John Zappia is a drag racing competitor from Perth, Western Australia. John races a Holden HQ 2 door Monaro Top Doorslammer, similar to an American Pro Modified. John is the current ANDRA Australian "Top Doorslammer" Champion, having won the category a record 10 consecutive times. John holds the National ANDRA "Top Doorslammer" Elapsed Time record for this category at 5.693 seconds. This was achieved during his qualifying run at the 2013 FUCHS Winternationals held at Willowbank Raceway Australia on 9 June 2013; this record was backed up by his 5.753 second run, achieved during qualifying at the same event, the day before. He holds the Australian National IHRA "Pro Slammer" record, at 5.635 seconds. This was recorded at Sydney International Dragway at the 2017 Nitro Champs meeting on 6 May 2017, his personal best speed is recorded at 256.7 mph. On 18 September 2005, John became the first legal Australian Top Doorslammer driver to record an elapsed time for the quarter mile at under six seconds, with an ET of 5.967 seconds at 242 mph.
John is the current ANDRA Australian "Top Doorslammer" National Champion, having won the "ANDRA Pro Series" Championship for a record ten years straight in 2007/08, 2008/09, 2009/10, 2010/11, 2011/12, 2012/13, 2013/14, 2014/15, 2015/16, 2016/17. The 2015/2016 Championship was won in conjunction with winning the inaugural IHRA Australian "Pro Slammer" Championship series, making John the first driver to win both Championship series in the same year. Elapsed Time: ANDRA Australian National "Top Doorslammer" Record: 5.693 seconds IHRA Australian National "Pro Slammer" Record: 5.601 secondsChampionships: Ten Consecutive ANDRA "Top Doorslammer" National Championships.
A tire or tyre is a ring-shaped component that surrounds a wheel's rim to transfer a vehicle's load from the axle through the wheel to the ground and to provide traction on the surface traveled over. Most tires, such as those for automobiles and bicycles, are pneumatically inflated structures, which provide a flexible cushion that absorbs shock as the tire rolls over rough features on the surface. Tires provide a footprint, designed to match the weight of the vehicle with the bearing strength of the surface that it rolls over by providing a bearing pressure that will not deform the surface excessively; the materials of modern pneumatic tires are synthetic rubber, natural rubber and wire, along with carbon black and other chemical compounds. They consist of a body; the tread provides traction. Before rubber was developed, the first versions of tires were bands of metal fitted around wooden wheels to prevent wear and tear. Early rubber tires were solid. Pneumatic tires are used on many types of vehicles, including cars, motorcycles, trucks, heavy equipment, aircraft.
Metal tires are still used on locomotives and railcars, solid rubber tires are still used in various non-automotive applications, such as some casters, carts and wheelbarrows. The word tire is a short form of attire, from the idea; the spelling tyre does not appear until the 1840s when the English began shrink fitting railway car wheels with malleable iron. Traditional publishers continued using tire; the Times newspaper in Britain was still using tire as late as 1905. The spelling tyre began to be used in the 19th century for pneumatic tires in the UK; the 1911 edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica states that "he spelling'tyre' is not now accepted by the best English authorities, is unrecognized in the US", while Fowler's Modern English Usage of 1926 says that "there is nothing to be said for'tyre', etymologically wrong, as well as needlessly divergent from our own older & the present American usage". However, over the course of the 20th century, tyre became established as the standard British spelling.
The earliest tires were bands of leather iron placed on wooden wheels used on carts and wagons. The tire would be heated in a forge fire, placed over the wheel and quenched, causing the metal to contract and fit on the wheel. A skilled worker, known as a wheelwright, carried out this work; the first patent for what appears to be a standard pneumatic tire appeared in 1847 lodged by the Scottish inventor Robert William Thomson. However, this never went into production; the first practical pneumatic tire was made in 1888 on May Street, Belfast, by Scots-born John Boyd Dunlop, owner of one of Ireland's most prosperous veterinary practices. It was an effort to prevent the headaches of his 10-year-old son Johnnie, while riding his tricycle on rough pavements, his doctor, John Sir John Fagan, had prescribed cycling as an exercise for the boy, was a regular visitor. Fagan participated in designing the first pneumatic tires. Cyclist Willie Hume demonstrated the supremacy of Dunlop's tires in 1889, winning the tire's first-ever races in Ireland and England.
