zMAX Dragway

Whoa! zMAX Dragway announces it will expand to a six-wide drag strip!


Alright! zMAX Dragway gave drag racing fans one heck of an Easter present Sunday afternoon.

Proprietor Greg Walter, the track’s executive vice president, had some incredible news when he took to social media.

Revealed: the track, which pioneered four-wide racing, is taking things up two notches further. In an even greater first for the sport, the track that sits across the street from Charlotte Motor Speedway, is expanding its racing surface to become the first track in the world to ever host a six-wide race.

Ironically, the announcement comes just a few days before zMAX Dragway’s sister track — The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway — hosts its first four-wide event this coming weekend.

Logistically, it’ll be a tight fit, but zMAX Dragway officials believe they can squeeze in two more lanes at one of the more popular tracks on the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule.

For the record, Walter did not give a timeline for when the Dragway will be expanded to six lanes. But that’s not all.

Other ideas that Dragway officials are throwing around include putting a chicane in the track (!!!!????), maybe even expanding to 16-wide!

Of course, that will take a lot of money to do.

Location of the grandstands will likely have to be pushed back a considerable distance if the track indeed expands to 16-wide.

So, without further adieu, check out what drivers like John Force, Antron Brown and especially Ron Capps have to say about the new idea. (Oh yeah, you might want to re-read this story and look at the first letter of every paragraph to reveal an even bigger surprise!)

Lewis Hamilton receives Daytona 500 invitation from Bubba Wallace

Lewis Hamilton Bubba Wallace
Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images
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Lewis Hamilton is a fan of the new NASCAR Cup Series team formed by Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan to field a car for Bubba Wallace.

Will the six-time Formula One champion also be a fan in person at a NASCAR race in the near future?

Wallace is hoping so.

After Hamilton tweeted his support Tuesday morning about the news of a Hamlin-Jordan-Wallace team making its debut with the 2021 season, Wallace responded with a sly invitation to the Daytona 500.

Much would need to be worked out, starting with how much garage and grandstand access would be afforded for a 2021 season opener that likely would occur during a still ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

But it would seem fitting given that Hamilton and Wallace have been two of the world’s most outspoken Black athletes about the quest for diversity and racial justice. Hamilton recently reaffirmed his commitment to activism after his donning a Breonna Taylor shirt sparked an FIA inquiry.

The idea of Hamilton attending the season opener already had legs, too. The Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 driver has expressed a desire to race the Daytona 500 after he has retired from Formula One.

He was a spectator (with racing legend Mario Andretti) at four-time champion Jeff Gordon’s final Cup race as a full-time in the 2015 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In 2011, Hamilton swapped cars with three-time champion Tony Stewart at Watkins Glen International.

Having rubbed shoulders with other racing greats so often, it only would be fitting if Hamilton — who is one victory from tying Michael Schumacher’s career record and also could tie the F1 record with a seventh championship this season — spent some time with the greatest basketball player of all time.

Jeff Gordon was flanked by Mario Andretti and Lewis Hamilton before the 2015 Cup season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway (Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images).