Bracket Racing Rules & Regulations


Welcome and thank you for being a part of Houston Raceway Park Powered by Pennzoil’s 2021 Texas Bracket Racing series. Whether you have been attending events at our track since its debut in 1988 or this is your first season with us, we sincerely hope you enjoy your time at the race track.

The information contained within will be used in conjunction with the current 2021 NHRA Rule Book, and will provide you with accurate rules and procedures for competing at Houston Raceway Park Powered by Pennzoil. We encourage every racer to become a member of the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA), which entitles you to receive NHRA’s publication, National Dragster, and much more.

Should you have any questions regarding rules or need event information please call our office at (281) 383-7223 or visit our website at


In order to utilize a pit vehicle during a Houston Raceway Park Powered by Pennzoil event, the operator must be 16 years of age or older. In the event that a participant’s pit vehicle is witnessed, by a track official, being driven by any individual under 16 years of age, the owner will forfeit all entries and points for that event. If a second offense occurs the owner could lose all competition privileges for the season at the discretion of the Competition Director.


Every driver must fill out a tech card for each class of participation. All tech cards must be filled out completely, or they will not be accepted at tech inspection. The driver must sign the front and fill out the back of each tech card. Houston Raceway Park Powered by Pennzoil offers and recognizes the NHRA Extended Technical Inspection program. However, the car and driver must go through tech and show an HRP official their ETI sticker and booklet.  Tech will be located near the Sunoco Fuel station. Bring NHRA license or equivalent with you to tech.


If you wish to enter the Houston Raceway Park Powered by Pennzoil Texas Bracket Racing Series points program, you must complete a registration form and return it to Race Control (Suite 207) prior to earning points. For 2021, we will calculate points for ALL Racers for the first 4 races, racers will have until the end of the fourth race to sign up for points to retain those points. After the fourth race anyone that HAS NOT registered for points will be reset to ZERO and points will no longer be calculated. To be eligible to race on the E.T. Bracket Finals team, drivers must have a current NHRA Permanent Competition Number prior to going to Dallas. There is a $50 charge for each class registration form submitted for points. Drivers must register for each category in which they would like to earn points.





In order to earn points in the bracket racing series on both of their entries individually, drivers must complete a point registration form. There is a charge to enter the points program at Houston Raceway Park Powered by Pennzoil. Points are calculated in the following manner: 100 points will be awarded for show up/first round and 100 points will be awarded for every round you show up to after first round.  Buy-Backs will receive zero points for every round won starting in the 2nd round and will be racing only for the money/trophy at that point. The winner of each class will receive 20 additional bonus points and the runner-up will receive 10 additional bonus point.

NOTE: If your car breaks before round 1 and cannot run, you will have a choice to keep your (100) show up points or receive a rain check for the next day of racing.


Houston Raceway Park Powered by Pennzoil participants should pay close attention to announcements on the public address system. Stay tuned for class calls and the status of eliminations. You can tune in to our track radio station at 87.9 FM while at the track to hear the announcements.


Houston Raceway Park Powered by Pennzoil will share your race photos on our social media accounts. When you post your photos please be sure to tag us on Facebook @houstonraceway, Instagram @houstonracewaypark, and on Twitter @houstonraceway


Houston Raceway has created a Facebook group called “Texas Bracket Racing Series” dedicated to our race participants. Be sure to join the page to keep up with important news and information regarding the Series.


Houston Raceway Park Powered by Pennzoil is one of the world’s finest motorsports facilities. We hope you will help us in an effort to maintain this high quality facility. We ask that you please place all trash in the proper trash containers which are provided throughout the facility. Tires and batteries are not to be left on Houston Raceway Park Powered by Pennzoil grounds. We also ask that all used oil be deposited in the proper containers provided in the pit area. Glass bottles are STRICTLY PROHIBITED at Houston Raceway Park Powered by Pennzoil. Please DO NOT dump charcoal in any trash cans.








The areas located directly beneath the control tower, staging lanes, short chute, track and return roadand the top end are restricted areas. Spectator viewing is not allowed from these locations. Children 14 years of age and younger must remain inside a tow vehicle while in these areas. Racers and spectators are not allowed in the VIP Suites without proper credentials. Golf carts are not considered enclosed vehicles.

In the event of an on track incident please give our rescue and safety personnel the room they need to perform their critical job and rescue and clean up operations.  Any attempt to access the immediate incident area is STRICTLY PROHIBITED and you will be asked to leave.