In Dunlop's tire patent specification dated 31 October 1888, his interest is only in its use in cycles and light vehicles. In September 1890, he was made aware of an earlier development but the company kept the information to itself. In 1892, Dunlop's patent was declared invalid because of prior art by forgotten fellow Scot Robert William Thomson of London, although Dunlop is credited with "realizing rubber could withstand the wear and tear of being a tire while retaining its resilience". John Boyd Dunlop and Harvey du Cros together worked through the ensuing considerable difficulties, they employed inventor Charles Kingston Welch and acquired other rights and patents which allowed them some limited protection of their Pneumatic Tyre business's position. Pneumatic Tyre would become Dunlop Tyres; the development of this technology hinged on myriad engineering advances, including the vulcanization of natural rubber using sulfur, as well as by the development of the "clincher" rim for holding the tire in place laterally on the wheel rim.
Synthetic rubbers were invented in the laboratories of Bayer in the 1920s. In 1946, Michelin developed the radial tire method of construction. Michelin had bought the bankrupt Citroën automobile company in 1934, so it was able to fit this new technology immediately; because of its superiority in handling and fuel economy, use of this technology spread throughout Europe and Asia. In the U. S. the outdated bias-ply tire construction persisted, with market share of 87% as late as 1967. Delay was caused by tire and automobile manufacturers in America "concerned about transition costs." In 1968, Consumer Reports, an influential American magazine, acknowledged the superiority of radial construction, setting off a rapid decline in Michelin's competitor technology. In the U. S. the radial tire now has a market share of 100% in automobiles. Today, over 1 billion tires are produced annually in over 400 tire factories. There are 2 aspects to. First, tension in the cords pull on the bead uniformly around the wheel, except where it is reduced above the contact patch.
Second, the bead transfers that net force to the rim. Air pressure, via the ply cords, exerts tensile force on the entire bead surrounding th
Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile
The Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile is an association established on 20 June 1904 to represent the interests of motoring organisations and motor car users. To the general public, the FIA is known as the governing body for many auto racing events; the FIA promotes road safety around the world. Headquartered at 8 Place de la Concorde, the FIA consists of 246 member organisations in 145 countries worldwide, its current president is Jean Todt. The FIA is known by its French name or initials in non-French-speaking countries, but is rendered as International Automobile Federation, its most prominent role is in the licensing and sanctioning of Formula One, World Endurance Championship, World Rally Championship and various forms of sports car and touring car racing. The FIA along with the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme certify land speed record attempts; the International Olympic Committee provisionally recognized the federation in 2011, granted full recognition in 2013. The Association Internationale des Automobile Clubs Reconnus was founded in Paris on 20 June 1904, as an association of national motor clubs.
The association was designed to represent the interests of motor car users, as well as to oversee the burgeoning international motor sport scene. In 1922, the AIACR delegated the organisation of automobile racing to the Commission Sportive Internationale, which would set the regulations for international Grand Prix motor racing; the European Drivers' Championship was introduced in 1931, a title awarded to the driver with the best results in the selected Grands Prix. Upon the resumption of motor racing after the Second World War, the AIACR was renamed the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile; the FIA established a number of new racing categories, among them Formulas One and Two, created the first World Championship, the Formula One World Drivers' Championship, in 1950. The CSI determined the regulations for holding Grands Prix and selected the races that formed part of the World Championships – a World Sportscar Championship was established in 1953 – but the organisers of the individual races were responsible for accepting entries, paying prize money, the general running of each event.
