blink of an eye (think reaching over 330 miles per hour!). NHRA is the top tier, featuring the best drag racers and the most high-powered vehicles. It features a point system, where participants proceed to the next round if they are within a certain ranking, for instance, the top ten.

The series includes different classes of vehicles competing against each other based on factors like:

  • Top Fuel Dragster – Officially Introduced in 1964, prior to that the first-ever category was simply known as ‘Top Eliminator’
  • Funny Car – Class introduced in 1966
  • Pro Stock – Class added in 1970
  • Pro Stock Motorcycle – Class established in 1987

To decide which racing class a car belongs to, they consider, among other things, what changes are allowed (modifications), what kind of fuel it uses, how big the engine is limited to be, and how much the car weighs.

Understanding NHRA Race Format

As discussed earlier, there are many drag racing categories, but only four stand out: Top Fuel Dragster, Funny Car, Pro Stock, and Pro Stock Motorcycle categories. The racing sessions are divided into three parts:

  1. Practice/Training sessions – Teams will sometimes take part in test sessions where they make passes to evaluate their cars’ performance. Depending on the data collected, the teams can adjust certain parameters, such as engine, drivetrain, suspensions, or tires to improve their elapsed times and speeds. Testing typically takes place at private sessions that exist outside of the event venue. Practice happens at these test sessions or even at other tracks and facilities. Drivers can also practice their reaction times using equipment that stimulates the hand, eye, and foot coordination required for a successful launch and reaction time.
  2. Qualifying round – During the qualifying session, the participants complete a set number of passes as fast as possible to qualify for the field, which is usually the quickest 16. The rules dictate that each driver must complete a minimum of one qualifying pass. The quicker the car, the more points the drivers receive and enhances that driver’s position on the eliminations ladder. The 8 quickest cars get to pick their land for the first of four rounds, which can important based on track conditions.
  3. Final race – This is where drivers are awarded championship points. A series of eight one-on-one matchups comprises the first round, with the winners of each heat moving on to the next round to face their fellow winners until just one driver remains unbeaten and is the winner.

Popular Racers Of NHRA Drag Racing Series

Over the years, the sport has been lucky to feature top-quality professionals who gained people’s attention with their great personalities and speeds. Some of the popular racers who have participated in the NHRA drag series include:

  • Donald Glenn Garlits “Big Daddy” – known as the father of drag racing
  • Don Prudhomme “the Snake” – multiple NHRA drag race championship winner and an inductee of the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America
  • Shirley Muldowney, “Cha Cha” or “First Lady of Drag Racing” – the first woman to get a license from the NHRA to participate in the Top Fuel Dragster class
  • John Force – 16-time Funny Car championship winner

Title Sponsors

The series has partnered with some big corporate sponsors since its establishment. They include:

  • Winston Cigarettes – 1975 to 2001
  • The Coca-Cola Company – 2002 to 2008
  • Camping World – 2020 to 2023
  • Mission Foods – Current sponsor

While Mission Foods is taking over as the sports title sponsor, beginning with the 2024 season, the series will maintain Camping World as NHRA’s premier partner until 2026.

Understanding NHRA Drag Racing Series Betting

NHRA betting involves placing wagers on the outcome of NHRA drag racing events and races. Just this week, on May 16th, 2024, the NHRA announced the launch of PlayNHRA. This betting launch is set for the upcoming Super Grip NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals, which will be held June 7th-9th at Bristol Dragway. The initiative allows fans to bet in fantasy games and, most importantly, wager on NHRA races.

Is NHRA betting Legal in the U.S.?

There are currently only a limited number of U.S. states that allow legal sports betting, and NHRA drag racing would likely fall under that category. However, we understand that nearly forty states have legalized online sports betting. This means that as long as a legal online sportsbook offers drag racing betting, you should be good to go.

Here is a list of the legal status of drag racing betting in each state:


A = Approved

S/P = Submitted, Pending

Blank = Not Submitted Yet

D = Denied

I = Inquiring

x2 =  2nd Operator Submitted 


NHRA Approved States

NHRA Not Yet Approved

Gambling Not Legal Yet


























New Hampshire



New Mexico

South Carolina


North Dakota



Rhode Island


New Jersey

South Dakota


New York



North Carolina

Washington D.C.




















West Virginia






Ontario, Canada



Types of NHRA Bets

Most punters always wager on the race winner even though there are numerous betting markets for NHRA drag racing. We could argue that the ‘race winner’ bet is the most popular betting market because many fans are often eager to know who will win the race. However, as a punter, you should also be keenly interested in other betting options that offer value for money. Let’s look at some of the types of NHRA betting markets. 

