Michael Johnson
Associate Editor, 5.0 Mustangs & Super Fords
December 9, 2009
Photos By: Paul Rosner

Horse Sense
We had a chance to go to the top end of the track when the Outlaw 10.5 class ran, and let me say that it's like the world is coming to an end when these cars are coming through the traps at over 200 mph. It was simply amazing to watch. You owe it to yourself and these racers to check out that view from the top end. You will have new respect for the people and the machines afterward.
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The event racers had circled on their calendar this season was the inaugural NMRA/NMCA All Star Nationals at zMax Dragway in Concord, North Carolina. The event brought the NMRA to the heart of NASCAR country, and to arguably the nicest dragstrip in the land.

The purported Taj Mahal of dragstrips, zMax is a four-lane dragstrip with paved areas on both sides of the track, and a tunnel going under all four lanes to make it easy for fans to traverse both sides. The car show, swap meet, and True Street class were on one side of the track, while heads-up and index classes were on the other.

Supplanting the Silver Dollar race in Reynolds, Georgia, zMax is the polar opposite of Silver Dollar. Reynolds was out in the middle of nowhere, but thanks to NASCAR's growth, zMax is right in the center of everything. This feature made the swap worthwhile. Though we loved Silver Dollar's personality, zMax's pretty face leaves us wanting to come back again and again.

One thing we could've done without though was the heat. Reminiscent of Joliet a couple years back, the heat was oppressive. When sitting in the stands, you felt like bacon in a frying pan.

However, the race had to go on. Counting the zMax event, there were three stops left on the 2009 tour, so every racer was looking to put on a push for points down the stretch, and finish strong.

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