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Betway NHRA Carolina Nationals loaded with special events on and off the track

A full slate of fun and thrills off the track ensures that this weekend's Betway NHRA Carolina Nationals, the second of six playoff races in the Countdown to the Championship, will offer fans plenty of excitement on and off the track.
19 Sep 2023
Posted by NHRA.com staff
Betway NHRA Carolina Nationals

The action on the track at zMAX Dragway will heat up on Friday through Sunday when the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series hosts the Betway NHRA Carolina Nationals, the second of six playoff races in the Countdown to the Championship.

But a full slate of fun and thrills off the track ensures the weekend in Charlotte will be filled with nonstop excitement for fans of all ages. With can’t-miss attractions like KSFMX freestyle motocross exhibitions in the midway to Friday night fire to a wealth of activities on the Nitro Alley Stage, the late-season race at "the Bellagio of dragstrips" will be one to remember from start to finish.

The midway will come alive three times a day during the event when the performers with the KSFMX freestyle motocross put on a show. Fans will have a front-row seat to their incredible stunt show, which includes a 300-by-50-foot blueprint in the middle of the midway. That means while fans are watching team work on their 11,000-horsepower machines in the pits, they can also catch a glimpse of some spectacular high-flying motocross action before the nitro cars take to the track.

The fun off the dragstrip doesn’t stop there, as the Nitro Alley Stage will be jam-packed with guests throughout the weekend, including a special “Shake and Bake” Q&A with NASCAR great Michael Waltrip and Pro Stock’s Kyle Koretsky at 3:10 p.m. on Friday. Other features on the Nitro Alley Stage on Friday include Top Fuel Motorcycle School with record-holder Larry McBride, who will be previewing the incredible excitement the Top Fuel Motorcycles will showcase during the weekend, “10 Questions” with Pro Stock Motorcycle standout Angie Smith, and “Just the Basics” with Top Fuel star Clay Millican.

On Saturday, a live recording of the NHRA Insider podcast with NHRA on FOX announcer Brian Lohnes will take place on the Nitro Alley Stage, as well as Nitro School with Nicky Boninfante. The new "Science of the Startling Line" segment will also take place on stage. For fans craving more tech talk, Pro Stock points leader Matt Hartford leads the Total Seal Tech Talk in his pits on both Friday and Saturday as well.

Fans can also enjoy the Nostalgia Pro Stock cars on display in the midway at zMAX Dragway and meet the future stars of the sport in the Summit Racing Equipment Jr. Drag Racing League. Their cars will also be on display, while the young fans can also enjoy the special kids zone at zMAX Dragway, which offers plenty to keep children interested before the next round of nitro.

The Salisbury High School drumline will perform throughout the day on Saturday as well, and, of course, the weekend ends with plenty of Sunday excitement, including the SealMaster NHRA Track Walk to start the day, the opening ceremony on the starting line, and the winner’s circle celebration on Sunday after racing concludes, where fans are invited to congratulate the Betway NHRA Carolina Nationals event winners.

On the track, the action should be incredible, with all the stars in Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock, and Pro Stock Motorcycle looking to pick up a critical playoff victory. The action starts with one round of qualifying under the lights – and with plenty of pyro – final qualifying on Saturday and eliminations on Sunday. 

Antron Brown (Top Fuel), Ron Capps (Funny Car), and Aaron Stanfield (Pro Stock) will look to defend their event wins, and this year’s race will be broadcast on FOX Sports 1 (FS1), including eliminations coverage at 2 p.m. ET on Sunday, Sept. 24

The Betway NHRA Carolina Nationals also will feature thrilling competition in the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, which includes some of the sport’s top drivers, as well as the new NHRA Factory X presented by Holley class, the Mountain Motor Pro Stock category, and Top Fuel Motorcycle. Fans can also look forward to special 8.60 exhibition, as well as the final race of the season-long Toyota Supra Showdown. The matchup between Antron Brown and Ron Capps takes place at 6:55 p.m. on Friday. 
NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series qualifying will feature one round at 6 p.m. ET on Friday, Sept. 22, and the final two rounds of qualifying on Saturday, Sept. 23 at 1 and 4 p.m. Final eliminations are scheduled for 11 a.m. ET on Sunday, Sept. 24. Television coverage includes qualifying action on FS1 at 9:30 a.m. ET on Saturday and 11 a.m. on Sunday, and then eliminations on FS1 at 2 p.m. ET on Sunday.

To view the full schedule and list of happenings this weekend at zMAX Dragway, visit www.nhra.com. To purchase tickets to the Betway NHRA Carolina Nationals at zMAX Dragway, please visit www.zmaxdragway.com or call 800-455-FANS (3267).