FOUR WIDE! LVMS announces big changes at The Strip

The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway is expanding to four lanes and will race four-wide beginning with its spring 2018 national NHRA event. Photo by Jeff Speer

Four of a kind usually means big money at the local poker tables, but at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, it’ll mean the debut of four-wide drag racing in the western United States.

The speedway announced plans today to widen The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway to four lanes. Construction is freshly under way, and the first four-wide event will be the NHRA DENSO Spark Plugs Nationals April 6-8, 2018.

“Four-wide drag racing has captured the interest of race fans and competitors at Charlotte’s zMAX Dragway,” LVMS president Chris Powell said. “It’s exciting to give everyone on the west coast a chance to see what fans back east have experienced for several years now. Four-wide drag racing was the vision of our chairman, Bruton Smith, and our chief executive officer, Marcus Smith.  They are two of the key reasons that NHRA drag racing has become one of the most popular forms of motorsports in the world.”

NHRA officials expressed excitement about bringing four-wide NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series to the west.

“The excitement and sensory overload of four-wide drag racing is one of the most intense displays of motorsports in the country,” said Peter Clifford, NHRA president. “We look forward to presenting the four-wide experience to the dedicated NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series fans in Las Vegas and the surrounding states.”

Drivers John Force and Antron Brown have had success racing four wide, as each of them has posted victories at zMAX Dragway in Charlotte. Force won the first-ever Funny Car four-wide event in 2010, and Brown is a two-time four-wide winner in Top Fuel.

“I’ve got to give credit to Bruton Smith for investing in the sport of NHRA drag racing,” Force said. “His four-lane in Charlotte gave him two races, one with the two-lane in the Countdown and then the four-lane in the spring. It only makes sense that when he designed his Vegas track, from day one he planned on four lanes. That will allow those two races to be even more successful. So, good for you Bruton, and thank you from all of us at John Force Racing.”

Brown is just anxious for the fans to feel the power.

“It will be a lot of fun going to Las Vegas for a four-wide race,” Brown said. “It will give our fans on the West Coast what the East Coast fans have had at Charlotte (since 2010). It will be a real spectacle with four 11,000-horespower cars launching at the same time.

“That will shake Vegas down. It will be a really cool experience.”

Tickets for the first-ever four-wide drag race in Las Vegas will be available at this fall’s NHRA Toyota Nationals, which kicks off Oct. 26.

Las Vegas Motor Speedway is a wholly owned subsidiary of Speedway Motorsports, a leading marketer and promoter of motorsports entertainment in the United States.  For more information visit www.speedwaymotorsports.com.

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