Race Winner Bets

This is as direct as it sounds; you simply wager on who will win the race. You win a bet when the person you wagered on wins the race. If you double up as a Drag Race fan and a punter, it’s even simpler because you have unlimited knowledge about the favorites, underdogs, veterans, or new talents participating in the events. 

Prop Bets (Proposition Bets)

This market allows you to wager on events that occur during the drag race but are unrelated to the race’s final outcome. For instance, you can bet on a certain player scoring either above or below a certain point level (over/under market), the margin of victory, the fastest qualifier, the number of round wins, the occurrence of red lights, or engine failures. Props bets often offer higher returns because of the circuit’s competitive nature, whereas race winner and future bets tend to offer odds that reflect an event’s favorites and underdogs. 

Futures Bets

This is a popular betting market in the motorsport world. In this market, you choose who will win the championship at the end of the drag racing season. Unlike football or basketball, where dominance at the start of a season does not guarantee the overall championship win, motorsports are conquered by dominance on the circuit. For instance, if Doug Kalitta wins all the first ten events of the drag racing series, it becomes more difficult for him not to win the championship title. 

Understanding NHRA Betting Odds

The U.S. online sportsbooks and retail bookmarkers use the American odds. However, you must understand the differences between the three odds-stating methods.

American Odds

This is denoted using the positive (+) and negative (-) signs. The ‘+’ symbol represents the underdogs, whereas the ‘-’ symbol represents the favorites. The higher the odds value, the higher the potential winnings. For example, a -140 means you must wager $140 to win $100, while a +140 means you’ll win $140 if you wager $100.

Decimal Odds

This is the most popular method of stating odds globally. Usually, the odds below 2.0 represent the favorites, and those above 2.0 show the underdog. To calculate the total potential winnings, you simply have to multiply the amount waged by the odds provided. 

Fractional Odds

Fractional odds are quite similar to decimal odds. The only difference is that when you multiply the faction offered by the amount waged, you’ll get the value of the profit earned, not the total potential winnings.

How to Bet on the NHRA Drag Racing Series

Betting on drag racing is a fun experience, but if you want to reap big, you must choose the best and safest platform. You must also know which events can help you win big from drag race betting.

Here is a list of popular drag race events that are favorable to everyone, including beginners:

  • NHRA U.S. Nationals
  • Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals
  • Texas NHRA Fall Nationals
  • NHRA Carolina Nationals
  • NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series

Before betting on drag racing events, you must consider two aspects of legality.

First, it is important to ascertain whether or not the sports betting site you use is licensed and regulated. This assures you that your personal data and money will be safe.

In addition to licensing and regulating sportsbooks, you must also know whether your state has legalized online sports betting

Choosing a Sportsbook

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Your sportsbook choice can define whether you’ll have an impressive or frustrating experience with NHRA drag racing betting. Betting sites can be difficult to navigate, especially if you are a beginner, and betting on drag races can be trickier without guidance. We suggest that you go for legal online casino betting sites, which are easier to navigate and offer abundant bonuses and an exciting user experience. 

Some of the best sportsbooks (online casinos and regular sportsbooks) that currently offer drag racing events betting are:

  1. DraftKings
  2. Betway
  3. Bet365
  4. Ceasars

As you can see, there are several sportsbooks that you can choose from. In addition to traditional Sportsbook operators, NHRA has a Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) option to legally wager cash on the series. Available exclusively on Underdog, DFS offers a new way tor fans to engage with the sport, allowing them to make real money picks in an engaging Pick’Em format. This expanding category within legal sports wagering enables NHRA enthusiasts in 30 states including California, Florida, Utah and Texas, where traditional sports betting is currently prohibited, to participate in the action. 

How do you differentiate the best from the rest? Here are the factors you should consider:

  • Reputation – A good reputation proves a sportsbook’s reliability and trustworthiness. This can be manifested in quality customer service, timely payout of winnings, and easy website navigation. On the other hand, avoid sportsbooks that either delay payouts or entirely refuse to pay winning bets.
  • Bonuses – Betting sites that offer bonuses and promotions demonstrate their unwavering commitment to appreciating customers. Look for sportsbooks with cashbook offers, deposit bonuses, free bets, winning bonuses, and any other offer or promotion.
  • NHRA betting options – A wide variety of markets gives you numerous betting options. Choose a responsible betting site that offers much more than the typical money line, over/under, or point spread bets. 

