View to a Thrill: NASCAR Meets Drag Racing as ThorSport Racing Drivers Check Out Sunday at NHRA 4-Wide Nationals Presented by Lowes Foods
Rico Abreu has driven sprint cars, midgets, stock cars and trucks in the last three years, but no feeling topped the excitement the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series rookie had when he stood trackside on zMAX Dragway's starting line and witnessed the high-octane, 40,000-horsepower NHRA 4-Wide Nationals presented by Lowes Foods eliminations on Sunday.
Abreu and ThorSport Racing teammates Matt Crafton, Cameron Hayley and Ben Rhodes participated in a pre-race track walk, met with NHRA drivers including J.R. Todd and were visibly impressed by the one-of-a-kind spectacle that is four-wide racing at zMAX Dragway.
"My eyeballs are still out there on the track," Abreu said. "It's really cool. I would try it. It's a straight line, so it's a little bit different than what I'm used to, but I just know when I do try it not to turn left at the finish."
The NASCAR-meets-NHRA event served as a high-speed preview of the ThorSport Racing drivers' return to Charlotte Motor Speedway's iconic 1.5-mile superspeedway on May 20 for the North Carolina Education Lottery 200, the series' only stop in North Carolina.
Crafton, who won the 2008 North Carolina Education Lottery 200, agreed with his teammates in wanting to try out drag racing on a free weekend. No one was more taken aback by the experience than Rhodes, a Louisville, Kentucky, native who had never attended a drag race prior to Sunday.
"I have enormous respect for what these people do," Rhodes said. "It's just crazy. It doesn't do it justice to watch it on TV. You really have to be here to experience it, and I didn't realize that until I was standing next to the starting line."
Tickets to any action-packed Charlotte Motor Speedway, zMAX Dragway or The Dirt Track at Charlotte event can be purchased by calling the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267) or by shopping online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com.
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