Big time drag racing coming back to zMAX in September

Bringing NHRA fans closer than ever to their favorite drivers and teams, zMAX Dragway has announced a start-studded lineup making Top Eliminator Club appearances during the upcoming NHRA Carolina Nationals, Sept. 12-14.

"The Top Eliminator Club is the ultimate ticket upgrade for diehard drag racing fans," said Christian Byrd, general manager at zMAX Dragway. "Nowhere else can you get this kind of access to the biggest names in the sport and enjoy the ultimate VIP race day experience, then return to your seats and watch them race the fastest accelerating machines on the planet at the sport's premiere drag strip."

On Friday, Sept. 12, Don Schumacher Racing teammates Antron Brown, Tony Schumacher and Spencer Massey will greet fans, sign autographs and take photos in the Top Eliminator Club.

The trio has combined for 139 NHRA event wins and eight world championships, and all three are expected to contend for a championship when the six-race NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Countdown to the Championship kicks off at zMAX Dragway.

Saturday's lineup includes 16-time NHRA Funny Car champion John Force and his daughter, Brittany Force, who drives a 10,000-horsepower Top Fuel dragster. John Force has already clinched a spot in the Countdown, and with two races remaining in the regular season, Brittany Force sits in seventh, with the top 10 competing for a championship in the Countdown.

For NHRA history buffs, Sunday's Top Eliminator Club is a cant'-miss, with drag racing icon Shirley Muldowney scheduled to make an appearance. Known as "the first lady of drag racing," Muldowny broke gender barriers as the first female NHRA racer to earn her Top Fuel license.

She won 18 events and three Top Fuel championships during her illustrious career.

Sunday's lineup will also feature the defending NHRA Carolina Nationals Top Fuel champion, Morgan Lucas, NHRA Top Fuel rookie Richie Crampton, who currently sits ninth in points, and NHRA Pro Stock points leader Erica Enders-Stevens.

NHRA Carolina Nationals qualifying opens on Friday, Sept. 12, with pro sessions scheduled at 3:15 p.m. and 5:45 p.m. The final two qualifying sessions will take place Saturday, Sept. 13, at 2:30 p.m. and 5:45 p.m. Final eliminations are scheduled for 12 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 14.