NHRA drag racing’s alternative four-wide format was once again centre stage at fabulous zMax Dragway….

For the 9th time in it’s history – zMax Dragway hosted it’s trend setting 4-Wide Nationals

Steve Torrence raced to the Top Fuel victory at the ninth annual NGK Spark Plugs NHRA Four-Wide Nationals and he was joined in victory lane by Cruz Pedregon (Funny Car), Erica Enders (Pro Stock) and Jerry Savoie (Pro Stock Motorcycle) who were also winners in their respective categories at the sixth event on the 2018 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule.

Torrence piloted his Capco Contractors dragster to a 3.813-second pass at 326.56 mph as he became the first driver to reach three victories on the season. He defeated Doug Kalitta, Terry McMillen and Clay Millican in the final round for his 19th career win and second at zMAX Dragway.

With the victory, Torrence moves back into sole possession of the Top Fuel points lead after entering Charlotte in a first-place tie with Tony Schumacher, who was eliminated in the first round.

With his 3rd win of the season – Steve Torrence has reassumed the top spot in NHRA Mello Yello Top Fuel points

Pedregon ran a 4.059 at 310.84 in his Snap-On Tools Toyota Camry for his 36th career victory and first since Englishtown 2014. After qualifying sixth for the event, he was able to knock off 16-time Funny Car world champion John Force, Tommy Johnson Jr. and No. 1 qualifier Courtney Force in the final round to earn the victory.

“I knew we had our work cut out for us when I pulled up to the starting line in the finals, and I actually didn’t believe my ears when my team manager told me that I won,” Pedregon said. “It was surreal, and I cannot believe that I won this race.”

This was Pedregon’s 36th career Funny Car win, moving him past the legendary Don Prudhomme into sole possession of fifth place for all-time in Funny Car victories.

Cruz Pedregon ended a long winless drought with a relieving victory in Funny Car class racing

In Pro Stock, Enders picked up her 23rd career victory and second win in Charlotte with a 6.535 at 212.73 in her Melling Performance/Elite Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro. She took down Vincent Nobile, Chris McGaha and No. 1 qualifier Drew Skillman in the final round to lock down her first victory since Epping in 2017.

Popular female racer Erica Enders collected her 23rd career NHRA Pro Stock title

“In my opinion I have the best team in all of motorsports, so I am really lucky to be their driver,” Enders said. “We made a car change going into our home race in Houston last week and we made it to the finals, so we came into this race with some confidence and this is definitely a special victory for me.”

Jerry Savoie emerged victorious in the Pro Stock Motorcycle class, as he earned his ninth career victory and first at zMAX Dragway when he ran a 6.784 at 195.73 on his White Alligator Racing Suzuki in the final round. He bested Andrew Hines, Scotty Pollacheck and Matt Smith in the final round to lock down his first victory since Brainerd last season.

Jerry Savoie – who won the Pro Stock Motorcycle world championship in 2016 – had a nice score.

“We struggled all weekend, but my team worked really hard to get things right so we went out and gave it all we got and figured some things out,” Savoie said. “My reaction times on this bike are traditionally not great, but I was able to do pretty well today and we had the power on this bike to get a win.”

Pro Mod Powerplay

One week after earning the first No. 1 qualifier of his career in Houston, Jose Gonzalez notched his first career victory in the E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by J&A Service portion of the NGK Spark Plugs NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at zMAX Dragway. The weekend’s Pro Mod racing, presented by Al-Anabi Performance, was the third of 12 events this season.

Gonzalez ran a 5.743-second pass at 254.09 mph in his Chevrolet Q80 Camaro to take down Steve Jackson, Rickie Smith and Brandon Snider in the final round. Gonzalez became the first Domincan-born driver to earn a victory at an NHRA national event with his triumph in Charlotte.

The E3 Spark Plugs Pro Mod eliminator produced a first time winner – with the Q80 turbocharged Camaro driven by Jose Gonzalez prevailing.

“My team gave me a tremendous car all week long and we figured out how to respond as the weather got warmer and our car continued to improve,” Gonzalez said. “This car has been running amazingly so far, so I’m happy for my car and my crew to get this victory.”

After a first round exit in Gainesville, Gonzalez notched his first No. 1 qualifier in Houston before being eliminated in the quarterfinals. He leaves Charlotte fourth in the points standings, as Smith and Jackson currently lead the class through three events.

Editors Note:  For more detail on Pro Mod class racing from Charlotte visit DragRaceCanada’s VP Racing Fuels Pro Mod Portal subsection:  HERE

The Lucas Oil Lowdown (Final Round Results)

Colorado’s Annie Whitely won her 5th career NHRA national event title in the J&A Service Camaro

Top Alcohol Dragster – Megan Meyer, 5.192, 276.29 def. Dan Page, 5.250, 276.97.

Top Alcohol Funny Car – Annie Whiteley, Chevy Camaro, 5.467, 267.59 def. DJ Cox Jr., Camaro, 6.296, 177.77.

Comp Eliminator – Frank Aragona, Dragster, 7.378, 172.83 def. Al Ackerman, Dragster, 7.983, 151.39.

Super Stock – Anthony Bertozzi, Pontiac Grand Am, 9.411, 110.71 def. Bryan Worner, Chevrolet, Foul – Red Light.

Stock Eliminator – Thomas Fletcher, Chevy Camaro, 10.228, 117.67 def. James Williamson, Camaro, 11.485, 113.49.

Super Comp – Jonathan Anderson, Dragster, 8.891, 162.78 def. Sherman Adcock, Dragster, 8.880, 166.91.

Super Gas – Ken Griffiths, Chevy Corvette, 9.884, 152.68 def. Steve Furr, Chevy Camaro, Foul – Red Light.

Top Sportsman presented by RacingRVs.com – Don O’Neal, Chevrolet, 6.903, 193.29 def. Sandy Wilkins, Chevy Camaro, 6.627, 208.14.

Top Dragster presented by RacingRVs.com – Holden Laris, Dragster, 6.235, 208.71 def. Larry Roberts, Dragster, 6.104, 221.13.

SAM Factory Stock Showdown – Arthur Kohn, Chevy Camaro, 8.087, 168.56 def. David Barton, Chevy Camaro, 8.036, 167.84.

Texan Arthur Kohn defeated a stellar Factory Stock Showdown event program – including defending series champion David Barton in the final round.

Posted with files and photos (courtesy) of NHRA & Bruce Biegler