Street-legal drag racing takes center stage at zMAX Dragway when the Street Racing Challenge returns to the Bellagio of drag strips this Thursday.

The program began earlier this year as a combined effort between zMAX Dragway officials and local law enforcement to take street racing off the streets and into a safe, legal and controlled environment.

As Concord Police Chief Merl Hamilton noted when the program was announced in March, "People, young and old, going fast on public roadways are so dangerous to the rest of the public and themselves. This program is an outstanding opportunity for those individuals, who want to race, to do so in a safe and controlled environment."

Participants, ages 18 and up, are invited to bring their valid driver's license and registration along with their best street ride and compete on the concrete quarter mile in head-to-head racing action. All competitors must wear a helmet to participate.

During the four hours of grudge racing, participants will be encouraged to call out their matchup in the staging lanes, hang out in the pit area with fellow auto enthusiasts or watch the other competitors face off on the strip.

New for Thursday's Street Racing Challenge is a special "Dog Days of Summer" discount for both participants and spectators. Car registration is now $20 while spectators enter for only $5 at the gate or they can visit any local participating Discount Tire or Ride Now Power Sports to pick up a coupon for free admission.

Car registration for the Street Racing Challenge starts at 3 p.m. on Thursday. Spectator gates open at 5 p.m. when the on-track action begins.

Tickets for all events at zMAX Dragway, including the second annual NHRA Carolinas Nationals, Sept. 17-20, are on sale now and can be obtained online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-455-FANS.

Convenient payment plan options and affordable multi-day ticket packages are available.