For 2021, Houston Raceway Park Powered by Pennzoil is offering reserved racer parking in our Staging Lane Terrace lot.  This is located south of the staging lanes where the big oak tree sits.  Spots will be 60’x40’ with plenty of room for your tow vehicles and race cars to be parked side by side. There are spots available for a price of $150 for the season but do not have any hook ups. These spots are only reserved for our E.T. Bracket Racing Series events.  To reserve your 2021 spot please contact Austin Hayward at: or call 281-383-7223.  If your truck and trailer requires additional space due to overall length please let us know.


The following information is intended to outline class rules and racing regulations for each of the categories that compete in the Houston Raceway Texas Bracket Series. Racers should familiarize themselves with the NHRA Rulebook for any and all specific rules and regulations regarding vehicle safety specifications. All NHRA safety rules and regulations will be strictly enforced.


This category is reserved for race cars and motorcycles running 4.00 and slower (1/8 mile). All NHRA approved electronic driving aids and throttle controls are accepted for use in competition. Any other devices are considered illegal. Deep staging is not allowed. Courtesy staging will be enforced.


This class is reserved for cars and motorcycles running E.T. of 5.00 seconds and slower. The following devices are not allowed to aid in the launch of the vehicle: delay boxes and throttle stops. The following devices are allowed: Transbrakes, line locks, two and three step rev limiters. All wiring for a line lock and or transbrake device must be completely exposed at all times from the button to the solenoid. Quick disconnect wiring will be allowed. Delay boxes, etc. on quick disconnects must be completely removed from the vehicle during No Box competition. Any device may be removed at any time by the Competition Director or Tech Official. Discovery of electronic devices, not removed from quick disconnects during No Box competition will result in automatic disqualification, and possible further disciplinary actions. Deep staging is not allowed. Courtesy staging will be enforced.


Open to Jr. Dragster competitors holding an NHRA Jr. Dragster Driver’s Certificate, with a minor release on file with NHRA and Houston Raceway Park Powered by Pennzoil. All NHRA rules are in effect for the Jr. Dragster category where E.T. rules, safety rules, and driver conduct are concerned. Please be familiar with all NHRA rules. Deep staging is NOT allowed. Courtesy staging will be enforced. Crew members or parents are not allowed to touch the Jr. Dragster once it has pre-staged. If a parent or crew member touches the car once it is pre-staged, that car and driver will be disqualified. Only track officials are permitted to touch the car once it has entered the pre-stage beam. Only one chance will be given to re-stage a car. The driver must accept the tree upon staging a second time. Jr. Dragsters will utilize the AutoStart system. Driver’s must meet class age and elapsed time requirements as follow: 13-17 years of age, with a max E.T. of 7.90 seconds; 10-12 years of age with a max E.T. of 8.90 seconds; 8 and 9 years of age with a max E.T. of 11.90 seconds and; 6 and 7 years of age with a max E.T. of 13.90 seconds. Drivers 5 years of age are not allowed to run in competition until after their 6th birthday. Sportsman class is open to drivers age 6 to 12 years of age. Advanced class is open to drivers age 13 to 17 years of age. Any competitor running quicker than 7.50 E.T. in the eighth-mile or 4.10 E.T. in 330 feet or faster than 85.00 mph at any time during eliminations will be disqualified from the event. Drivers must stay fully equipped while engine is running (i.e. all safety equipment, belts, helmets, gloves). Following a run, all Jr. Dragsters must be towed back to the pits. Drivers must be fully seated with their head inside the roll cage if riding or steering car while being towed. Drivers are not allowed to drive the vehicle in the pit area. Ladders will start in the third round of racing.


Jr. Street will be run verbatim from the NHRA Rule Book. Reserved for participants ages 13 through the year of their 16th birthday, only along with an adult co-driver. Jr. Dragster participants may compete in Jr. Street during the same event.




Cards will be drawn at random in a sequence of first card Left lane, second card Right lane with corresponding numbers to the staging lanes. Jr. Dragster Categories will be put on a ladder in their rounf of 16. Ladders will be posted on the Houston Raceway Park Powered by Pennzoil Bracket Series Facebook page. Staff will be in the back of the lanes each laddered round with current ladders for pairings. Lane choice is determined by reaction time from previous round. Please pull in the back of the staging lanes at an angle on either side to where you are not blocking anyone from or being blocked from proceeding into the lanes once paired. Lane choice is based off reaction times from the previous round.


