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The NHRA officially kicks off 2014 in Pomona at the Circle K Winternationals

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After what some may feel is a long offseason, the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series starts their 2014 season this weekend with the 54th annual Circle K NHRA Winternationals in Pomona, Calif. Although the race in California is the first points paying event on the schedule, the teams of the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series began the calendar year with tests at the Palm Beach International Raceway and Bradenton Motorsports Park, where they had to deal with temperature variations as well as other weather related issues that should have prepared them to deal with any and all adversity in the coming race season.

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Every February since 1961, fans have flocked to Southern California for the Winternationals, one of drag racing’s grandest traditions, for the unveiling of new cars, drivers, teams, and sponsorships at the season opener. The fabled and historic Pomona facility is well-known for its outstanding traction, smooth surface, and record performances.

The event will be broadcast for the fourteenth year on the ESPN family of networks, which will once again be the television home for the NHRA in 2014 with coverage of all events in the premier Mello Yello Drag Racing Series as well as events in the Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series. Dave Rieff, who has been a part of ESPN’s NHRA coverage since 2001, returns for his second year as anchor for ESPN’s telecasts of both the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series and the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series.

Rieff will call the action from the booth with analyst Mike Dunn, who is beginning his 13th year with ESPN. The former racer is one of only three drivers in NHRA history to win more than 10 times in both the Top Fuel and Funny Car classes. Gary Gerould, John Kernan and Jamie Howe will report from the pits and trackside.

At Pomona this weekend, ESPN2 will air same-day coverage of qualifying on Saturday, Feb. 8, at 11 p.m. ET and same-day coverage of eliminations will air on ESPN on Sunday, Feb. 9, at 8 p.m. In addition, ESPN3, ESPN’s multi-screen live sports network, will have live coverage of qualifying at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 7, with the full day of eliminations live on Sunday starting at 2 p.m.

All NHRA programming on ESPN Networks is available on computers, smartphones, tablets, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Apple TV and Roku via WatchESPN, accessible to fans who receive their video subscription from an affiliate provider.

The NHRA will be available in 78 countries and territories to more than 30 million homes, through a combination of ESPN International sales and network programming, including coverage in Australia, Brazil, Canada, the Caribbean, Latin America, UK, Eastern Europe, Russia and New Zealand. In addition, U.S. troops and their families serving around the world in 175 countries and on Navy vessels at sea can watch NHRA on the American Forces Network.

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