Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Celebrities turn out to dragway opening

The zMAX Dragway -- Concord's most controversial new venue -- held its grand opening party Tuesday night, and, being the "Bellagio of Dragstrips," you know Bruton wasn't going to skimp on the bash.

Guests walked a red carpet into the dragway's lobby. Elevators whisked us to the rooftop terrace, where -- I'm surprised to say -- the dragstrip looked quite pretty during sunset. It's an impressive sight to behold, especially as tricked out street rides were barreling upwards of 130 mph down the track. Partygoers, with the smell of burnt rubber in the air, dined on pulled pork, roasted turkey, steak, and the ever-popular mashed-potato bar. (Is it just me or is that as common as an open bar these days?)

But the highlight of the party was rubbing elbows with Charlotte's local celebrities. In one corner, Steve Smith -- who admitted he's a reader of Paid to Party -- chatted with NASCAR's Kasey Kahne (those blue eyes are just as dreamy in person). Bruton, of course, held court at his own reserved table. Tony Stewart brought his orange Lamborghini for a try at the new strip. (Speaking of Tony, you should read this.) And Ric Flair made an appearance -- black eye and all.

The races officially kick off this weekend at the strip with the NHRA Nationals.