In Formula One, this led to tension between the teams, which formed themselves into the Formula One Constructors Association founded in 1974, event organisers and the CSI. The FIA and CSI were amateur organisations, FOCA under the control of Bernie Ecclestone began to take charge of various aspects of organising the events, as well as setting terms with race organisers for the arrival of teams and the amount of prize money; this led to the FIA President Prince Metternich attempting to reassert its authority by appointing Jean-Marie Balestre as the head of the CSI, who promptly reformed the committee into the autonomous Fédération Internationale du Sport Automobile. Under Balestre's leadership FISA and the manufacturer-backed teams became involved in a dispute with FOCA; the conflict saw several races being cancelled or boycotted, large-scale disagreement over the technical regulations and their enforcement. The dispute and the Concorde Agreement, written to end it, would have significant ramifications for the FIA.
The agreement led to FOCA acquiring commercial rights over Formula One, while FISA and the FIA would have control over sport's regulations. FOCA chief Bernie Ecclestone became an FIA Vice-President with control over promoting the FIA's World Championships, while FOCA legal advisor and former March Engineering manager Max Mosley would end up becoming FISA President in 1991. Mosley succeeded Balestre as President of the FIA in 1993 and restructured the organisation, dissolving FISA and placing motor racing under the direct management of the FIA. Following the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix, which saw the deaths of Ayrton Senna and Roland Ratzenberger, the FIA formed an Expert Advisory Safety Committee to research and improve safety in motor racing. Chaired by Formula One medical chief Professor Sid Watkins, the committee worked with the Motor Industry Research Association to strengthen the crash resistance of cars and the restraint systems and to improve the drivers personal safety; the recommendations of the committee led to more stringent crash tests for racing vehicles, new safety standards for helmets and race suits, the eventual introduction of the HANS device as compulsory in all international racing series.
The committee worked on improving circuit safety. This led to a number of changes at motor racing circuits around the world, the improvement of crash barriers and trackside medical procedures; the FIA was a founder member of the European New Car Assessment Programme, a car safety programme that crash-tests new models and publishes safety reports on vehicles. Mosley was the first chairman of the organisation; the FIA helped establish the Latin NCAP and Global NCAP. The Competition Directorate of the European Commission and the FIA were involved in a dispute over the commercial administration of motorsport during the 1990s; the Competition Commissioner, Karel Van Miert had received a number of complaints from television companies and motorsport promoters in 1997 that the FIA had been abusing its position as motorsport's governing body. Van Miert's initial inquiry had not concluded by 1999, which resulted in the FIA suing the European Commission, alleging that the delay was causing damaging uncertainty, receiving an apology from the Commission over the leaking of documents relating to the case.
Mario Monti took over as Commissioner in 1999, the European
Pro Stock is a class of drag racing featuring "factory hot rods". The class is described as "all motor", due to the cars not using any form of forced induction such as turbocharging or supercharging, or other enhancements, like nitrous oxide, along with regulations governing the modifications allowed to the engines and the types of bodies used; the National Hot Rod Association Pro Stock class emerged from the production-based Super Stock in 1970 with a more liberal set of rules and an absence of handicaps. Rules favored big block V8s but by 1972 had changed to favor small-blocks to factor out the Chrysler Hemi cars. On 1 July 1973, NHRA required Pro Stock drivers to have competition licences, just like blown or fuel dragsters and funny cars. Following a 1973 NHRA rule change to allow records to be set at any national meet, at the Winternationals, "Dyno Don" Nicholson set the first official Super Stock e.t. record with a 9.33, while Bill Jenkins turned in a record 148.76 mph speed. In 1982, the NHRA implemented a new engine formula that allowed the big-blocks to return, due to the popularity of the Mountain Motor IHRA Pro Stock cars, which have unlimited displacement.
