NHRA announced today that O'Reilly Auto Parts has agreed to a multi-year deal to become the title rights sponsor of the third annual O'Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Nationals at zMAX Dragway, Sept. 16-19.  

The O'Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Nationals is the second of six races in the NHRA Full Throttle Countdown to the Championship, NHRA's playoff-style format to determine the world champions in each of its four Full Throttle Series classes. 

"O'Reilly Auto Parts is excited to title a fifth event in 2010 with the NHRA and we're looking forward to our first event at zMAX Dragway," said Wes Wise, director of marketing, O'Reilly Auto Parts. "With 82 stores and a 300,000 square foot distribution center serving North Carolina, O'Reilly is in a perfect position to sponsor this event."

Few would argue O'Reilly Auto Parts' long-term commitment to NHRA. The auto parts giant maintains title rights sponsorship of four additional NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series events in Pomona, Houston, Topeka and Dallas. O'Reilly Auto Parts also has naming rights to historic O'Reilly Raceway Park in Indianapolis, home to the largest and most prestigious drag racing event in the world, the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals.

"zMAX Dragway is one of the sport's finest facilities," said Gary Darcy, senior vice president sales and marketing, NHRA.  "And aligning one of our finest partners in O'Reilly Auto Parts with the event in the fall should make for a wonderful experience for our loyal fans in the Southeast."

zMAX Dragway is located on the grounds of Charlotte Motor Speedway and is owned and operated by Speedway Motorsports Inc. The Bellagio of drag strips is home to two NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series events, including the inaugural NHRA Four-Wide Nationals. 

"This is a great win for everyone involved and we're certainly excited to welcome a new partner to zMAX Dragway," said Marcus Smith, president and general manager of Charlotte Motor Speedway. "O'Reilly has a great relationship with Speedway Motorsports and NHRA, and they're a natural fit as the title sponsor to one of the NHRA's premier stops at the sport's premier facility."

Headquartered in Glendora, Calif., NHRA has 80,000 members and 140 member tracks nationwide.   As the primary sanctioning body for the sport of drag racing in the United States, NHRA presents 23 national events featuring the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series, NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series and NHRA Get Screened America Pro Mod Drag Racing Series. Two NHRA-sanctioned bracket racing series provide competition opportunities for drivers of all levels: the NHRA Summit Racing Series and the NHRA Drags: Street Legal Style presented by AAA.  NHRA also offers the Jr. Drag Racing League for youth ages 8 to 17.   In addition, NHRA owns and operates five racing facilities: Gainesville Raceway in Florida; Atlanta Dragway in Georgia; National Trail Raceway in Ohio; O'Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis; and Auto Club Raceway at Pomona in Southern California. For more information, log on to NHRA.com, or visit the official NHRA pages on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

Built in 2008, zMAX Dragway is the only four-lane, all concrete drag strip in the world. Located across U.S. Highway 29 from Charlotte Motor Speedway and adjacent to The Dirt Track at Charlotte, zMAX Dragway seats 30,000 spectators, covers 46.5 acres, features two pedestrian tunnels under the strip and a 34,000-square-foot starting-line tower.

Four-day ticket packages for the third annual O'Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Nationals, Sept. 16-19, start at only $99 and can be obtained by calling the Charlotte Motor Speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS or online at www.zmaxdragway.com.