Posted: Apr 11, 2012
Four-wide NHRA drag racing this weekend!
The NHRA is headed to zMAX Dragway this weekend, which means it's time for the Four-Wide Nationals! For those of you unfamiliar with what this means, just check out the picture- four cars drag racing at the same time! We think it's just awesome, but did you know the unique layout of this racetrack changes the format of qualifying and racing? Our friends at Kalitta Motorsports were nice enough to explain how the weekend will unfold-
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-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. 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 center line 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.
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 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.
PRO MOD DRAG RACING SERIES PRESENTED BY PROCARE RX COMPETITION
Like the Lucas Oil Series, competition in the NHRA Pro Mod Series also will be conducted in two lanes at a time for the entire event.
Tickets are on sale now for the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at zMAX Dragway, April 13-15. To purchase tickets by phone, call the zMAX Dragway ticket office at (800) 455-FANS (3267) or to purchase tickets online please visit www.zmaxdragway.com
We're looking forward to seeing all the OPTIMA-sponsored dragsters this weekend and wish all the racers a safe event!