Lee Shepherd won the second of four championships in a row in 1983, the year he won IHRA's title, making him the first driver to do so. In 2016, the NHRA implemented a major overhaul to the engine formula. Hood scoops and double four-barrel carburetors were eliminated and replaced by electronic fuel injection, an overhaul designed to reflect on modern automotive trends, as all automobiles being produced for sale in North America have used electronic fuel injection for over 20 years. Except in the NHRA 500ci formula, the engine must be manufactured by the same company as the car body. All raw components must available to anyone for general public purchase. Engine blocks and cylinder heads are provided in a "raw" condition with only approximate dimensions and rough machining; each team will modify the part to their own standards. NHRA Pro Stock engines are restricted to a maximum 500 cu in single-camshaft, 90-degree V8. Several bodies have different rules. "Mountain Motors," run by the PDRA and at selected NHRA events in 2019, do not have a 500-cubic inch rule, with some engines exceeding 800 cu in, to upwards of 1,000 cu in.
The Australian National Drag Racing Association and IHRA have a 400 cu in maximum displacement engine limit. Depending on sanctioning body and class, engines may either be four-barrel carburetors or throttle body electronic fuel injection and must be a aspirated intake system; those that use two four-barrel carburetors may allow them to be "split" so that each of the halves can be more positioned over the staggered intake runners. The intake manifold and heads are open to modification; the most effective intake manifold configuration has continued to be the "tunnel ram" for nearly 40 years. The carburetors are raised above the engine; the tall intake manifolds necessitate the large hood scoop, a signature of the Pro Stock class. The NHRA formula requires, the PDRA Extreme Pro Stock permits, cars to use electronically-controlled throttle body fuel injection systems. In the NHRA, an electronic control unit will be implemented on the EFI systems, including a 10,500 RPM limit, with modern engines approaching 12,000 RPM.
The rules that exclude forced induction of any sort, plus allowing head modifications, have resulted in Pro Stock heads being the most sophisticated in any drag racing category, with valve lifts in the 1" region. Modern Pro Stock engines produce around 2.5 hp/in³, make upwards of 1,500+hp while being aspirated. A complete NHRA Pro Stock engine can cost upwards of $100,000. Pro Stock clutches utilize multiple discs; these must be serviced after every run to maintain critical tolerances that can mean the difference between a good run or severe tire shake. Since 1973, the most popular transmission was the Lenco planetary design, first used as a four-speed and now as a five-speed. Although the five-speed unit is still used in ADRL and Mountain Motor Pro Stock Association and in Air-Shifted three-speed units in Pro Modified, NHRA Pro Stocks utilize a Liberty or G-Force five-speed clutchless manual transmission. NHRA Pro Stock racers use. Windows are manufactured from polycarbonate; some have complained that the "Stock" portion of "Pro Stock" is not all that accurate anymore, because so little, if any, of the race cars' bodies having their origins in the respective manufacturers' factories.
Pro Stock chassis are welded 4130 chrome-molybdenum alloy steel tubing, with an integrated "funny-car style" cage around the driver that, combined with the safety restraints and helmet produce a rigid and safe driving environment, brought upon after a violent rollover crash suffered by Bob Glidden during the 1986 Commerce, GA round. Pro Stock cars are required to use automotive-type suspension systems. Since the 1970s, front suspensions have utilized MacPherson struts with control arms. Both the fron
Brainerd International Raceway
Brainerd International Raceway is a road course, dragstrip racing complex northwest of the city of Brainerd, Minnesota. The complex has a 0.25-mile dragstrip, overlapping 2.5-mile and 3.1-mile road courses. The complex includes a kart track; the raceway hosts the National Hot Rod Association's Lucas Oil Nationals. It is a popular racetrack for the Trans Am Series; the spectator seating capacity of the circuit is 20,000. Opened in July 1968 as Donnybrooke Speedway, there were no safety barriers, run-out areas, grandstands or restrooms. George Montgomery and Bud Stall cleared the racetrack through a wooded area on the south side of North Long Lake, it was SCCA's first venue in the region. It was an NHRA-sanctioned track, with the first official event there an NHRA race, at the opening. With the help of St Paul sports promoter Dennis Scanlan, it hosted a 2-heat USAC Indy Car race in 1969; the heats were won by Dan Gurney. In 1973 Jerry Hansen renamed it Brainerd International Raceway, it played host to CanAm races in 1970, 1971, 1972.
