Countdown format puts pressure on some of NHRA's biggest names

The mad scramble for NHRA drivers to get in the top four, and thus continue in the playoffs, is almost over. There are some big names on the bubble with one race left to keep their championship hopes alive, writes Bill Stephens.

Updated: October 1, 2007, 8:17 PM ET
By Bill Stephens | ESPN.com

This weekend, the door leading to the professional NHRA POWERade championships will be closing much tighter. When racing ends at the Torco Race Fuels Nationals at Virginia Motorsports Park on Sunday (final eliminations, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN2) in Richmond, Va., the field of title contenders in Top Fuel, Funny Car and Pro Stock will be whittled down from eight to four in each category.

For some of the sport's most respected and race-ready teams, the door will be shutting altogether.

Of ...

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