Four-wide drag racing is by no means a recent novelty— during parts of the 1960s and 70s, venues from California to New York and several points in between held four-wide acceleration contests — but with its modern-day return at the zMax Dragway in North Carolina and The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, promoters are hard-up to exploit the twice-the-fun element of having, well….twice the number of lanes.
It began, of course, with the NHRA’s Four-Wide Nationals at Bruton Smith’s zMax palace in Charlotte, and later, a four-wide edition of the iconic PINKS: All Out program. Since then, the two four-wide strips have seen a number of unique contests or outright firsts, from four jet cars to a quad of vintage Gassers and even the inclusion of the NHRA Pro Modified division racing four abreast.
At this weekend’s Street Car Super Nationals in Las Vegas, what may have very well been another first went down, as four highly-capable doorslammers lined up four across for an authentic grudge match with $10,000 on the line to the winner. The combatants included grudge racing superstar Jay Boddie in his familiar twin-turbo Chevy II, Giuseppe Gentile in Robert Remillard’s Outlaw 10.5 Mustang, Missourian Mark Woodruff in his twin-twin-turbo Radial versus The World C5 Corvette, and Eric Kvilhaugh behind the wheel of the Dragzine supercharged Radial Wars C6 ‘Vette.
Another interesting component of this grudge contest, it featured two different types of track prep for a single race: Gentile (10.5W slicks) and Boddie (slick big-tire) on one side of the track on slick-tire prep, and Woodruff and Kvilhaug on the other, running on 315 drag radials with sticky radial prep.
Despite the performance advantages that radial tire cars have illustrated in recent years — and given that historically the cars of Woodruff and Kvilhaug have been quicker — on this night it was the slick tire runners in unanimous fashion as Gentile motored away for the win with Boddie trailing just behind.
Video courtesy Hans Pierre/Free Life Films