zMAX Dragway: NHRA's Fastest Track
Holding four of the eight NHRA national records, zMAX Dragway is currently the fastest track on the NHRA circuit. This weekend, the track will host the O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Nationals, the first event of the NHRA Countdown to the Championship. With cooler temperatures expected, and a Friday night qualifying session on the schedule, the conditions will be right to set additional records.
Spencer Massey set the NHRA national speed record in April at the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals and became the first Top Fuel pilot to reach 330 mph at the 1,000-foot mark with a speed of 332.18 mph.
“That track is one of the best of the best of the best,” said Massey. “That’s why it’s zMAX Dragway. That thing is prepared. It’s built to have speed, to have great numbers. That’s why whenever you see cars out there, there’s going to be speed records, there’s going to be ET records, it’s going to be spectacular. That’s why we love racing at zMAX.”
Last fall, Matt Hagan made NHRA history with the first Funny Car run in the three-second range during the Friday night qualifying session and set the national ET record with a 3.995-second run.
“It’s just a great track. Bruton Smith has built a phenomenal facility here,” said Hagan. “All the guys that work here at the track do a great job keeping the track up with the prep work. Obviously to run record numbers you don’t just have to have a great track, you have to have perfect conditions; you have to have everything right with the car and you also have to have the track itself in tip-top shape when the conditions do come in. It always has been here at zMAX Dragway, whether it’s spring or fall, there’s always fast numbers here. I get chill bumps thinking about it.”
In the same session last year, Jack Beckman set the Funny Car speed record at 318.99 mph. Jason Line set the Pro Stock speed record at 213.91 mph at the 2012 NHRA Four-Wide Nationals, bringing zMAX Dragway’s national record total to four.
Tickets for the O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Nationals start at $20 and are available by by calling the Charlotte Motor Speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267) or at www.zmaxdragway.com. Children 13 and under are admitted for free every day of the O'Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Nationals, but they must have a ticket.
Gates open at 7:30 a.m. on Friday and Saturday, and at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday. Sportsman action starts at 8 a.m. Friday and Saturday. Nitro qualifying sessions are scheduled for 4 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. on Friday and 1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. on Saturday. On Sunday, final eliminations are scheduled to begin with nitro at noon.