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Dave Richards, Versatran/BlueBird Prepared for Four-Wide Nationals

Dave Richards and the Versatran / BlueBird Funny Car team enter this weekend’s NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the third of 20 events on tour and first of two in the four-wide format, with some renewed optimism.

Competing the full NHRA Mission Foods Series schedule for the first time, Richards and his team stayed and tested at Firebird Motorsports Park following the NHRA Arizona Nationals, the second event at which the young team qualified 17th, just shy of making the 16-car field for race day.

“This whole Versatran / BlueBird team is looking forward to Vegas. We had some disappointment in Phoenix with not qualifying, but we stayed and tested, and we’re feeling really good,” Richards said. “We made two runs and learned a lot. The car is getting happy. We’re figuring it out.”

Richards has raced at The Strip previously; his best finish came in the fall contested event in 2020 when he qualified No. 12 and lost to Bob Tasca III in the first round. He also has experience with the unique four-wide format racing at the Charlotte event a total of five time. He failed to qualify in 2016 and 2017 but in 2019 he was 15th, in 2021 he had his best showing at No. 9 and in 2023 he was 16th. All three years he had a first quad exit.

“I’m not new to four-wide or racing at The Strip, I’ve just never raced four-wide there. It’ll be different, but nothing we can’t handle,” Richards said. “I’m definitely glad to be jumping back in the seat without an off weekend. Hopefully we can build some momentum and put on a good show.”

Competition at the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway kicks off with four rounds of qualifying Friday and Saturday at noon and 2:30 p.m. Eliminations will begin Sunday at noon. Television coverage of the event will be on FOX Sports 1 (FS1) with qualifying shows Friday at 11 p.m. ET and Sunday at 11 a.m. ET and an eliminations show Sunday at 7:00 p.m. ET.

This story was originally published on April 11, 2024. Drag Illustrated

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