The following rules and regulations will pertain to all categories, unless specifically noted. These rules and regulations may or may not differ from the NHRA Rulebook.


No one under the age of 16 is allowed to drive ATV’s, golf cart, or scooters at any time. These vehicles are not to be used as recreational vehicles while at Houston Raceway Park Powered by Pennzoil. Support vehicles must carry the corresponding racecar number. Misuse of pit vehicles will result in the vehicles being impounded and the racer associated with the pit vehicle may be disqualified.  Remember the use of these vehicles is a privilege, not a right, and can be revoked at any time by a Houston Raceway Park Powered by Pennzoil official.


We take great pride in having so many NHRA Division champions race with us. Only SUMMIT ET SERIES and HOUSTON RACEWAY PARK gold cards are accepted for all ET BRACKET RACING EVENTS. NHRA division 4 gold cards are good for one entry and 1 crew each day of an event for the driver, category and year in which they are printed. Houston Raceway Parks gold cards are good for one entry for the driver, category and year in which they are printed.


Burnouts are allowed only in the designated burnout box of the race track. Burnouts performed in any other location of the facility will result in immediate disqualification. The practice of testing trans-brakes, line locks, and other equipment where full or partial throttle is achieved while the vehicle is on the ground is strictly prohibited. Testing the equipment must be done while the car is elevated on jack stands, or in the starting line approach areas (after waterbox) only. Disregarding this rule will be grounds for further disciplinary action. Any car being warmed or tested in the pits must be elevated by a minimum of two jack stands at the drive axle of the car if it is not being driven. The practice of warming a car by only using one jack is strictly prohibited. A qualified driver must be in the cockpit while any car is running. Any violation of these rules will be grounds for immediate disqualification and further disciplinary action.



Dial-ins must be posted on the vehicle before reaching the crossover bridge and can NOT be changed from this point forward. All dial-ins must be posted on the right side or rear of the racing vehicle. Hand-held dial-in boards are prohibited. The only time a dial-in can be changed is in the event of an oil-down or rain delay. Once a driver has pre-staged, they have accepted the dial-in as posted on the scoreboards. It is the driver’s responsibility to check the dial-in before staging the race car. There will be no re-runs as a result of an incorrect dial-in.


Payouts can be split up if all drivers present agree to do so.


One driver may not be entered in the same class more than one time at the same event. One car cannot be entered in the same class more than one time at the event.  Two drivers may not drive the same car in one class at the same event. Doubles ran as separate field of cars, Class A and Class B. We encourage racers to enter more than one class, even with the same car. Upon doing so, the driver understands that he or she could be required to return to the staging lanes quickly to enable the program to proceed at a normal pace. We ask that you take this into consideration when entering two classes. We will not put a hold on eliminations for one driver to return to the lanes. A 5 minute minimum time period is in place when needed. This means 5 minutes from when the last pair of cars ran in a category the next round can be running down the track.


It is the goal of Houston Raceway Park Officials to conduct events according to schedule. Should there be a substantial chance that an event will never get started due to rain or inclement weather, track officials will make every effort to notify the public of cancellation. Houston Raceway Park Powered by Pennzoil has a Facebook page and a website ( that will contain information regarding event status. If inclement weather begins after gates open, reasonable efforts will be made to complete the event. Should weather halt an event after eliminations begin, the race will be postponed and ran with the following event. Houston Raceway Park Officials will make the final decision if a race(s) schedule will be altered, postponed, and/ or cancelled due to scheduling conflicts with makeup weekends. Up-to-the minute schedule decisions will be posted on the HRP Bracket Series Facebook group page first.


If a driver breaks after they have taken a green light in any time trial session but before round 1 of eliminations, that driver will be eligible for a (100) point show or a rain check to a later points event. If a driver breaks before they are able to go down the track at all, then a rain check will be issued for the full amount of the tech card entry. If a driver’s car breaks during eliminations they are not allowed to return the following round in another car. All rain checks for entry fees are valid for twelve months from date of issue.



