This weekend the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series heads to the palatial zMax Dragway in Concord, North Carolina. The state of North Carolina has been a hot bed of drag racing for decades and the Charlotte area has certainly seen its fair share of action over the years. The rotting remains of Shuffletown Dragway are only a short drive away from zMax but they are an awesome if not slightly sad place to visit. Closed for more than 20 years now, the place was ground zero for killer door slammer racing in the late 1980s when those crazy top sportsman racers were morphing into the heads up pro mod competitors that would sweep the nation.
This 1988 video is smack dab during that process. In fact you will hear the announcer remind the crowd a couple of times here that there is “no dial in, no breakout” with this racing. He was telling the crowd that because they were all used to seeing top sportsman cars use a handicap start and then sometimes lose by going too quickly.
Pro Mod was the rage against that machine and you are seeing it before it technically existed here. Yes, every car has nitrous. Yes, every car has a Lenco, and yes, people loved it. They loved the insanity of the drivers and the stunts they pulled. Good times!