Your eyes do not deceive you – what you see above is four lanes of funny car action at the zMax Dragway in Charlotte, NC, built specifically for such shenanigans. That was just an exhibition run, but the National Hot Rod Association has announced that this year it will run 4-up racing in anger at the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals in two months.

The zMax venue is like two traditional drag racing setups put side-by-side and separated by a retaining wall. The track's chairman calls it "the Bellagio of drag strips," All four classes, Top Fuel dragsters, Funny Cars, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle will run in quadruples throughout the three days of competition, from qualifying to finals. The new method will shorten the final elimination round to about 3.5 hours, but should up the excitement scale to make up for it.

Top Fuel's 14-time champion John Force called the coming event "our version of March Madness." At 300 miles per hour. With lots and lots of smoke. Are we ready to think about christening 2010 The Year of Great Racing?

[Source: ESPN]

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