NHRA Story
Four-Wide Nationals: How it all works
Thursday, April 10, 2014


Only at zMAX Dragway for the 5th NHRA Four-Wide Nationals can fans see the fastest-accelerating machines on the planet release a 32,000-horsepower assault at NHRA’s one and only four-lane event.

The event is NHRA’s first of two stops at zMAX Dragway, featuring side-by-side racing in all four NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series categories: Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock, and Pro Stock Motorcycle, which returns to this event for the first time since 2010.

Mello Yello Series qualifying begins Friday, April 11, with sessions at 1:15 and 4:15 p.m. The final two qualifying sessions will take place Saturday, April 12, at 1:15 and 4:15 p.m. Final eliminations are scheduled for 11 a.m. on Sunday, April 13.

Below is a quick-reference guide that outlines the special rules, race procedures, and configuration for four-wide drag racing, NHRA style.

LANE IDENTIFICATION
Lanes are referred to in numerical order from left facing downtrack (outermost left lane is No. 1, then No. 2, No. 3, and the outermost right lane is No. 4).

QUALIFYING ORDER
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.

QUALIFYING FIELD
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.

ELIMINATIONS BRACKET
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, and Race C and Race D will be on the other.

STARTING SYSTEM
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.

RED-LIGHTS
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.

LANE CHOICE
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.

SCOREBOARDS
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.

ELIMINATIONS
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.

DISQUALIFICATIONS
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 centerline or striking timing fixture(s)
  3. Driver contacting barrier wall
  4. Driver red-lighting

POINTS
Points will be awarded at the same level as at other NHRA Mello Yello 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 NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing 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.

Tickets are on sale now for the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at zMAX Dragway, April 11-13. To purchase tickets by phone, call the zMAX Dragway ticket office at 800-455-FANS (3267) or purchase online at www.zmaxdragway.com.