Before the NHRA’s biggest stars return to zMAX Dragway for the April 27-29 NGK Spark Plugs NHRA Four-Wide Nationals, a collection of the sport’s most popular hot-shoes went full-throttle on Wednesday and Thursday in a test-and-tune session at the Bellagio of Dragstrips.
During the two-day test session, Mooresville, North Carolina, native Tanner Gray took advantage of springtime temperatures and track conditions that will emulate those of the upcoming NGK Spark Plugs NHRA Four-Wide Nationals, the sixth of 24 events on the NHRA calendar.
“Collecting data and getting laps in is always a good thing,” said Gray. “We’re just coming out here and testing a lot of different four-lane stuff, a lot of different shock packages and just trying to get something that will relate to the track conditions once we come here. They do a good job of getting this track the same every time for us so I’m looking forward to the Four-Wide Nationals. It will be a lot of fun.”
Gray, who won the 2017 NHRA Carolina Nationals at zMAX Dragway for his family-owned Gray Motorsports team, was joined at testing by two of the winningest Pro Stock drivers at zMAX Dragway, KB Racing drivers Greg Anderson and Jason Line. Pro Mod driver Rickie Smith and Pro Stock Motorcycle rider Angie Smith were among other drivers participating in the two-day shakedown.
Greg Anderson, a two-time four-wide winner at zMAX Dragway, emphasized the importance of testing with a stacked field in this year’s Pro Stock class.
“It finally warmed up and we’re out here learning a lot and we’re going to need to,” said Anderson. “Competition is tough right now in Pro Stock so we need to find a couple hundredths, which is harder to do than say these days. All you can do is try and so far it’s been a good test. We’re looking forward to four-wide and will get a practice run at four-wide when we go to Vegas and should be ready to go once we get here.”
Three-day packages start at $99, while kids 13 and under get in FREE with paying adult. Single-day and weekend tickets, camping and race-day upgrades to the NGK Spark Plugs NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at zMAX Dragway are available by calling 1-800-455-FANS (3267) or shopping online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com.
CMS PR (CMS/Jonathan Coleman photo)