NHRA coming to New England

The NHRA will add a major event in New England next year, series officials announced Wednesday.

The NHRA New England Nationals will be held June 20-23 in Epping, N.H., at New England Dragway.

"This is a landmark announcement for NHRA," NHRA president Tom Compton said Wednesday at a news conference in Boston. "We identified the New England area as one of the primary regions to expand our schedule."

The New England Dragway is 20 miles east of Manchester, N.H., and 50 miles north of Boston. The facility will undergo major improvements in the next year in preparation for the NHRA event.

"To bring the NHRA to New England, and specifically to New Hampshire, is very exciting," New England Dragway general manager Joe Lombardo said. "We've started the process of preparing our facility to host an event of this magnitude."

NHRA officials have believed for a long time that the New England area was underserved for drag racing. The only events on the NHRA schedule within 600 miles of the Epping track take place at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in Englishtown, N.J., (250 miles away) and Maple Grove Raceway in Mohnton, Pa., (320 miles away).

New England Dragway opened in 1966. The facility became an NHRA member track in 2011.