The NHRA returns to zMAX Dragway this week for the first time since 2019. (HHP/Tami Pope Photo)
The NHRA returns to zMAX Dragway this week for the first time since 2019. (HHP/Tami Pope Photo)

Four-Wide Racing Returns To zMAX Dragway This Weekend

CHARLOTTE – The excitement of four-wide drag racing returns to zMAX Dragway this weekend during the NGK NTK NHRA Four-Nationals.

It marks the fourth race of the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season and the first time the top NHRA stars have raced at zMAX Dragway since the 2019 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. All grandstand seating for Saturday’s qualifying action is sold out, in accordance with current capacity limitations, while only limited tickets remain for Friday’s qualifying and Sunday eliminations.

All the stars in Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle will be on hand to try and grab a key early-season victory in the fan-favorite four-wide spectacle. Steve Torrence (Top Fuel), Shawn Langdon (Funny Car), and Andrew Hines (Pro Stock Motorcycle) were winners of the 2019 four-wide event.

Steve Torrence has dominated the four-wide scene, winning the event three straight years in Top Fuel. He’s won the world title the last three seasons as well, and his first victory this year came at the four-wide race in Las Vegas. In all, he has five four-wide victories, a string he will look to keep going at zMAX. Standing in his way are a host of standouts, including Atlanta winner Antron Brown, who won the four-wide race in Charlotte in 2014 and 2015, Shawn Langdon, who is back in the Top Fuel ranks, Doug Kalitta, Leah Pruett, Josh Hart and Clay Millican.

Cruz Pedregon is the most recent current Funny Car driver in the class to win in Charlotte, doing so at the four-wide event in 2018. He would love to repeat that and pick up his first victory in the class since that race. But it won’t be easy in a star-studded field that includes the likes of points leader Bob Tasca, who has won back-to-back races, defending world champ Matt Hagan, John Force, who won the inaugural four-wide race at zMAX Dragway, Gainesville winner J.R. Todd, Tim Wilkerson, Robert Hight and Ron Capps, who each have four-wide wins, and Alexis DeJoria.

It will be the first four-wide appearance in Charlotte for Pro Stock since the 2018 season and Chris McGaha is the most recent winner among active drivers, taking the victory the previous year. It was his first four-wide victory and he’ll look to grab some early-season momentum with a second win in the unique format. Stopping Greg Anderson’s impressive run to open the year will be difficult, as the four-time champ, who won the four-wide race in Charlotte in 2011 and 2012, has won two of the first three races this season. Others to watch include defending world champ Erica Enders, Troy Coughlin Jr., Kyle Koretsky, Deric Kramer and Aaron Stanfield.

Pro Stock Motorcycle’s Andrew Hines made his first start of the year in Atlanta, making his first 200-mph run, and he’ll look to defend his four-wide crown in Charlotte. It was his fourth four-wide win at zMAX Dragway, making him the most successful rider in the class, but he’ll have his work cut out for him this year. Scotty Pollacheck won in Atlanta, while other top performers include point leader and defending world champ Matt Smith, who won the inaugural race in 2010, Eddie Krawiec, Vegas winner Ryan Oehler, Angelle Sampey and Steve Johnson.

The E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Mod Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by J&A Service will race for the third time this season at Charlotte. Justin Bond is the most recent winner in the class. The race also includes competition in the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, where future stars of the sport hone their skills. The drivers in Top Alcohol Dragster and Top Alcohol Funny Car will also race in the four-wide format at zMAX Dragway for the first time.

After qualifying on Friday, fans can watch the thrilling Diamond Jim Racing jet Funny Car driven by April Crownhart-Swan and the Mustang Sally jet Funny car driven by Paul Sieli. It will be the first appearance at Charlotte for these two jet Funny Cars. Jet cars are thrust-driven propelled by jet engines with exciting pre-run flame shows.

The Southeast Nostalgia Pro Stock Ass’n will also be in action during the weekend at zMAX Dragway, as well as the ScottRods AA/Gassers. Both classes will make runs throughout the weekend, and all the cars will be on display in a special pit display at the track.

Camping World Drag Racing Series qualifying will feature one round at 7 p.m. ET on Friday, May 14, with the two final rounds slated for 1:15 p.m. and 4:45 p.m. on Saturday, May 15. Final eliminations are scheduled for 12 p.m. on Sunday, May 16. Television coverage includes qualifying action on FS1 at 7 p.m. ET on Saturday, May 15, and eliminations beginning at 6 p.m. on Sunday, May 16 on FS1.

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