Story By: NHRA – CONCORD, NC – The signature event at zMAX Dragway is also one of the most incredible experiences in motorsports, as the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series returns to the “Bellagio of drag strips” on April 29-May 1 for the thrill ride known as the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals.
The event is the sixth of 22 races during the 2022 NHRA season and is a showcase for the unique and spectacular spectacle of four 11,000-horsepower nitro-burning machines blasting down the track simultaneously. The four-wide format started at zMAX Dragway in 2010 and instantly became a fan-favorite. With four qualifying sessions slated for the race in Charlotte, including an exciting night session on Friday night, exhibition runs, multiple classes in action and more, the latest edition of the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals will undoubtedly be packed with unbelievable moments.
The top stars in Top Fuel, Funny Car and Pro Stock Motorcycle will also look to grab a signature win at the second four-wide race of the season. Steve Torrence (Top Fuel), John Force (Funny Car) and Steve Johnson (Pro Stock Motorcycle) picked up wins last year in Charlotte and this year’s race will again be broadcast on Fox Sports 1 (FS1).
Torrence, the defending four-time world champ in Top Fuel, has become nearly unbeatable in the four-wide set-up in Charlotte, putting together victories at the last four four-wide races. That’s helped give the Texan and current points leader a total of six victories at zMAX Dragway, and he’s also looking for his first victory in what’s already been a remarkable 2022 in the class. There have been four different winners through the first four events, including Justin Ashley, Mike Salinas, Tripp Tatum and Brittany Force, and the depth has been impressive. With a talent pool that also features Antron Brown, Tony Schumacher, Doug Kalitta, Leah Pruett, Shawn Langdon, Clay Millican, Austin Prock and Josh Hart, a fifth different winner in 2022 could emerge in Charlotte.
In Funny Car, Force won his second four-wide event in Charlotte last year, 11 years after he won the inaugural four-wide race at zMAX Dragway. The legendary 16-time world champ has three wins at the facility and is after his first victory of the season in a loaded Funny Car class. Matt Hagan, Robert Hight, who has six wins in Charlotte, and defending world champ Ron Capps have been the dominant forces this season, combining for all four wins in 2022, but there’s plenty of other top talent like Cruz Pedregon, who won the race in 2018, Bob Tasca III, Alexis DeJoria, Tim Wilkerson, who has a pair of Charlotte victories, J.R. Todd, and Blake Alexander.
Pro Stock Motorcycle put on a show last spring in Charlotte as ideal conditions led to record speeds and spectacular runs throughout the weekend. Johnson made a series of strong runs, including the quickest pass on a Suzuki at the time, en route to his first win in seven years. That propelled the veteran to the best season of his career, where he won three races and finished third in points. To get a repeat four-wide win, Johnson will face off against a talented field that includes Gainesville winner Karen Stoffer, reigning world champ Matt Smith, Eddie Krawiec, three-time world champ Angelle Sampey, Joey Gladstone, Jerry Savoie, and Angie Smith.
The event also will feature thrilling competition in the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, which features some of the sport’s top drivers, as well as the NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series and Constant Aviation Factory Stock Showdown. Top Alcohol Dragster, Top Alcohol Funny Car, Pro Mod and Factory Stock Showdown will all run the four-wide format, with the race marking the first-time ever in the four-wide set-up for drivers in Factory Stock Showdown. The race also marks the first NHRA Summit Racing Jr. Drag Racing League shootout, with eight young drivers competing for the win. The final round will take place on Sunday and will be featured during the FS1 broadcast.
Racers in the Southeast Nostalgia Pro Stock Association will also be making exhibition passes during the weekend. On Saturday, Toyota-sponsored drivers will be signing autographs at 10:45 a.m. at the Toyota Midway Display, while fans can attend Nitro School throughout the weekend to learn more about how the cars operate and reach their thrilling speeds.
Fans at zMAX Dragway can enjoy the special pre-race ceremonies that introduce and celebrate each of the drivers racing for the prestigious Wally on Sunday and includes the fan-favorite SealMaster Track Walk. The final can’t-miss experience of any NHRA event is the winner’s circle celebration on Sunday after racing concludes, where fans are invited to congratulate the event winners of the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals.
As always, fans also get an exclusive pit pass to the most powerful and sensory-filled motorsports attraction on the planet in Charlotte. This unique opportunity gives fans a unique chance to see teams in action and service their hot rods between rounds, get autographs from their favorite NHRA drivers and more. Fans can also visit NHRA’s popular Nitro Alley and Manufacturers Midway, where sponsors and race vendors create an exciting atmosphere that includes interactive displays, simulated competitions, merchandise, food and fun for the entire family. The new Pep Boys midway display will include tire change challenges, oil change challenges, a slot car track and much more, adding even more excitement to the midway.
NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series qualifying will feature two rounds at 4 and 7:30 p.m. ET on Friday, April 29 and the final two rounds of qualifying on Saturday, April 30 at 1 and 4:30 p.m. Final eliminations are scheduled for 11 a.m. CT on Sunday, April 24. Television coverage includes qualifying action on FS1 at 7 p.m. ET on Friday, 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, and then eliminations action at 7:30 p.m. ET on Sunday.