Fans attending the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at zMAX Dragway this weekend will experience double the horsepower in all qualifying sessions and eliminations rounds for Top Fuel, Funny Car, and Pro Stock, which will run four-wide at this unique event in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series. Below is a quick reference guide that will help answer many questions you may have regarding the special rules, race procedure and configuration for four wide drag racing NHRA style.



Lanes are referred to in numerical order from left facing downtrack (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-car 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.



Because zMAX Dragway is essentially two tracks built side-by-side, with a center wall separating the two all the way to the top end, each track will have the new Christmas Tree 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 to right). Instead of the usual separate pre-staging and staging bulbs, the new Tree will include one row of four LED lights to indicate the pre-staging and staging of the cars in all four lanes. During pre-staging, the top half of each LED light will light up and during staging all four LED lights will light up entirely, indicating the position of drivers from left to right in all four lanes.



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.



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 Full Throttle 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.



In an attempt to maintain uniform traction quality in all four lanes, competition in the Lucas Oil Series will be conducted in two lanes at a time for the entire event. Certain sportsman categories will run in lanes 1 and 2 only, and the other sportsman categories will run in lanes 3 and 4 only.


Tickets are on sale now for the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at zMAX Dragway, April 14-17. Nitro fans can buy two tickets to any day for only $60 and receive a choice of a free upgrade: two event hats, two event shirts, two beer vouchers or two Coca-Cola soft drinks and two hot dogs. To purchase tickets by phone, call the zMAX Dragway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267).


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