Deep staging is prohibited in all classes. The blue light system monitors the tree and will give an automatic red light when a car is deep staged. The final staging motion, using applied power, must be in a forward motion going from pre-stage to the stage position. Courtesy staging will be enforced. In a “double bulb” situation the driver will be given one warning, if it is to happen again they will be disqualified for the day and forfeit any entries and their points will stop. Houston Raceway Park Powered by Pennzoil will utilize the Compulink TruStart and AutoStart Systems for all E.T. Bracket Racing series events. A vehicle will be considered staged after .06 seconds. After the pre-stage and stage bulbs are fully lit for one vehicle, the second vehicle will then have 10 seconds to complete staging before timing out. Vehicles that do not stage before the time out will receive an automatic red light. Drivers will have only ONE opportunity to stage correctly. Once the vehicle is staged, if it rolls-through (either forward or backward), this will result in automatic disqualification. If a Houston Raceway Park Official witnesses an attempt to manipulate the timing system it will result in a disqualification.


The 10-mph pit speed limit will be strictly enforced. The only areas of the facility that are excluded from this speed limit are the race track and return road before the scales.


Any participant wishing to protest another participant will be allowed to do so under the following guidelines: Drivers must be registered for the Houston Raceway Bracket Racing Series points. A formal protest must be filed with the Competition Director prior to the start of eliminations. A $300 cash protest fee will be required. The vehicle being protested will be taken to a secured area where Houston Raceway Park officials will evaluate the car, accompanied only by the driver of the protested vehicle. If the vehicle is found to be non-compliant with Houston Raceway Park Powered by Pennzoil and NHRA rules, the driver will be eliminated from competition that day, and will forfeit entry fees and all points accumulated for the season. The driver can also become ineligible to compete at Houston Raceway Park Powered by Pennzoil events for the remainder of the season, or a period of time as determined by race officials. If the vehicle is found to be non-compliant, the protest fee, minus a $100 technical department expense, will be refunded to the driver filing the protest. If the vehicle is found to be in compliance with Houston Raceway Park Powered by Pennzoil rules, the protest fee, minus a $100 technical department expense, will be forfeited to the owner of the protested vehicle. Houston Raceway Park officials may protest a car and/or require a full technical inspection at any time during any event at no charge.


All participants, which include but are not limited to drivers, car owners, crew members, friends, family and spectators, are expected to conduct themselves in a professional and non-disruptive manner at all times. Drivers must be aware that they are responsible for the conduct of any person associated with their race team, regardless of age or class of competition. Any disciplinary action that must be taken will involve the driver of any car with whom the offender(s) are associated. Any participant who, in the judgment of the Competition Director 1) verbally or physically threatens another participant, or other person, 2) uses vulgar or derogatory language, 3) engages in unsportsmanlike conduct or conduct detrimental to the sport of racing, or 4) otherwise creates a condition or circumstance that is unsafe, unfair, or out of order, shall have violated the rules and regulations of Houston Raceway Park Powered by Pennzoil and the NHRA. Failure to comply with the participant conduct rules and regulations can and will result in competition privileges being revoked, and/or suspension from future events at Houston Raceway Park Powered by Pennzoil or other NHRA sanctioned events.


Houston Raceway Park Powered by Pennzoil will not tolerate the use of controlled substances or alcohol by any individual wishing to participate in any event taking place at the facility. Any participant suspected of violating the NHRA Substance Abuse Policy will be referred to the NHRA for disciplinary action.


Upon entering the facility, each customer must print and sign their name on the insurance waiver and release form. The customer will not be granted entrance should they refuse to properly sign these forms. Any minor (18 or under) who wishes to compete on the track must have a Parental Consent Waiver and Release Form signed by the parents and on file in the tower.


This rules and regulations package is verified as being up-to-date and correct at time of printing. Any amendments or rule changes will be noted in the publication of the Houston Raceway Park Powered by Pennzoil Racer e-Newsletter. Racers are advised to keep up with any changes to these rules. Houston Raceway assumes no liability for the correctness of this package after rules revisions have been made. It will be the racer’s responsibility to be familiar with any and all rule changes, revisions, updates, clarifications and amendments. Houston Raceway thanks you for your cooperation and participation.


Mailing Address:                                                                              Physical Address:

Houston Raceway Park Powered by Pennzoil                      Houston Raceway Park Powered by Pennzoil

P.O. Box 1345                                                                                    2525 South FM 565

Baytown, TX  77522                                                                         Baytown, TX 77523



*All Rules are up to date as of 4/27/2021.