These races were won by Denny Hulme, Peter Revson, François Cevert. In the 1970s, the track began holding Funny Car events, in particular the Crown Auto Funny Car Championships, in time, NHRA was convinced to stage a national event at Brainerd: in 1982, Shirley Muldowney, Frank Hawley, Lee Shepherd were the headline winners at the first Quaker State North Star NHRA Nationals. In Pro Stock, Bob Glidden won at Brainerd in 1983, 1985, 1986, 1992; the Brainerd strip became known as "one of the quickest and fastest in the world". It was resurfaced in 2003. In 2005, Tony Schumacher turned in a speed of 337.58 mph, "the fastest quarter-mile time ever", in 2016 and 2017, national NHRA records in Funny Car were set there. Kenny Bernstein won at Brainerd five times, 1983 and 1987 and in 1991, 1996, 2002 ). In the summer of 2006, Jed and Kristi Copham of Forest Lake, became the new owners of Brainerd International Raceway. Brainerd International Raceway was damaged during a severe thunderstorm that struck portions of Minnesota on July 12, 2015.
Brainerd International Raceway consists of 1 drag strip. Brainerd International Raceway maintains the original name of the now 40-year-old course; the course is used for motorcycle racing. The 3.1-mile Donnybrooke Road Course has 10 turns and is considered wide – the main straight is 60 feet wide. There is no elevation change. BIR is a high-speed course. There are wide runoff areas at most of the corners, which makes BIR's road course safe; this configuration uses the dragstrip as part of the course. The 2009 racing season was the first for the 2.5 mile course, completed the previous summer. Turn 1 on the 2.5-mile Competition Road Course is the same as Turn 1 on the three-mile road course. Turn 1 is a narrow but high-speed banked right-hand 60-degree turn, intended be taken flat out by all vehicles. Turns 1 through 8 of the original 3.1-mile road course are used for the new circuit. At Turn 8, a 240-degree right-hand Clover Leaf transitions drivers from the old course to the new stretch of asphalt that winds its way back across the infield tying back into the original circuit just before Turn 1, avoiding the dragstrip.
In all, the Competition Road Course features 13 turns and little elevation change. The dragstrip dates back to 1969, when BIR converted the mile-long straightaway on its road course to a drag strip and hosted an NHRA Divisional Points Race. In 1977, BIR hosted the Crown Auto Funny Car Championships and the Crown Auto Winston Points Championship, it was reconstructed in 2005, adding a 700-foot concrete launch pad and new asphalt for the remaining 600 feet was installed. Tony Schumacher, set the world record for top fuel dragsters with a 337.58 mph run in 2005. This speed and time are recorded at the end of a standing start quarter mile acceleration race, before the NHRA shortened top fuel and funny car races to the current 1,000 ft since 2008. Brainerdraceway.com Official website Circuit Photos Aerial Photos Trackpedia guide to Brainerd including videos with telemetry and track notes
Bracket racing is a form of drag racing that allows for a handicap between predicted elapsed time of the two cars over a standard distance within the three standard distances of drag racing. The effect of the bracket racing rules is to place a premium on consistency of performance of the driver and car rather than on raw speed, which in turn makes victory much less dependent on large infusions of money, more dependent on mechanical and driving skill, such as reaction times, shifting abilities, ability to control the car. Therefore, bracket racing is popular with casual weekend racers; some will drive their vehicles to the track, race them, simply drive them home. This format allows for a wide variety of cars racing against each other. While traditional drag racing separates cars into a wide variety of classes based on power and weight, bracket racing classes can be simpler, can accommodate any vehicle with basic technical/safety inspection. Race events organized in this way are sometimes called "run-what-ya-brung".
