Mark Houlahan
Tech Editor, Mustang Monthly
December 1, 2009
Photos By: Paul Rosner

Maybe you've seen the zMAX Dragway on television on shows like Pinks, last year's NHRA Nationals, or just read about it in the news. If you're not familiar with the new facility, it's the brainchild of Lowe's Motor Speedway owner Bruton Smith (who also owns several other top-tier racing facilities).

Imagine an all-concrete racing surface-not just the starting line or the first 300 feet, but the whole 1,320 (or 1,345 in the case of the zMAX facility). Now imagine not one, but two Christmas trees. Why two trees you ask? Well, that's because there are four lanes of side-by-side drag racing at zMAX.

These points add up to the only facility of its kind in the U.S., most likely the world. Sure there was four-wide racing back in the '60s, but not on a dedicated four-lane strip. Technicalities aside, the new zMAX facility-built alongside Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte, North Carolina-will certainly be the talk of the drag racing community for many years.

The NMRA and NMCA once again combined efforts to announce the inaugural Nitto Tire NMRA/NMCA All-Star Nationals, presented by Keystone Automotive, at this new facility. Similar to the annual Super Bowl event in Joliet, Illinois, these two sanctioning bodies are combining activities to expand the racing and show action for participants and spectators alike.

Not only were NMRA and NMCA racers battling it out on the property, but our sister magazine Hot Rod held its Hot Rod Magazine Drags at this event, pitting late-model Mustang performance against late-model GM and Mopar products. And the Charlotte event was also one of the venues where the NMRA runs its True Street class, which is a great way for beginning drag racers to get a feel for the action with their own street cars.

Of course, it goes without saying (but we'll mention it anyway) that at a combined event like this, the manufacturer's midway, swap-meet areas, and car shows are positively huge and worth the price of entry alone!

Check out what you missed with Paul Rosner's great photos, and be sure to look for more great NMRA action in 2010.

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