CONCORD, N.C. — Using a 40-ton sand sculpture of a NHRA Top Fuel dragster as a backdrop, officials from zMAX Dragway and the Myrtle Beach (S.C.) Area Convention and Visitors Bureau announced Thursday that April’s second-annual four-wide event at the Charlotte-area facility will now be known as the VisitMyrtleBeach.com NHRA Four-Wide Nationals.
The partnership between “the Bellagio of drag strips” and “The Grand Strand,” one of the South’s most popular tourist attractions, is a marketing alliance centering around the organizations’ similar geographic regions, demographics and their focus on family friendly activities.
In addition to the Four-Wide Nationals April 14-17, the two companies will partner on a number of cross promotions throughout the season, including Myrtle Beach’s annual May Fest, which features themed weekends and activities. Visit Myrtle Beach also becomes the official vacation destination of Charlotte Motor Speedway.
“This is a great partnership for a number of reasons,” said Marcus Smith, president and general manager of Charlotte Motor Speedway. “At the core of it is the fact that our fans love racing and they love Myrtle Beach. We both offer excellent family friendly entertainment on a year-round basis, to the same demographic and in similar geographic areas. To have Visit Myrtle Beach come on board with the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals is a testament not only to NHRA drag racing but to this event, which we believe can become one of the greats in the sport.”
Tying the two entities together during the announcement was a 40-ton sand sculpture of a Top Fuel dragster in front of zMAX’s main tower. Created by world champion and grand master sand sculptor Suzanne Altamare, the sculpture features a 1:80 scale replica of a Doug Herbert dragster. The project took the Florida resident, who has appeared as a celebrity sculptor on Travel Channel’s “Sand Blasters,” some 25 hours to create.
Dragway officials also announced that as part of NHRA’s 60th anniversary celebration this season, fans purchasing $45 or $55 Sunday grandstand tickets for the April race can participate in a track walk on race day morning with drag racing legends Shirley Muldowney, Don Garlits, Connie Kalitta and Kenny Bernstein.
The celebration will also include meet-and-greets with the legends, autograph sessions, and classic car displays.