Each car chooses a dial-in time before the race, predicting the elapsed time the driver estimates it will take his or her car to cross the finish line. This is displayed on one or more windows so the starter can adjust the "christmas tree" starting lights accordingly; the slower car in the race is given the green light before the faster car by a margin of the difference between their two dial-in times. In principle, if both drivers have equal reaction times and their cars run their posted dial-ins, both cars should cross the finish line at the same time. In reality, this is an rare occurrence. Measuring devices both at the start and at the end of the track post times down to 1/100000 of a second, which makes tied races impossible; some forms of bracket racing have cars classified by type, the dial-in time is based on the type of car, entered. When a car leaves the starting line, a timer is started for that car; the difference between when the green light comes on and when the car leaves the starting line is called the reaction time.
If a driver leaves before the light turns green, he/she is automatically red-lighted and disqualified for that round unless the opponent commits a more serious violation. The first car to redlight loses, the slower car, which will be leaving the line first, has the disadvantage of being dead in the water if he red lights if his faster opponent redlights by a larger margin. Sometimes, people incorrectly refer "reaction time" to the unrelated 60 foot takeoff time; the reaction time is an indication of how fast a driver reacted compared to when the green light came on. The 60 foot takeoff time is an indicator of how fast the vehicle started moving at the beginning of the race, regardless of the driver’s reaction time. If the driver launched the car with too much power for the available traction, he will have wheelspin and correspondingly will have a longer time to cross the 60 foot barrier if he were to drive with more finesse. Breaking out is when a racer manages to cross the finish line in less time than the one he dialed-in beforehand.
If only one car "breaks out", it is the other one wins by default. If both cars break out, the one closer to the dial-in time wins. A foul start, crossing the boundary line or wall, or failure to be at post-race inspection override any breaking out violations. Not all bracket racing classes have breaking out. Based on a driver's competition licence or a chassis certification, an absolute limit may be imposed. A car going faster than the absolute limit may be automatically disqualified. An absolute breakout is imposed based on the licencing of the vehicle and/or the driver. Depending on class, a driver may be given one warning, but in most cases they are disqualified. Violations involving absolute breakout include: A car goes faster than the legal certification limit of the chassis. Examples include: A dragster, not certified for Top Alcohol Dragster is faster than 5.99 seconds required for Top Alcohol Dragster cerficiation. A full bodied car, certified for 7.50 seconds goes faster than 7.49 seconds.
A stock sedan with just a standard three-point harness goes faster than 11.49 seconds. A vehicle goes 150 MPH or faster in the quarter-mile and does not have a parachute, required for cars that speed or faster. A driver goes faster than the legal limit of his competition licence. Examples include: A driver's competition licence only is for cars 7.50 to 8.99 seconds, his car goes faster than 7.49 seconds. In Junior Dragster, a driver goes faster than the absolute limit imposed by his competition licence: A Five-year old cannot be faster than 20.00 seconds in the eighth mile. Drivers 6-7 are restricted to 13.90 in the eighth mile, with a warning at 13.70, with an absolute limit of 13.50. Drivers 8-9 are restricted to 11.90 in the eighth mile, with a warning at 11.70, with an absolute limit of 11.50. Drivers 10-12 are restricted to 8.90 in the eighth mile, with a warning at 8.70, with an absolute limit of 8.50. Drivers 13-18 are restricted to 7.90 in the eighth mile, with an absolute limit of 7.50 and 85.00 MPH.
Examples: This eliminates any advantage from bending the rules by putting a slow dial-in time on the windshield to get a head start. However, some racers will purposely dial a slower time and let off of the throttle or use their brakes near the end of the track in an attempt to use strateg
Charlotte Motor Speedway
Charlotte Motor Speedway Lowe's Motor Speedway, is a motorsports complex located in Concord, North Carolina 13 mi from Charlotte. The complex features a 1.5 mi quad oval track that hosts NASCAR racing including the prestigious Coca-Cola 600 on Memorial Day weekend, the NASCAR All-Star Race, the Bank of America Roval 400. The speedway was built in 1959 by Bruton Smith and is considered the home track for NASCAR with many race teams located in the Charlotte area; the track is owned and operated by Speedway Motorsports, Inc. with Marcus G. Smith as track president; the 2,000 acres complex features a state-of-the-art quarter mile drag racing strip, ZMAX Dragway. It is the only four-lane drag strip in the United States and hosts NHRA events. Alongside the drag strip is a state-of-the-art clay oval that hosts dirt racing including the World of Outlaws finals among other popular racing events. Charlotte Motor Speedway was designed and built by Bruton Smith and partner and driver Curtis Turner in 1959.
