Title stretch kicks off early in Brainerd

Updated: August 11, 2006, 4:42 PM ET
By Bill Stephens | Special to ESPN.com

Traditionally, the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals at Indianapolis Raceway Park on Labor Day weekend is the NHRA POWERade event which signifies the homestretch of the professional drag racing season. But thanks to the remarkably close points races in each of the four pro classes, this weekend's 25th Lucas Oil Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway in Brainerd, Minn., could be considered this year's stretch drive kickoff.

With the Western Swing now far behind them, Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro ...

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