NHRA Four-Wide Nationals: The Greatest Spectacle in Drag Racing
Just a few weeks remain until the greatest spectacle in drag racing returns to zMAX Dragway, April 13-15, for the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals. Only at the Bellagio of drag strips can fans see the fastest-accelerating machines on the planet release a 32,000-horsepower assault on the only four-lane, all-concrete drag strip in the world.
Antron Brown, driver of the Matco Tools Top Fuel dragster, explained the intensity of the one-of-a-kind event.
"When you say 'a spectacle' you're talking about 32,000 horsepower," said Brown. "Raw, ground-pounding, asphalt-ripping horsepower and we are going to get it done all in one shot. When you hear that thing hit your hearing this percussion going and everybody thinks it's a category four earthquake, and its nothing but our Top Fuel and Funny Cars ripping up that concrete at zMAX Dragway."
Defending NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series Funny Car champion Matt Hagan elaborated on the uniqueness of the event, the challenge it sets for the drivers and the spectacle it is for the fans.
"It creates a spectacle for the fans," said Hagan. "Some of these drivers would usually lift off [the throttle] if things are going wrong. It makes the sensation of when things go wrong even bigger because they have to make it go to the end no matter what. So, they're running and gunning and working hard and no matter what, these drivers are getting it to the very end, to the finish line, trying to turn that win light on. A lot of times you can't see that guy beside you, so you make that car go to the end."
Last year's NHRA Four-Wide Nationals Funny Car winner, Jack Beckman, explained how it feels to be behind the starting line during the event.
"When we roll up to the starting line, when its two-wide and the pair in front of us step on the throttle it's pretty impressive, and I didn't think anything could top that," said Beckman. "When you roll up there four-wide and the ones in front of you step on the throttle, our bodies are held up by these big metal poles, I swear it seems like that thing is going to snap in half and the body is going to fall down."
Shawn Langdon, who pilots a Top Fuel dragster for Al-Anabi Racing, finds the change in format refreshing.
"Going to Four-Wide, we always have a lot of fun with it," said Langdon. "It's something different, it's something for the fans to enjoy, 32,000 horsepower going down the track at once. It's entertaining. It's fun as a driver, I'm sure it's fun for the fans. Just have fun with it."
2011 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series Top Fuel runner-up Spencer Massey feels that the speed and power are unique to the event.
"You get so much power all at once with four Top Fuel cars or four Funny Cars," said Massey. "That also means whenever you win you're beating three other guys instead of just one. It makes it for that much better of a win and that much more power and that much more speed. It's awesome!"
Fans can purchase three tickets and receive one free for the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals. Children 13 and under are admitted for free with the purchase of an adult ticket.
Tickets and camping are still available for the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals, April 13-15 at zMAX Dragway, by calling the Charlotte Motor Speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267).
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