Welcome to the inaugural Four-Wide Race Day in a not so sunny Charlotte, N.C. That’s right, folks. After a phenomenally enthusiastic response to the exhibition race last year, NHRA has determined that it might be a good idea to bring back the old days of four wide racing in Charlotte, which has now been dubbed Four-Wide Nationals for the Full Throttle NHRA Drag Racing Series.
The one drawback to this type of racing is how quickly racing is over. I mean, we usually get treated to 8 first round races, 4 second round, 2 semis and a final. In this format, you can cut those numbers in half. But what we lose in longevity, we make up for in pure adrenaline.
For this week, Funny Car round one line ups look a little different than usual, giving us four quads instead of 8 match ups:
Bob Tasca, III
Ashley Force moves on after a little wiggle to the left, along with arch nemesis Cruz Pedregon, after a bit of a pedalfest at the 60-foot mark, narrowly beating out Del Worsham. Bob Gilbertson had a bit of a problem with tire shake and bowed out early.
Quad two started out with everyone pretty even, ending up with John Force and Jack Beckman beating out Tasca and Pedregon by a mere car length in a picture perfect race. There was no tire shake, sleeping on the tree or driving out of the groove on this one. This is what drag racing is all about!
Quad three gives us Ron Capps and Tim Wilkerson on top with a quick fade by Jeff Diehl. Capps once again sets the bar with low ET of eliminations so far.
Oh no! What happened to Robert Hight? As the number one qualifier, we were expecting to see a new national record for this track, but instead he ends up rubbing fenders with Jeff Arend. The good news is that no one was hurt nor does there appear to be any major damage to the cars, but Robert’s going to be hitting the trailer and the shower a bit earlier than his teammates. As they say in NASCAR, rubbin’s racing. This sure doesn’t seem to be his season. You think he traded cars with his dear old father-in-law? It’s looking like something’s happened to his mojo. Winners from Quad four are Matt Hagan and Paul Lee.
Second round match ups looks something like this:
Ashley Force-Hood takes a holeshot win over Hagan, though they both put Pedregon and Lee in their places on this four-wide race.
There was nothing wrong with this one. While Tim Wilkerson turns in the low ET for the group, John Force and Ron Capps shut him out of the final line up, beating him out of the hole. Beckman comes in last with a respectable 4.50.
Final round match up pits Force-Hood against her dear old dad, John, and against Ron Capps and Matt Hagan. Looks like this might be a comeback year for Ron Capps and Matt Hagan is definitely reaping the benefits of the knowledge and expertise of his new co-crew chief John Medlen.
Rain delays hold the final round of Funny Car Racing until Monday.