Thursday, June 13, 2024

NHRA Four-Wide Nationals Sportsman Preview

NGK Spark Plugs NHRA Four-Wide Nationals Lucas Oil Sportsman Preview

Charlotte – The NHRA traveling road show rolls into zMax Dragway this week for the 10th annual NGK Spark Plugs NHRA Four-Wide Nationals. The event is the sixth of 24 races on the NHRA Lucas Oil National series.

Over 290 talented Lucas Oil sportsman competitors will be competing across seven classes this week. Classes in action at Charlotte include: Comp Eliminator, Super Stock, Stock, Super Comp, Super Gas, Top Sportsman, and Factory Stock Showdown.


Four-Wide Nationals Sportsman Schedule

The Four-Wide Nationals will follow the NHRA’s three-day national event schedule this week. This includes qualifying and time trials on Friday with eliminations scheduled for Saturday and Sunday.

Class eliminations will be featured for the Stock Eliminator crowd on Friday while the remaining classes are scheduled for a couple of rounds of time trials and qualifying sessions.

Mopar Express Lane NHRA Spring Nationals Sportsman Champions

Saturday is race day as Super Stock, Stock, Super Comp, and Super Gas will run three rounds of eliminations by early afternoon. Comp and Top Sportsman competitors are scheduled for two rounds of eliminations on Saturday.

Factory Stock Showdown is back in action for the first time since the Gatornationals. FSS is scheduled for two qualifying attempts on Friday and one on Saturday morning prior to running first round of eliminations on Saturday afternoon.

Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series

2018 NHRA NGK Four-Wide Nationals Champions

Before we move into our 2019 sportsman overview, let’s celebrate last year’s event champions. They are as follows:

Competition Eliminator – Frank Aragona

Super Stock – Anthony Bertozzi

Stock Eliminator – Thomas Fletcher

Super Comp – Jonathan Anderson

Super Gas – Ken Griffiths

Top Sportsman – Don O’Neal

Top Dragster – Holden Laris

Factory Stock Showdown – Arthur Kohn

NHRA Las Vegas Four-Wide Nationals Sportsman Champions

2019 NGK Spark Plugs NHRA Four-Wide Nationals Predictions

With each NHRA national event DragChamp’s sportsman preview includes an overview of each class. In addition, we select the DragChamp Picks to win the race. Here are this week’s picks.

Holden Laris 2018 Four Wide Top Dragster Champ
Holden Laris 2018 Four Wide Top Dragster Champ

Competition Eliminator – 25 Car Field

2018 Comp champion Frank Aragona will be looking for his second straight win at Charlotte. He’ll face some tough competition from names such as Rampy, Daniels, Treadwell, and more.

DragChamp pick to win:

Randy Daniels – Great driver with a fast hot rod looking to avenge his final round loss at the Gatornationals.

Super Stock – 54 Car Field

The 54 car Super Stock field is stacked with talented drivers. Some that stand out include red-hot racers David Rampy and Anthony Bertozzi, Atlanta Lucas Oil winner Emily Volkman, and Gator’s winner Kevin Riner.

DragChamp picks to win:

Anthony Bertozzi – I’m sticking with a winner. AB has won his last two nationals (one in TD & one in SS) and is the defending event champ. I picked him for his last win in Vegas. Looking to make it two in a row.

Jimmy Daniels – Multi-time HEMI Shootout winner should make some noise this week. Hopefully he’ll give his girlfriend Brittany Boltz something to write about in her DragChamp blog next week.

Joe Santangelo – Former world champ is always in the mix at zMax.

Stock Eliminator – 53 Car Field

Thomas Fletcher 2018 Four Wide Stock Champ
Thomas Fletcher 2018 Four Wide Stock Champ

Once again, the 53 car field includes a who’s who of East Coast racers. Fletcher, Warren, Longhany, Hill, and Richard are just some of the big names in competition this week.

Jeff Strickland will look to keep the momentum rolling after his recent double in Atlanta. Comp champ Frank Aragona will be making a rare appearance in Stock this weekend. And last, East Coast bracket racing star Chip Johnson will try his hand in Stock this week.

DragChamp picks to win:

Dan Fletcher – Fletch hasn’t won when I’ve picked him but I know he’s due and he has a great track record at zMax Dragway.

Shane Oakes – 3rd Gen Camaro racer made a lot of noise late last year. Look for him to continue that run this week.

Mike McMahan – Mike’s had a hot hand this season, I don’t see that changing this week.

Super Comp – 54 Car Field

The Super Comp field includes a tough field of drivers from multiple divisions. Texas racers Shannon Brinkley and Dan Foley, Division 3 racers Nick and Brian Folk, and Megan Strassweg. In addition to the out-of-divison racers a host of Division 1 and 2 competitors are in attendance.

Dan Fletcher and Anthony Bertozzi will be making rare appearances in Super Comp. Jonathan Anderson is back to defend his 2018 event win.

The most interesting Super Comp car on the property is the 110 MPH airplane front tire, top end throttle-stopped dragster of Chris Garretson.

DragChamp picks to win:

John Labbous – It’s beginning to look like another amazing season is on the horizon for ‘lil John. Not only has he been good in the Super classes, he killed it at the Spring Fling Vegas last week.

Jonathan Anderson – Another racer having a good season, a second straight NGK Four-Wide victory is a good possibility.

Ray Miller 3 – Ray Ray is undefeated this season at Division 2 Lucas Oil events. A win this week would give him a huge championship lead.

Super Gas – 50 Car Field

The zMax Super Gas field is deep and includes racers from as far away as Texas, Mississippi, Minnesota, and Canada. Defending champion Ken Griffiths is back again this year looking to add a second Four-Wide trophy to his mantle.

As always, picking a winner in the Super classes is extremely difficult as the fields are so deep.

DragChamp picks to win:

Steve Furr – Hard to bet against Steve in Charlotte, he’s a beast at zMax.

Michelle Furr – Michelle also has a great track record in Charlotte, look for her to add to it this weekend.

Sherman Adcock Jr. – Multi-time world champ knows the way to the winners circle.

Top Sportsman – 28 Car Field

While the class is just shy of a full 32 car field, Top Sportsman will still be entertaining to watch. The qualified field should be fairly spread out this week as Lester Johnson and his super fast turbo-powered ’55 Chevy will be on hand. Look for Lester to lay down some low 6-second passes to claim the one spot.

DragChamp picks to win:

Sandy Wilkins – The perennial top-5 player is always in the mix.

David Tatum – Although Tatum is fairly new to the class, he’s already found the winners circle after his win at the Division 2 Lucas Oil race at Atlanta.

Factory Stock Showdown – 30 Car Field

Arthur Kohn 2018 Factory Stock Four Wide Champ
Arthur Kohn 2018 Factory Stock Four Wide Champ

After a huge and much anticipated season kickoff at the Gatornationals, the FSS crowd had a month or so off to regroup. As a result of the amazing performances in Gainesville, the NHRA adjusted the rules to slow down the Cobra Jet’s and COPO Camaro’s. We’ll see how the field adjusts to the new rules.

The 30 car field includes a number of fresh faces as several racers didn’t make the opening race at the Gator’s. David Barton will have his repaired COPO back in action this week along with Chuck Watson. Geoff Turk will bring his new Ford out to play as well.

DragChamp pick to win:

Drew Skillman – Super talented driver with a bad hot rod. Even with less blower, Team Skillman should still be the class of the field. Look for Drew to go 2 for 2.

That wraps up the NGK Spark Plugs NHRA Four-Wide Nationals Sportsman racing preview. Stay tuned to DragChamp as we will post daily results throughout the weekend.

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