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2 Andrew Hines 2205
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6 Karen Stoffer 2083
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9 Louis Tonglet 2061
10 Matt Smith 2054
NHRA To Run Four Wide At zMax Dragway

by Pete McCole
Thursday, January 21, 2010

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NHRA Funny Cars participated in a four-wide exhibition event at zMax in September 2009
Rhonda McCole/AR1.com
The National Hot Rod Association announced Thursday that for the first time in the series’ history, the NHRA’s top four divisions will compete four-wide in qualifying and elimination rounds during the 2010 Four-Wide Nationals at zMax Dragway on March 25-28.

Drivers in the NHRA Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle will qualify and race four wide, with the top two drivers from each elimination round advancing to the next round.

The announcing comes after the NHRA previously staged a four-wide exhibition for the Top Fuel and Funny Car divisions during the Carolinas Nationals event held at zMax in September.

“We had so much positive feedback from our fans and drivers after the four-lane exhibition last September that we were comfortable adding this unique twist to an official NHRA national event," said NHRA President Tom Compton. “Once again, the NHRA will be making history at zMax Dragway. With all four of our Full Throttle Series categories competing in four-wide racing it will certainly be a spectacular event to see.” zzzz

L-R Tom Compton, Bruton Smith, John Force
Rhonda McCole/AR1.com
14-time Funny Car Champion John Force, who participated in the four-wide exhibition, was among many drivers who supported the idea when first asked about it following the event in September.

“My driver, Mike Neff, won it. I was a runner-up. It was exciting,” said Force. “I don't know how the other racers feel. But at the end of the day, it's going to be exciting. You're talking over 30,000 horsepower at one time. You're talking over 1,200 mph out there on that race track.

“Let me tell you, I embarrassed myself at the press conference. We came right back in to talk about what had taken place. When I drove this four-lane race, I ran in here and I was like Tom Cruise on Oprah, jumping up and down, screaming. Everyone said, 'He went nuts,' because it was that exciting and thrilling.”

Qualifying for the event will be held using all four lanes of the strip, while elimination rounds will feature the top two finishers moving onto the second round. The top two finishers in each second-round event will move onto the final round.

The final round will include four drivers, with the top finisher was the winner, followed by second, third and fourth.

The NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series' will continue to use the traditional two-lane format, while alternating using the right two and left two lanes.

zMax Dragway – dubbed “the Bellagio of drag strips” - was envisioned to be the first drag strip of it’s kind to be built with four concrete lanes when Speedway Motorsports Inc. chairman and CEO Bruton Smith first proposed the track in 2007.

“Watching these nitro cars thunder four-wide down the world's only four-lane concrete strip is exactly what we had in mind when we built zMax Dragway," said Smith. “We're making history with horsepower and race fans will be treated to a competition unlike any thing that's ever been seen before.

“This will blow them away.”

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