CONCORD, N.C. (May 7, 2021) – The sport’s ultimate thrill ride started at zMAX Dragway and the excitement of four-wide drag racing returns to the Bellagio of drag strips for the upcoming NGK NTK NHRA Four-Nationals, which takes place May 14-16.
It marks the fourth race of the 2021 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season and the first time the top NHRA stars have raced at zMAX Dragway since the 2019 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With that in mind, the anticipation is high as fans will be treated to the spectacular and unique spectacle of four 11,000-horsepower nitro-burning machines simultaneously blasting down the track.
Fans will be ready to see their first four-wide action at the track in two years, and are eagerly ready to take in one of the most memorable scenes in motorsports. All grandstanding seating for Saturday’s qualifying action is sold out, in accordance with current capacity limitations, while only limited tickets remain for Friday’s qualifying and Sunday eliminations.
All the stars in Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle will be on hand to try and grab a key early-season victory in the unique and fan-favorite four-wide spectacle. Steve Torrence (Top Fuel), Shawn Langdon (Funny Car), and Andrew Hines (Pro Stock Motorcycle) were winners of the 2019 four-wide event, and this year’s race will be televised on FOX Sports 1 (FS1), including finals coverage starting at 6 p.m. (ET) on Sunday, May 16.
Steve Torrence has dominated the four-wide scene, winning the event three straight years in Top Fuel. He’s won the world title the last three seasons as well, and his first victory this year came at the four-wide race in Las Vegas. In all, he has five four-wide victories, a string he will look to keep going in 2021. Standing in his way are a host of standouts, including Atlanta winner Antron Brown, who won the four-wide race in Charlotte in 2014 and 2015, Shawn Langdon, who is back in the Top Fuel ranks, Doug Kalitta, Leah Pruett, Josh Hart and Clay Millican.
Cruz Pedregon is the most recent current Funny Car driver in the class to win in Charlotte, doing so at the four-wide event in 2018. He would love to repeat that and pick up his first victory in the class since that race. But it won’t be easy in a star-studded field that includes the likes of points leader Bob Tasca, who has won back-to-back races, defending world champ Matt Hagan, John Force, who won the inaugural four-wide race at zMAX Dragway, Gainesville winner J.R. Todd, Tim Wilkerson, Robert Hight and Ron Capps, who each have four-wide wins, and Alexis DeJoria.
It will be the first four-wide appearance in Charlotte for Pro Stock since the 2018 season and Chris McGaha is the most recent winner among active drivers, taking the victory the previous year. It was his first four-wide victory and he’ll look to grab some early-season momentum with a second win in the unique format. Stopping Greg Anderson’s impressive run to open 2021 will be difficult, as the four-time champ, who won the four-wide race in Charlotte in 2011 and 2012, has won two of the first three races this season. Others to watch include defending world champ Erica Enders, Troy Coughlin Jr., Kyle Koretsky, Deric Kramer and Aaron Stanfield.
Pro Stock Motorcycle’s Andrew Hines made his first start of 2021 in Atlanta, making his first 200-mph run and he’ll look to defend his four-wide crown in Charlotte. It was his fourth four-wide win at zMAX Dragway, making him the most successful rider in the class, but he’ll have his work cut out for him this year. Scotty Pollacheck won in Atlanta, while other top performers include points leader and defending world champ Matt Smith, who won the inaugural race in 2010, Eddie Krawiec, Vegas winner Ryan Oehler, Angelle Sampey and Steve Johnson.
The E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Mod Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by J&A Service will race for the third time in 2021 at Charlotte. Justin Bond is the most recent winner in the class. The race also includes thrilling competition in the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, where future stars of the sport hone their skills. The drivers in Top Alcohol Dragster and Top Alcohol Funny Car will also race in the four-wide format at zMAX Dragway for the first time.
After qualifying on Friday, fans can watch the thrilling “Diamond Jim Racing” jet Funny Car driven by April Crownhart-Swan and the “Mustang Sally” jet Funny car driven by Paul Sieli. It will be the first-ever appearance at Charlotte for these two jet Funny Cars. Jet cars are thrust-driven propelled by jet engines with exciting pre-run flame shows.
The Southeast Nostalgia Pro Stock Association will also be in action during the weekend at zMAX Dragway, as well as the ScottRods AA/Gassers. Both classes will make runs throughout the weekend, and all the cars will be on display in a special pit display at the track.
Camping World Drag Racing Series qualifying will feature one round at 7 p.m. ET on Friday, May 14, with the two final rounds slated for 1:15 p.m. and 4:45 p.m. on Saturday, May 15. Final eliminations are scheduled for 12 p.m. on Sunday, May 16. Television coverage includes qualifying action on FS1 at 7 p.m. ET on Saturday, May 15, and eliminations beginning at 6 p.m. on Sunday, May 16 on FS1.
