NHRA Drivers Impressed By New zMAX Dragway @ Concord - In an afternoon press conference held in the Time Warner Media Center of Charlotte Motor Speedway, several National Hot Rod Association drivers were on hand to talk about the NHRA Nationals, to be held at the new zMAX Dragway @ Concord, September 11-14. The event will also be the first in the NHRA Countdown to the Championship six-race series. Track officials announced that the full quarter-mile surface will be concrete.

On hand were 14-time NHRA Funny Car Champion and team owner John Force; one of his Funny Car drivers, Mike Neff; Top Fuel driver Antron Brown; Pro Stock driver Jeg Coughlin; and Pro Stock Motorcycle drivers Matt Smith and Angie McBride, both of whom are from North Carolina.

"I think it's going to be tremendous for our sport as a whole," said Antron Brown. "It's real important for our sanctioning body as a whole, because concrete is so much more dense. We try to apply 7,000 horsepower to the ground, you need a surface like that to withstand the speeds that we go. On tracks that have concrete and asphalt, there is always a transition. Asphalt and concrete remain at different temperatures. When we go to an all-concrete facility, that's when you are going to see records set, some records broken. And I am just thrilled and excited to be here in North Carolina. And to see what Bruton Smith is establishing as a whole, we are real excited to be out here, especially in the backyard of NASCAR. We are going to have some fun lighting it up. Lighting all the candles and getting some over-330 mile per hour runs on that race track."

Matt Smith is the defending NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle Champion from King, North Carolina. "We are real excited about being here," said Smith. "For the motorcycle division of NHRA, we have not had a race close to home. The track should be really fast. There should be some good elapsed times, maybe some records, especially being in September, if the air is good."

Angie McBride is from Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and started racing motorcycles in 2000. "It's an awesome thing," said McBride. "Being here in North Carolina, I have always been a NASCAR fan. I have always watched it on television and not been able to make many events. To race in NHRA and have our home track here now is a phenomenal thing for us."