NHRA Betting Strategies & Tips

You can utilize several basic NHRA betting strategies if you are a beginner. They include:

  • Set a budget for your betting activities to avoid betting more than you can afford to lose.
  • Avoid chasing losses or emotional betting.
  • Ensure you understand the basics of drag racing, including the different categories, how races are conducted, and the factors influencing race outcomes.
  • Research the drivers’ performance history, strengths, weaknesses, and recent forms to help you make a more informed betting decision.
  • Drag racing is heavily influenced by track conditions such as temperature, altitude, and track surface. Some drivers and teams may perform better under specific conditions, so consider these factors when placing your bets.
  • Monitor the betting odds offered by sportsbooks. Odds can fluctuate based on factors such as recent performance, injuries, or track conditions.

For seasoned punters, you can go beyond the basic strategies. Analyze the distinguishing characteristics of the different drag racing classes, seek expert insights, and utilize this knowledge to improve your betting decisions.

Advanced NHRA Betting Topics

Live Betting on NHRA Races

This can add an extra layer of excitement to the viewing experience. It allows you to place bets in real-time as the race unfolds, allowing you to capitalize on changing odds and momentum shifts during the race. The only shortcoming is that you must be able to make quick and accurate analyses and decisions while watching the race.

Hedging Bets to Minimize Risk

Hedging bets is a common strategy punters use to minimize risk and potentially secure a profit regardless of the race outcome. In NHRA betting, hedging can involve placing additional bets to offset potential losses or guarantee a certain level of return. For instance, if you have placed a bet on a specific driver to win the race, you can hedge your bet by placing additional wagers on other drivers to finish in the top positions.

Using Bonus Offers and Promotions to Maximize Profits

Many online sportsbooks offer bonus offers and promotions to attract punters. These bonuses may include sign-up bonuses, deposit bonuses, free bets, and enhanced odds. You can utilize such offers to maximize profits and increase your betting bankroll. Remember to read the terms and conditions since most offers often have certain requirements or restrictions. 

Responsible Gambling Practices

Setting limits on the amount of money and time spent on betting can help prevent excessive losses and maintain control over gambling behavior. It’s also essential to recognize the signs of gambling addiction and seek help if betting starts to negatively impact other areas of your life, such as finances, relationships, or mental health. 

Staying Informed About NHRA Betting

You must be proactive and seek any relevant information and insights about NHRA drag racing betting. This involves:

  • Following NHRA news and driver updates to understand the latest sports developments, such as driver performance, team changes, and technical innovations.
  • Utilizing NxtBets sports betting resources and NHRA guides that provide valuable analysis, tips, and strategies to inform your betting decisions.
  • Joining online forums and communities dedicated to NHRA betting to engage in discussions, share insights, and exchange tips with fellow punters. These platforms offer opportunities to gain diverse perspectives, stay updated on industry trends, and enhance overall knowledge about NHRA betting.

The Future of NHRA Betting in the US

As more states legalize and regulate online sports betting, NHRA drag racing betting will likely reach a wider audience of motorsport enthusiasts. This will open up opportunities for sportsbooks to offer more betting markets to punters.

Additionally, the rise of mobile sports betting platforms allows fans to conveniently place bets on NHRA races from their smart devices, thus providing greater accessibility and flexibility. Mobile betting apps offer features such as live streaming, real-time odds updates, and in-play betting, further enhancing the overall betting experience for NHRA fans.


NHRA drag racing betting is still in its infant stages. There is not much information regarding this thrilling sport that is rapidly gaining the attention of motorsport fans in the U.S. However, we have tried to cover every betting insight and strategy that will help you place successful bets. If you have any queries, please contact our customer support team and visit our website for more of our betting guides.

Frequently Asked Questions

NHRA drag racing features a unique format where vehicles compete in acceleration contests over a measured distance, usually a quarter-mile. This straightforward and high-speed format offers a different betting experience compared to other motorsports like Formula 1 or NASCAR, which involve complex circuits and strategies.

Yes, you can bet on NHRA events from your mobile device. Many online sports betting platforms offer mobile betting apps or mobile-optimized websites that allow you to place bets on NHRA races conveniently from your smart device.

NHRA races usually occur throughout the year, with events held on weekends at various locations across the United States. The NHRA Drag Racing Series calendar typically consists of multiple events scheduled from February to November each year.

The NHRA’s official website is the primary source for NHRA standings. It provides comprehensive and up-to-date information on driver standings, team standings, and championship points across various NHRA categories.