Marathon Final Round to Write Another Chapter in Drag Racing History as PINKS All Out Returns to zMAX Dragway
The first-ever ‘Last Man Standing' final-round marathon is set to write another chapter in ‘four-wide' drag racing history as SPEED grassroots original series, PINKS All Out, returns to zMAX Dragway on April 23-24, just outside Charlotte, N.C.
With a ‘sold out' house of more than 35,000, last year's PINKS All Out shoot was a ‘game changer' on two fronts for the sport; introducing the first-ever, four-wide drag racing competition to a national television audience and the integration of a high-speed ‘Flycam' to the production mix.
Hosted by Rich Christensen, the show offered four-wide drag racing during the first round of eliminations, taking the first car to cross the stripe. As 32 cars battled it out, a winner was found from each of the four lanes. On the production side, SPEED integrated the ‘Flycam' from starting line to finish, traveling up to 107 mph in capturing ‘never-before-seen' overhead quarter mile action. The spectacle drew rave reviews, was featured in Popular Hot Rodding magazine and set a tone for the sport that could be played out for years to come.
"Some of the best PINKS All Out events we have ever had have been at Speedway Motorsports, Inc.-owned drag strips - The Strip @ Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Bristol (Tenn.) Dragway, Infineon Raceway and the first-ever nationally televised four-wide event from zMAX Dragway," said Hunter Nickell, SPEED President. "We are now getting the opportunity to return to some of these great facilities, starting with zMAX Dragway, which has become a real showplace for the sport."
This year's PINKS All Out shoot at zMAX Dragway promises to be just as memorable, as this unique format could have this episode's champion make five total passes to win the lion's share of more than $25,000 in cash and prizes. Once the field has been whittled down to the remaining four competitors, the final begins with a four-wide shootout, eliminating the last car through the traps. The next pass will feature three cars battling it out for the final two spots, setting up the show's now traditional best ‘two-out-of-three' hot-lap eliminator, where a winner will be determined.
"We challenge ourselves every day at zMAX Dragway to be bigger, better, different and obviously SPEED thinks the same way," said Marcus Smith, President and General Manager of Charlotte Motor Speedway. "This new format at PINKS All Out is yet another ‘game changer.' It pushes the envelope, it's creative and most importantly it's going to be an unbelievable show for the fans. Last year PINKS All Out revived four-wide drag racing in a major way and this year they're going to take it to a whole new level at the Bellagio of drag strips."
This final round will be a test of nerves, machinery and mental preparation, expressing what will be the toughest road to winning a PINKS All Out - or any drag racing competition - since the show's inception on Labor Day weekend of 2006 at the Texas Motorplex. The show is based around one long day of time trials, production and competition. Those cars and drivers that can maintain consistency and hold up the longest are the ones with the greatest chance of prevailing at the end of the night.
In addition, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series star Kurt Busch will make an appearance during the show. He will drive his '70 Challenger during a special competition during exhibition time, and will join Christensen and his on-air technical team as an advisor.
"Consistency, stamina, focused concentration and endurance are the hallmark qualities needed to win this competition," said Robert Ecker, SPEED VP of Programming & PINKS All Out Executive Producer. "Time and again we've seen the hardware give out under the stress and intense demands of making so many passes in a single day. This event is designed to push these drivers and their machines to the very limit of their abilities. It's the ultimate challenge for grassroots drag racing's elite."
Tickets for PINKS All Out at zMAX Dragway are going fast and can be purchased by calling the Charlotte Motor Speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS, or online at www.zmaxdragway.com. Reserved seats for Saturday's qualifying sessions and eliminations, including four-wide racing, are only $30. Tickets for Friday's test and tune are $15. Kids 12 and under are free when accompanied by an adult. Connect with zMAX Dragway and stay up to speed with all the happenings at the Bellagio of drag strips on Facebook at www.facebook.com/zmaxdragway and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/zmaxdragway. For more information on PINKS All Out, log onto www.SPEEDtv.com.