CONCORD, N.C. – This weekend the adrenaline-charging excitement of the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series returns to zMAX Dragway for the spectacular seventh annual NHRA Four-Wide Nationals presented by Lowes Foods, April 22-24. The event is the fifth stop of 24 races in the 2016 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series.
Only at the ‘Bellagio of Drag Strips’ can fans see the fastest-accelerating machines on the planet release a whopping 40,000-horsepower assault on the NHRA’s one and only four-lane event.
Mello Yello Series qualifying begins on Friday, April 22 with the first sessions at 4:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. The final two qualifying sessions will take place Saturday, April 23 at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Final eliminations are scheduled to begin at noon on Sunday, April 24.
Below is a quick reference guide that will help answer many questions regarding the special rules, race procedures and configuration for four-wide drag racing, NHRA style.
Lanes are referred to in numerical order from left facing down track (outermost left lane is No. 1, then No. 2 and No. 3, and the outermost right lane is No. 4).
In the first session, drivers with the least number of points will run first, and the points leaders will run last. The top four in the points standings will be the final group (points leader will be in lane 4, second in points in lane 3, third in lane 2, fourth in lane 1). The order for subsequent sessions will be determined per normal qualifying procedures.
Because each team will have only one qualifying run in each lane, the standard qualifying procedure of transferring only the quickest 12 times from Friday to Saturday will not be in effect. All elapsed times from all qualifying sessions from both days will be used to establish the 16-vehicle fields.
The specially-modified eliminations ladder structure will feature Race A: qualifiers 1, 8, 9, 16, Race B: qualifiers 4, 5, 12, 13, Race C: qualifiers 2, 7, 10, 15, and Race D: qualifiers 3, 6, 11, 14; Race A and Race B will be on one side of the ladder, while Race C and Race D will be on the other.
Each track (left two lanes and right two lanes) will have the standard NHRA Christmas Tree. Each Tree will be fitted with four specially designed LED pre-stage/stage units, which will indicate the pre-stage/stage position of drivers in all four lanes (from left). The Compulink Auto Start system will continue to be utilized; however, unlike in two-lane racing, the Auto Start system will not activate until all four vehicles are pre-staged and one vehicle has staged. Each lane will be monitored by a qualified Starter.
In eliminations, should three drivers red-light, the two to advance will be the driver who receives the green light and the driver who red-lights by the least amount. For example, if driver A has a -.029 r.t., driver B a -.103, and driver C a -.049, driver A would advance. If three drivers red-light, the win lights will come on immediately for the driver with the green light and the driver who red-lighted by the least. The winner’s light will flash, and the second-place light will be steady.
First-round lane choice will go to the quickest qualifier in the group of four, second choice to the second-quickest, and third choice to the third-quickest. In subsequent rounds, first choice will go to the driver with the lowest elapsed time from the previous round, second choice to the second-lowest, and third choice to the third-lowest.
In qualifying, the lane number with the low elapsed time of each run will light up on the scoreboard. In eliminations, the lane number of the first place car will flash and the lane number of the second place car will be lit solid on the scoreboard.
Two drivers from each group will advance in the first two rounds of competition, the first and second to cross the finish line. In the final round, the drivers will finish first through fourth in the order they cross the finish line, barring any red-light starts.
The following prioritizes the degree of infraction (No. 1 being the worst):
1. Driver leaving starting line before starting system is activated
2. Driver crossing centerline or striking timing fixture(s)
3. Driver contacting barrier wall
4. Driver red-lighting
Points will be awarded at the same level as at other NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series events. The winner will receive 100 points, the runner-up 80, the third and fourth finishers 60, the four second-round losers 40, and the eight first-round losers 20.
LUCAS OIL SERIES COMPETITION
In an attempt to maintain uniform traction quality in all four lanes, competition in the Lucas Oil Series will be conducted across all four lanes, but eliminations will be run in only two lanes at a time for each sportsman category. During time trials only Super Comp and Super Gas will run four-wide. The other sportsman category qualifying and time trials will be run in only two lanes at a time. Certain sportsman categories will run in lanes 1 and 2 only, and the other sportsman categories will run in lanes 3 and 4 only.
Be a part of the action all weekend with a Three-Day Pass to the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals starting at $107. Tickets for children 13 and under are free with any paid adult ticket; to purchase general admission or reserved seats please visit www.zMAXDragway.com or call the box office at (800) 455-FANS (3267). For more information about NHRA, please visit www.NHRA.com.