NASCAR truck stars experience the extreme nature of NHRA drag racing

They were strangers in a strange land, but this didn't stop NASCAR Camping World Truck Series from taking in drag racing's extreme nature on their day off:

Rico Abreu, Matt Crafton, Cameron Hayley and Ben Rhodes visited the NHRA 4-Wide Nationals at zMax Dragway and immediately felt the sensory overload of drag racing.

"It's pretty cool," said Abreu. "Television doesn't do it justice compared to being here in person. That vibration and the rattle in your body and being able to stand there on the line is a treat for us. We're used to 600 horsepower engines, and it's nowhere near what these guys have. It's a big difference."

The difference is about 9,400 horsepower from the truck Abreu drives for ThorSport Racing and the Sealmaster-sponsored dragster driven by host J.R. Todd.

Abreu needed only to witness one set of four Top Fuel dragsters make a pass, collectively at 40,000 horsepower, to draw the conclusion this is the ultimate extreme sport.

"I believe it is. It's intense, high speeds and you can't make any mistakes when you get down there," Abreu added. "It's all about reaction time and not spinning the tires."

Crafton, who has 11 NASCAR truck wins to his credit, wouldn't mind taking a spin in a 320-mph dragster.

"These guys have major guts to go 300 mph; that's impressive," said Crafton. "We go over 100 mph slower than they do but, at the same time, we're turning left. I would definitely do what they do, but it's insane, especially if you go down and watch them at the finish line to see how fast they go.

"They're very impressive. I love coming here and watching, and the competitive side of me thinks it's awesome and then going to watch what they do in the pits, rebuilding those motors and how fast they do it."

Hayley, a Canadian-based driver, believes each sport has its intricacies and driver skill sets.

"I think what it comes down to is a racer is a racer no matter where you're from," Hayley said. "At some point each one of us could get into each other's car and do well in it, but it obviously takes a certain skill and stomach to be able to do something like this versus what we do."


Bobby Bennett is the Publisher/Editor of, a leading independent online drag racing magazine, since 1999. For the latest in dragster news worldwide, visit or follow on Twitter @competitionplus