NHRA - National Hot Rod Association

Coughlin and Bellemeur grab zMax alcohol titles; Smith scores surprising Comp victory

Mike Coughlin and Sean Bellemeur conquered the four-wide format at zMax Dragway while Pro Mod legend “Trickie Rickie” Smith made a guest appearance in Comp and claimed an unlikely victory at the NHRA 4-Wide Nationals.
01 May 2024
NHRA National Dragster staff
Sean Bellemeur

Mike Coughlin successfully defended his Top Alcohol Dragster title at the Charlotte four wide event by driving his JEGS.com dragster to a final round win over Julie Nataas, Megan Smith, and Hunter Green.  Coughlin got off the starting line first and ran a 5.28 for the win. Green was quickest with a 5.26, but fouled at the start. [video]

Sean Bellemeur emerged victorious from a tough Top Alcohol Funny Car quad that included D.J. Cox, Bob McCosh, and Matt Gill. All four drivers had competitive reaction times and Bellemeur was able to wheel the Bartone Bros. entry to a 5.42 to hold off the 5.44 of Cox, while McCosh and Gill were in the mix with a pair of 5.46 runs. [video]

Pro Mod veteran Rickie Smith made a surprise appearance in Comp Eliminator and left with the Wally after a dynamic final round win over Joel Warren. Smith ran more than nine-tenths under the A/Pro Mod index and managed to navigate the full Tree including a .028 light in the final coupled with a 5.78 to seal the unlikely win. [video]

Driving the car that carried David Rampy to many of his 100 wins, Don Shuford scored his first Super Stock victory in Charlotte after Allen Wilson fouled by .009-second in the final. [video]

Brett Candies, the 2022 U.S. Nationals champion, returned to the winner’s circle at zMax Dragway after winning in Stock with his Cobra Jet Mustang. Candies won the final round over Josh Decker, who fouled. [video]

Colby Fuller was strong on both ends of the track with a .009 light and an 8.908 to seal the win in the Super Comp final over Michael Handras, who wasn’t far behind at .025/8.930. [video]

The zMax Super Gas title went to Billy Upton, who survived a close double-breakout against 2022 world champ Bob Locke in the final. Upton drove to a 9.886 to hold off Locke’s 9.882. [video]

Brad Plourd joined the short list of drivers with wins in six different NHRA categories after wheeling his Lucas Oil Nova to the Super Street title. Plourd, previously a winner in Comp, Super Stock, Stock, Super Comp, and Super Gas, won the final after opponent William Morgan fouled. [video]

Following a banner year in 2023, Holden Laris is off to a fast start in 2024 including a victory in Right Trailers Top Dragster in Charlotte. Laris scored career win No. 5 after Chad Taylor slowed in the Top Dragster final. [video]

Coming off a win at the Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals, James Hinkle now has two Wallys after bagging a second Right Trailers Top Sportsman title in Charlotte. Hinkle scored the win with a 7.27 on his 7.25 dial after Calvin Snow broke out by six thousandths. [video]