With a who’s-who of NHRA Legends scheduled to be on hand to celebrate NHRA’s 60th Anniversary season, the second annual VisitMyrtleBeach.com NHRA Four-Wide Nationals, April 14-17 at zMAX Dragway, promises to be a ‘cant-miss’ event for fans in the heart of the motorsports-crazed Carolinas.

The VisitMyrtleBeach.com NHRA Four-Wide Nationals, with its unique four-wide format that unleashes 28,000 nitro-fueled horsepower simultaneously, is already one of the must-see spectacles in sport. So when you add to that a marquee list of the sport’s greatest legends who will be signing autographs and interacting with fans throughout the weekend, you have created a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience for the fan.

The NHRA Legends scheduled to be on hand at zMAX Dragway, the famed Bellagio of Drag Strips, to meet and greet fans during the race weekend, will be:

  • “Big Daddy” Don Garlits, who is No. 1 on NHRA’s list of all-time Greatest Drivers and who famously developed and debuted in 1971 the rear-engine dragster that remains in place 40 years later;
  • Shirley Muldowney, a pioneer for women in sports who won three world championships and who, in 2011, will be celebrating the 35th anniversary of her breakthrough first win by a female in a Top Fuel dragster (June 13, 1976);
  • Kenny Bernstein, the famed “King of Speed” who was the first driver to eclipse the 300-mph barrier, who was one of only two drivers to have won championships in both Top Fuel and Funny Car, and who is renowned for introducing corporate America to NHRA drag racing;
  •  Connie Kalitta, who got the nickname “Bounty Hunter” for striking fear in his competitors more than a quarter-century ago, and who more recently has been known for being the owner of one of the more competitive and tradition-rich teams in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series.

This ultimate NHRA Fantasy Camp list of Legends will be available throughout the weekend for meet-and-greets and autograph sessions with fans. The event will also feature a vintage car corral, parade of classic cars and a 4-Wide Track Walk where fans who’ve purchased a reserved ticket can walk beside, and listen to stories told by, one of the Legends on Sunday morning prior to pre-race.

The VisitMyrtleBeach.com NHRA 4-Wide Nationals, April 14-17 at zMAX Dragway, will mark the fourth stop in a year-long celebration that will pay homage to the evolution of the hot rod, the impact of the sport’s legendary racers, and the lifeblood provided by the many millions of loyal and passionate NHRA fans.

“(NHRA Founder) Wally (Parks) created NHRA for the hot rod enthusiasts and the 2011 season, our 60th Anniversary, will be a year-long celebration in their honor,” said NHRA president Tom Compton.  “Fans, accustomed to an up close and personal experience with the stars of the sport through our open pit environment, will have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet the stars and see the cars from throughout the 60-year history of the sport.”

The celebration will continue throughout the year as the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series winds its way from Pomona to Pennsylvania, Dallas to Denver, Seattle to Central Florida, and everywhere in between. NHRA drag racing fans from across the country will be treated to special events designed to give them the chance to touch and feel and in many cases personally interact with the men, women and vehicles that have made the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series the great sport that it is today.

Race fans can frequent NHRA.com or simply ‘like’ the NHRA Facebook page to receive updated news regarding details of the many 60th-themed ticket promotions being offered, and specific activities planned, at each of the remaining 19 events on the 2011 schedule.

The virtual tour through the first 60 years of NHRA drag racing will extend beyond the track to the desktops, laptops and handheld devices of NHRA fans via the NHRA Facebook page. Throughout the 2011 season, NHRA will enlist the expertise of the fans of the NHRA Facebook page to help determine the greatest moments from the first 60 years of NHRA drag racing. Voting – based on ‘likes’ – has already begun and will continue throughout the season.