Michael Galimi
December 7, 2009

It was a phenomenon that hadn't been seen since the '60s-we're talking about four-wide drag racing, and with jet cars to boot. That was the scene at the inaugural Nitto Tires All-Star Nationals, the fifth stop on the 2009 NMRA-Keystone Drag Racing and Car Show schedule. The event included both NMRA and NMCA programs running together.

ZMax Dragway is the latest in the Bruton Smith empire of world-class racing facilities, and it's located in the heart of NASCAR country near Charlotte, North Carolina. The timing system, unfortunately, wasn't yet set up to run four-lane eliminations, but the jet cars put on a nice, four-wide show for the full house of NMRA and NMCA racers and fans.

The ProMedia officials kept both series separate, unlike the Super Bowl of Street Legal Drag Racing a month earlier at Route 66 Raceway (Joliet, Illinois). But just like the Super Bowl event, the True Street field was paraded around the NASCAR track for its 30-mile cruise. The nearby Lowes Motor Speedway gates had opened up to the 43 True Street entries (31 Fords and 12 Brand-X), so they could make left turns and barrel down the straights like the NASCAR stars. And like the Route 66 True Street cruise, it was fun to watch drag racing-oriented machines humming through steep embankments while rolling on skinny front tires and DOT-slicks and drag radials in the back.

The heads-up and index-racing classes that make up the Keystone Automotive Drag Racing division of the NMRA was full of familiar faces. The extreme heat-over 100 degrees-certainly slowed down the cars and trucks, but it didn't hurt the close competition. Challenging track conditions also threw a curveball to the racers with soaring surface temperatures (140 degrees). Nevertheless, racers adapted and overcame the conditions to snag valuable points in the Nitto-sponsored Race for the Ring championship shootout.

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2009 Inaugural Nitto Tires
All-Star Nationals
NMRA-Keystone Drag Racing Event Winners & Runners-Up
Turbonetics Pro Outlaw 10.5
Winner: Dan Millen7.04/179 mph
Runner-Up: Conrad Scarry8.03/127 mph
ProCharger Super Street Outlaw
Winner: John MacDonald10.41/86 mph
Runner-Up:Don Burton18.13/49 mph
BFGoodrich Drag Radial
Winner:Dave Guy8.20/167 mph
Runner-Up:Enzo Pecchini10.18/107mph
DiabloSport EFI/Renegade
Winner:Brian Tuten11.38/92 mph
Runner-Up:Larry Hourcle8.60/159 (red)
Edelbrock Hot Street
Winner:Robbie Blankenship8.88/154 mph
Runner-Up:Don Bowles8.86/153 mph
Real Street
Winner:Bruce Hemminger9.52/142 mph
Runner-Up:Paul Wiley10.49/125mph
Eibach Pure Street
Winner:Ryan Hecox10.27/131mph
Runner-Up:Mark Anderson10.57/104mph
ACT Factory Stock
Winner:Tommy Godfrey11.17/120mph
Runner-Up:Jay Dold11.34/118mph
Roush Modular Muscle
Winner:Gary Parker11.03 on 11.02 Index
Runner-Up:Randy Mounce11.27 on 11.16 Index
Steeda Open Comp
Winner:Paul Lehman10.72 on 10.72 Index
Runner-Up:Bobby McMasters9.21 on 9.23 Index
Detroit Locker Truck & Lightning
Winner: Johnny Lightning 10.43 on 10.42 Index
Runner-Up: Dave Cole10.84 on 10.77 Index
JDM Engineering Super Stang
Winner: Chris Parisi5.45 on 15.33 Dial-In
Runner-Up: David Bachota 10.95 on 10.75 Dial-In

MMFF's Tremec True Street
Allen Hurley 8.95Overall Winner
Scott Brady9.19Overall Runner-Up
Ryan Leitner9.319-second Winner
Todd Entenmann9.40
Stevie Vaughan10.1710-second Winner
Tony Leitner11.3211-second Winner
Johnny Morris12.0612-second Winner
DarrylBuckner12.13
Mike Gerhard12.24
Brian McKinley12.75
Ray Williams13.0113-second Winner
Pete Esput13.07
Jody Treadway13.23
Dean Lewis13.24
Kevin Harvey13.33
Billy Zimmerie14.4814-second Winner
Dawn Stowers15.1515-second Winner
Mark Gildersleeve15.23