NASCAR & Auto Racing

NHRA interested in Charlotte market

National Hot Rod Association president Tom Compton said Friday that drag racing’s top series would love to come to Charlotte if Bruton Smith builds a facility near Lowe’s Motor Speedway.

“We haven’t expanded our PowerAde Series permanently in several years, and we are looking toward new markets,” Compton said by telephone from Indianapolis, where the NHRA is running its U.S. Nationals this weekend.

“One of those is certainly Charlotte.”

Compton said NHRA officials had contacted Smith’s Speedway Motorsports Inc. about the possibility of adding a drag strip to the Lowe’s Motor Speedway facilities. Smith told the Observer on Thursday that he’s “looking very hard” at building one.

“We have been down and that would be a tremendous site for us,” Compton said. “We’re very excited about bringing the PowerAde Series to Charlotte when and if it all comes together.

“Charlotte is a growing, a prosperous city in this country and it’s one that we’re not covering with our current schedule. Charlotte has a lot going for it as a motorsports capital.”

The Charlotte area is also increasingly becoming a hub for drag racing teams. Two of the top Pro Stock teams, KB Racing and Cagnazzi Racing, are based in Mooresville. Doug Herbert’s Top Fuel team is based in Lincolnton and Bob Gilbertson’s Funny Car team operates out of a shop in Blacksburg, S.C.