Tickets are on sale for Friday’s and Sunday’s action at the NGK NTK NHRA Four-Wide Nationals and may be purchased by visiting www.zmaxdragway.com or calling 800-455-3267. Children 13 and under are admitted free with a paid adult.
NGK SPARK PLUG NHRA FOUR-WIDE NATIONALS
WHAT: 11th annual NGK NTK NHRA Four-Wide Nationals, the fourth event of the 2021 NHRA Camping World Racing Series season. Drivers in four categories – Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock, and Pro Stock Motorcycle – earn points leading to 2021 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series world championships. The E3 Spark Plugs Pro Mod Drag Racing Series Presented by J&A Service will also be in competing throughout the weekend as well as Sportsman racers in the Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series.
WHERE: zMAX Dragway- Track is located on Hwy 29 off I-85 at exit 49 (Speedway Blvd.) in the Concord, N.C. area.
WHEN: May 14-16SCHEDULE:
FRIDAY, May 14
Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series eliminations at 9:00 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.
E3 Spark Plugs Pro Mod Drag Racing Series qualifying at 6:30 p.m.
NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series qualifying at 7:00 p.m.
SATURDAY, May 15
Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series eliminations at 9:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m.
E3 Spark Plugs Pro Mod Drag Racing Series qualifying at 12:45 and 4:15 p.m.
NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series qualifying at 1:15 and 4:45 p.m.
SUNDAY, May 16
NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series eliminations begin at 12:00 a.m.TELEVISION:
Saturday, May 15, FOX Sports 1 (FS1), will televise one and a half hours of qualifying coverage at 7:00 p.m. ET
Sunday, May 16, FOX Sports 1 (FS1) will televise one and a half hours of qualifying coverage at 11:30 a.m. ET and three hours of finals coverage at 6:00 p.m. ET
2019 EVENT WINNERS:
Steve Torrence, Top Fuel; Shawn Langdon, Funny Car; Andrew Hines, Pro Stock Motorcycle.
Andrew Hines, 8, PSM; Robert Hight, 6, FC; Antron Brown, 5, TF; Steve Torrence, 5, TF; Jason Line, 4 PS; Jack Beckman 3, FC; Ron Capps, 3, FC; Matt Hagan, 3, FC; Greg Anderson, 3, PS; Mike Edwards, 3, PS; Eddie Krawiec, 3, PSM.
Top Fuel – 3.687 seconds by Mike Salinas, April ’19; 332.18 mph by Spencer Massey, April ’12.
Funny Car – 3.851 seconds by Courtney Force, April ’17; 334.07 mph by Jack Beckman, Oct. ’19.
Pro Stock – 6.455 seconds by Jason Line, Mar. ’15; 215.48 mph by Greg Anderson, Mar. ’15.
Pro Stock Motorcycle – 6.765 seconds by Jerry Savoie, April ’18; 200.32 mph by Matt Smith, April ’19.
Top Fuel – 3.623 sec. by Brittany Force, Sept. ’19, Reading, Pa.; 338.17 mph by B. Force, Nov. ‘19, Las Vegas
Funny Car – 3.793 sec. by Robert Hight, Aug. ’17, Brainerd; 339.87 mph by Robert Hight, July ’17, Sonoma, Calif.
Pro Stock – 6.455 sec. by Jason Line, March ’15, Charlotte, N.C.; 215.55 mph by Erica Enders, May ’14, Englishtown N.J.
Pro Stock Motorcycle – 6.720 sec. by Andrew Hines, March ‘19, Gainesville, Fla.; 201.76 mph by Matt Smith, March ‘19, Gainesville, Fla.
Photos courtesy of NHRA
Headquartered in Glendora, Calif., NHRA is the primary sanctioning body for the sport of drag racing in the United States. NHRA presents 22 national events featuring the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series, NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, E3 Spark Plugs Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by J&A Service, Constant Aviation NHRA Factory Stock Showdown and Top Fuel Harley Series. NHRA provides competition opportunities for drivers of all levels in the NHRA Summit Racing Series and the NHRA Drags: Street Legal Style. NHRA also offers the NHRA Jr. Street program for teens and the Summit Racing Jr. Drag Racing League for youth ages 5 to 17. With over 120 Member Tracks, NHRA allows racers to compete at a variety of locations nationally and internationally. Within these Member Tracks is the Speed For All program which allows local racers to compete and reminds all that motorsports is available for everyone. NHRA’s Youth and Education Services (YES) Program reaches over 30,000 students annually to ignite their interest in automotive and racing related careers. NHRA’s streaming service, NHRA.tv, allows fans to view all NHRA national events as well as exclusive features of the sport. In addition, NHRA owns and operates four racing facilities: Atlanta Dragway in Georgia; Gainesville Raceway in Florida; Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis; and Auto Club Raceway at Pomona in Southern California. For more information, log on to www.NHRA.com, or visit the official NHRA pages on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter.