What you need to know for NHRA Four-Wide Nationals in Charlotte on FS1
For just one event each season ... 10,000 horsepower NHRA Funny Cars and Top Fuel dragsters ... side by side by side by side ... 40,000 horsepower in less than four seconds!
In the one and only event of the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season pitting four cars against each other at the starting line, FS1 delivers three hours of final round coverage of the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals presented by Lowes Foods on Sunday, April 24 (4:30 p.m. ET), along with two hours of four-wide qualifying coverage on Saturday, April 23 (10:00 p.m. ET).
After the season's first four events, viewing of FOX Sports NHRA events is up 22% over 2015 (771,000 viewers vs. 633,000) according to Nielsen Media Research. Viewership for the NHRA's previous event -- the Denso Spark Plug Nationals at Las Vegas -- averaged nearly 1.3 million viewers and peaked at more than 1.5 million.
Dave Rieff (@DaveRieff) and analyst Tony Pedregon (@TonyPedregon) call the action for FS1, with Bruno Massel (@BrunoMassel) and Jamie Howe (@1JamieHowe) reporting from the pits.
"The first thing I do is watch and listen to what happens," Rieff said of the unique format. "Side-by-side drag racing is intense enough, but when four cars take off, each with 10,000 ponies, you can't take your eyes off of the track for a second. Why? A thousandth of a second can advance you to the next round.
"I love the challenge of dissecting the numbers from four cars, trying to figure out who advances, and then seeing what the numbers tell us," Rieff added. "After all, this is the only race you can win with a triple hole-shot!"
Pedregon, in his first year as a full-time NHRA television analyst, is preparing for the challenging setup from a new perspective.
"I'm watching lots of old four-wide coverage to prepare," said Pedregon, a two-time NHRA Funny Car champion. "As a driver, my time was always occupied setting the car up and trying to make the necessary adjustments that we will see drivers make in all the pro categories. The biggest challenge for them will be figuring out what lights stage their car on the starting line. Surprisingly, after several years of the four-wide event, it still confuses some drivers, causing them to lose races because of the additional three cars that line up to race." Full Story
For the Pedregons, rise to the top of NHRA has been a family affair
Many family racing dynasties begin with stories of encouragement.
For Cruz and Tony Pedregon, however, that was far from the case as their father - Flamin’ Frank Pedregon - actually discouraged them from racing due to the danger that surrounded any form of motor racing back in the 1960’s.
However, both Cruz and Tony are heading to the zMAX Dragway this weekend in Charlotte, N.C., both with two NHRA Funny Car championships under their belt, and new careers for each of them on the horizon.
While Tony will be calling the action for FOX Sports up in the booth, Cruz will be down in the garage and out on the drag-strip, tuning up his own Snap-on sponsored Cruz Pedregon Racing, Inc. Funny Car.
The first of the Pedregon’s four Funny Car championships came for Cruz back in 1992, although it would be another 16 years until he would win his second one. During that time, Cruz made the switch from hired driver to team owner and had secured a multi-million-dollar sponsor in the form of Advance Auto Parts, which rode with him down the drag strip en route to his 2008 championship. Read Full Story
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