The first World 600 NASCAR race was held at the 1.5 mi speedway on June 19, 1960. On December 8, 1961, the speedway filed bankruptcy notice. Judge J. B. Craven of US District Court for Western North Carolina reorganized it under Chapter 10 of the Bankruptcy Act. At that point a committee of major stockholders in the speedway was assembled, headed by A. C. Goines and furniture store owner Richard Howard. Goines and Robinson worked to secure loans and other monies to keep the speedway afloat. By April 1963 some $750,000 was paid to twenty secured creditors and the track emerged from bankruptcy. By 1964 Howard become the track's general manager, on June 1, 1967, the speedway's mortgage was paid in full. Smith departed from the speedway in 1962 to pursue other business interests in banking and auto dealerships from his new home of Rockford, IL, he began buying out shares of stock in the speedway. By 1974 Smith was more involved in the speedway, to where Richard Howard by 1975 stated, "I haven't been running the speedway.
It's being run from Illinois." In 1975 Smith had become the majority stockholder. Smith hired H. A. "Humpy" Wheeler as general manager in October 1975, on January 29, 1976, Richard Howard resigned as president and GM of the speedway. Together Smith and Wheeler began to implement plans for expansion of the speedway. In the following years, new grandstands and luxury suites were added along with modernized concessions and restrooms to increase the comfort for race fans. Smith Tower, a 135,000 square feet, seven-story facility was built and connected to the grandstands in 1988; the tower houses the speedway corporate offices, ticket office, gift shop, leased offices and The Speedway Club, an exclusive dining and entertainment facility. The speedway became the first sports facility in America to offer year round living accommodations when 40 condominia were built overlooking turn 1 in 1984, twelve additional condominium units were added in 1991. In 1992, Smith and Wheeler directed the installation of a $1.7 million, 1,200-fixture permanent lighting system around the track developed by Musco lighting.
The track became the first modern superspeedway to host night racing, was the largest lighted speedway until 1998 when lights were installed around the 2.5 miles Daytona International Speedway. In 1994, Smith and Wheeler added a new $1 million, 20,000 square feet garage area to the speedway's infield. In 1995, 26-year-old Russell Phillips was killed in one of the most gruesome crashes in auto racing history. From 1997 to 1999 the track hosted the Indycar Series. On lap 61 of the 1999 race, a crash led to a car losing a tire, propelled into the grandstands by another car. Three spectators were killed and eight others were injured in the incident; the race was canceled shortly after, the series has not returned to the track since. The incident, along with a similar incident in July 1998 in a Champ Car race at Michigan International Speedway, led to new rules requiring cars to have tethers attached to wheel hubs to prevent tires from breaking away in a crash. Following the crash, the catch fencing at Charlotte and other SMI owned tracks was raised from 15 feet high with 3 feet overhangs to 21 feet with 6 feet overhangs to help prevent debris from entering the stands.
In February 1999, Lowe's bought the naming rights to the speedway, making it the first race track in the country with a corporate sponsor. Lowe's chose not to renew its naming rights after the 2009 NASCAR season; the track reverted to its original name, Charlotte Motor Speedway, in 2010. In 2005, the surface of the track had begun to wear since its last repaving in 1994; this resulted in track officials diamond-grinding the track, a process known as levigation, to smooth out bumps that had developed. The ground surface caused considerable tire-wear problems in both of the NASCAR races that year. Both races saw a high number of accidents as a result of tire failure due to the roughness of the surface. In 2006, the track was repaved. Track president "Humpy" Wheeler retired following the Coca-Cola 600 on May 25, 2008, was replaced by Marcus Smith. At the end of 2008, the speedway reduced capacity by 25,000 citing reduced ticket sales. At the same time, the front stretch seats were upgraded from 18 inche