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The latest update as of April 13, 2023

NHRA Four-Wide Nationals

The fourth race of the 2023 Camping World Drag Racing Series gets underway tomorrow morning at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. It's the third, and final leg of the "Southwestern Swing", following the Winternationals and Arizona Nationals. Then the next five events take place in the eastern half of the country before the tour heads west again for the "old" Western Swing. It's been an interesting balancing act for NHRA this season, trying to limit the long tows between events and make it as financially fair as possible for races in the various regions of North America.

The Las Vegas race will also be the first of two back-to-back four-wide events, with Las Vegas and Charlotte (Z-Max) separated by a week, before the balance of the 21-race schedule resumes with the first national event at Route 66 Raceway since 2019. The battles in the PRO categories are still developing, but it's clear that there could be some new champions at the end of the year and some rising stars in all of the professional classes. And Top Alcohol Dragster competition is going to be tougher than ever with at least a dozen drivers challenging for a spot in the Top Ten, let alone the national championship.

On the Top Alcohol Funny Car side it's not starting out to be a banner year for participation, with just nine cars at the Gatornationals, 11 at the Winternationals, and 13 at this week's Four-Wide Nationals. Yes, the numbers are growing but look rather weak compared to the dragsters, where full, and overflowing, fields have appeared. 21 entries at the Gators, 19 at the Winters, and 21 again at this week's race. We've yet to see an injected nitro Funny Car appear this season, other than Julie Nataas at the Funny Car Chaos Classic, but as the tour moves across the country, it's expected that the flopper brigade will strengthen. One thing that isn't lacking from their races is some very quick and fast racing with at least half a dozen serious contenders - already - for this season's championship.

More to come on the Four-Wides tomorrow, as qualifying starts in the late morning under what has been forecast as great racing weather. Sunny skies, temps in the mid 70's (F), with a high of just over 80 on Sunday afternoon.