Friday, September 9, 2011

zMAX Dragway Becomes Drag Racing Heaven for NHRA Nationals

The fastest accelerating machines on the planet arrive at zMAX Dragway
for the fourth annual O'Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Nationals Sept. 15-18.

The six-race NHRA Full Throttle Countdown to the Championship
postseason begins when the Full Throttle Drag Racing Series returns to
the Bellagio of drag strips. The event will showcase drag racing's
best, as well as fire performers, NHRA legends, Tommy Ivo's "Showboat"
four-engine dragster, track walks, 40-foot flame throwers and more.

Winning at zMAX Dragway a Good Omen
In both 2009 and 2010, three of the four winners in the O'Reilly Auto
Parts NHRA Nationals at zMAX Dragway went on to secure championships
in their respective categories. Robert Hight, Mike Edwards and Hector
Arana each took home a Wally from Charlotte, then went on to win
championships in 2009, while Larry Dixon, Greg Anderson and LE Tonglet
won titles after scoring the victory in Charlotte's Countdown event in

Worsham, Neff, Anderson and Krawiec Lead Field into Playoffs
Top Fuel driver Del Worsham, Funny Car driver Mike Neff, Pro Stock
driver Greg Anderson and Pro Stock Motorcycle driver Ed Krawiec are
top seeds in their respective categories heading into the O'Reilly
Auto Parts NHRA Nationals, the first of the six-race championship
playoffs. Worsham has earned his spot with six victories so far this
season. Neff and Anderson each secured their fifth win of the season
in last weekend's U.S. Nationals and Krawiec has two wins this season.
Worsham and Anderson scored wins earlier this year at zMAX Dragway in
the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals.

The Night Time is the Right Time
Fire will rule the evening on Friday, Sept. 16, at zMAX Dragway during
the only night qualifying session of the weekend. See 8,000 horsepower
come to life under the lights as nitro Funny Cars and Top Fuel
dragsters shoot six-foot flames out of the headers while they scream
down the Bellagio of drag strips at speeds over 300 mph. Fire
performers Srikanta Barefoot and Jimmy Pyro will thrill the crowd with
performances throughout the day and on the track on Friday evening.
Even zMAX Dragway's twin scoring towers at the Top End will get in on
the act as both will be outfitted with flamethrowers that will shoot
flames 40 feet into the night sky signifying the lane with the best
Elapsed Time for each nitro pass. Tickets for Friday start at only $20
and kids 12 and under get in for only $5 with a paying adult.

"TV" Tommy Ivo's "Last Hurrah" at O'Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Nationals
Drag racing's greatest showman and one of NHRA's greatest drivers "TV"
Tommy Ivo will be honored at the fourth annual O'Reilly Auto Parts
NHRA Nationals, Sept. 15-18, at zMAX Dragway in what Ivo claims may be
his "last hurrah" on the East Coast. Ivo will be at the Bellagio of
drag strips Friday through Sunday, Sept. 16-18, during the event
weekend signing autographs for fans, as well as participating in the
Legends Track Walk down the concrete quarter-mile on Sunday, Sept. 18.
Ivo will also serve as the honorary starter. Joining Ivo will be his
famous four-engine dragster, the "Showboat." The dragster uses four
Buick power plants, because Ivo, who upgraded from a two-engine
dragster, decided that if two engines were good, four would be better.
Fans with reserved-seat tickets for Sunday will have access for the
Legends Track Walk.

Garlits and Gwynn to Revive Rivalry
Reviving a rivalry from the 1980s, two legendary drag racers, "Big
Daddy" Don Garlits and Darrell "The Kid" Gwynn, will face off during
the fourth annual O'Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Nationals, Sept. 15-18, at
zMAX Dragway. The legends will pilot two specially-built, battery-
powered dragsters, with paint schemes similar to the machines they
raced in their heyday and will compete three times, once each day on
Friday, Saturday and Sunday of the event weekend.

9/11 First Responders Honored at O'Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Nationals
A group of twelve 9/11 first responders will serve as Honorary Grand
Marshals for the Sept 15-18 O'Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Nationals and
participate in pre-race ceremonies. Retired members of FDNY and NYPD,
each of the men was among the first to respond to the scene following
the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center the morning of Sept.
11, 2001.

Tickets for the O'Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Nationals start at $20 and
are still available or by phone at 1-800-455-
FANS (3267). Fans can buy three tickets and get one free for any day
until Sept. 9.

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