NASCAR Meets NHRA at zMAX Preview
NASCAR Tops NHRA in Four-Wide Drag Race
(CONCORD, NC – May 13, 2021 – RIS) Bubba Wallace tried a different kind of racing Thursday afternoon, swapping his No. 23 NASCAR Cup Series Toyota for a Supra at zMAX Dragway in a preview of this weekend's NGK NTK NHRA Four-Wide Nationals. Joined by fellow Toyota racer Daniel Hemric, Wallace first shared a workout with NHRA Funny Car driver JR Todd, while Shawn Langdon tried something else: the Top Fuel driver ran Dover on Toyota's simulator with Daniel Hemric acting as his spotter and driving coach.
Then, after recovering from that, Wallace and Hemric got to experience their fellow Toyota racers' cars in person, sitting in the driver's seat as the nitromethane cars got cranked up to give the stock car racers a taste of nitro.
After this, and a lot of video shooting for Toyota, the four drivers made their way to the starting line at zMAX where they had a four-wide race of their own. No practice, just a brief explanation and demonstration of how the pre-stage and stage lights work, thanks to toes in the beams. Hemric double-bulbed, then crept forward, turning off the lights without lighting up the red light before backing up and restaging. Daniel beat everyone off the line with a reaction time of 0.318, Langdon next to him a tenth and a half back at .682 and Wallace a tick later at .733. Todd's reaction looked like a beginner instead of a Funny Car champion, at 1.131 second.
Bubba wasted no time in gaining on the competition, with interval times of 2.039 at 60 feet, 5.315 at 330 feet, 7.935 at the eighth mile, 10.188 at a thousand feet and driving around everyone with a quarter mile time of 12.082 at 118.65 mph.
Regardless of finishing order, everyone had fun before Wallace and Hemric headed out for Dover while the NHRA racers stay in town for Friday night and Saturday qualifying for Sunday's eliminations.
Saturday's qualifying session is already sold out but the night of fire Friday and Sunday's eliminations still have tickets available.
Long-time RIS staffer, beginning in the mid-80s. Charlotte, NC area local contact.