Bruton Smith, founder and chief executive officer of Charlotte Motor Speedway, Concord Mayor Scott Padgett and Jay White, chairman of the Cabarrus County Board of Commissioners, broke ground today for The Dragway @ Charlotte Motor Speedway.

The quarter-mile drag strip will join Charlotte Motor Speedway's legendary 1.5-mile superspeedway and four-tenths-mile dirt track in presenting America's most popular auto racing series to fans from around the world.

The drag racing facility will open Sept. 11-14 with the inaugural NHRA Carolinas Nationals, round 19 of the 24-race NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series.

The dragway will be located on 125 acres of LMS property across U.S. Highway 29 from the superspeedway, adjacent to The Dirt Track. The track's most prominent feature will be a 34,000-square-foot starting-line tower that includes 16 luxury suites and an additional 4,000 square-feet of roof access for guests.

Initial plans call for two steel-and-aluminum grandstand structures, one on each side of the drag strip, with a seating capacity of 30,000 and room for expansion to 60,000.

Click here to view full Photo Gallery