Author Archives: Mick

Drag Racing 101

First off, I’ll begin by saying that no one was born a drag racer. You’re not born one, you become one through hard work and never calling it quits. I’ve seen people try it a few times, seems fun to them at first, but then when you really gotta give it all you’ve got, and focus and become one with your ride, they give up, aren’t up for the challenge. That’s not an attitude that serves anyone anything.

Okay, now here are some tips on how to start and not give up. First, watch and learn. Don’t rush in being it all giddy and excited, and not knowing how to do anything. You may be confident and it may look easy when you’re a spectator, but calm yourself down and watch closely at first. You’ll see that there’s a lot going on there. Learn the process by watching and observing before you get behind the wheel – you’ll feel more confident, and once you get in that seat, everything will feel easier.

Check your engine before you start, don’t just stare impatiently at your fine & fancy watch waiting for your turn. Do the necessary preps, you know that this is important. Most people do their first race with their streetcar, and no matter how safe it is, you’ll still need to pass through inspection – make sure your battery is secure and that there are no leaks.

Next, you need comfortable clothing. This may sound irrelevant, but it really isn’t. Just try riding in tight pants once and you’ll know what I’m talking about. You can’t wear any tight, uncomfortable clothing, sandals, cropped tops, or whatnot, no matter how good or cool it looks. Comfort is a priority. You need something like long loose pants, sneakers and a T-shirt.

You’ll also need to fill up your tank, obviously, but also prepare if you’re gonna change lanes by bringing tools and spares, just in case. You may use these or may not, but either way, you should bring some. Don’t go overboard with them either, like some guys do, because you’ll see them flying out of your car in a flash.

And lastly, just be a good sport and try to understand that everyone’s there with the same purpose, to blow off some steam, so what you like and enjoy it. Try and make some new friends, even, why not?

Racecar Drivers Are Athletes Too

You think of athletes as Olympians in all the categories we know well depending upon the time of year. It is obvious that boxers, runners, skaters, weight lifters, wrestlers, basketball players, gymnasts, swimmers and divers are athletes. But guess what, race car drivers are too. They need to keep fit and healthy to handle the focus needed in their sport; they need to be in top form through diet and exercise. I don’t know many obese drivers, do you?

This is the same as any other athlete, although each type has their routine. Millions of variations later, each sportsman becomes hale and hearty to take on the rigors of their game. So what do racecar drivers do to prepare for the big event? They go to the gym like anyone else. They also jog, use weights, do crunches, and even yoga to concentrate the mind. Some meditate to relax the spirit and boost energy. It is a nice side effect of the deep inner focus you can regularly achieve.

I know of a few drivers who are avid participants in a fitness and exercise program. One in particular told me he doesn’t miss a day. While this might not be necessary for all drivers, some like the mental mindlessness that you experience during strenuous workouts, and if you’re on the road a lot, you might even use a home gym system installed in your drag racing trailer. It is like cleansing it and ridding it of extraneous thoughts. It is solid preparation to be sure for the focus needed to round those curves at lightning speed. Drag racers are a unique breed; but they, too, have their needs. This kind of racing requires quick responses, perhaps honed with sports like boxing. It is all about reaction time. Anything that practices this agility is a good pursuit.

Not all drivers are avid, but many do their workouts with gusto and zeal, the same kind of spirit they put into racing. There is a single mindedness that comes with any athlete, and it carries over it all facets of life at home or work (if the racer is not a pro and has a job). Some are born with this ability, but you can stoke it at the gym.

Concentration exercises come in many forms. It doesn’t have to be circuit training. You can do all kinds of video interactive games, for example, as an exercise in focus and reaction. If you prefer a real physical experience, playing a sport is the epitome of concentration. Think about baseball and those batters facing a pitch. Think about strategy in football and executing a pre-planned play–just at the right moment. Think about the rigors of golf, tennis, and diving. Imagine a diver on the springboard and what he or she is thinking seconds before the plunge.

So I hope you are thoroughly convinced that racecar drivers of all types, drag racers included, are athletes of the highest kind. It isn’t about big muscles and defined abs, but the ability to stay tuned to the present moment and get the most out of it. In racing, this means a win!

The Wrong Sump

Have you ever wanted to clobber your assistant over the head, but thought you might damage the already limited brain cells there? Or were worried about legal repercussions and an expensive law suit? I have. I usually entrust purchases to my intern, but recently an order went haywire in the oddest way. I needed a fuel sump and there are a few kinds, so I didn’t specify too closely and left it up to him to see what we had used before and maybe upgrade it a bit. I then went on my merry way.

Not two days later he turns up with a high quality sump pump alright, but it was designed to pump waterfor the basement, intended to be part of a house. I mean, what! How can you possibly mistake one for the other? Now he is new and not experienced blike, and he did hear me bitch about the soggy basement floor a few times. (I do want to convert the area into a modest theater/entertainment center and could be heard repeatedly bemoaning the current state of the dungeon-like location.)

Nevertheless, use the brains you were born with and ask! Would I really ask someone other than myself to do the dirty work of appraising installation of a home sump pump? No, I would not. The intern’s duties have, in the short time he has been with me, been limited to the dragster and all its many and timely needs. Well I set him straight and he did immediately get on the web to provide me some alternatives.

Fuel sump pumps, in case you did not know, come in kits for a couple hundred pounds. Here’s an example:

XDP Black Anodized Diesel Fuel Tank Sump – No Tank Drop Install XD131

The XDP Fuel Sump is designed to eliminate the typical ¼ tank issues associated with the in-tank draw straws typically used with Air Dog & FASS fuel pumps. Originally designed for better diesel fuel delivery, the XDP Fuel Sump fastens to the bottom of the tank and dramatically increases volume to the fuel pump by allowing you to get every drop of fuel out of the tank.

The XDP Fuel Sump is the only unit on the market to feature a single piece horseshoe shape internal ring allowing for a no tank drop installation. This XDP exclusive feature allows for a faster and simpler installation. (Special attention must be made to ensure all debris is cleaned from the tank after drilling.)

Features:

  • No tank drop installation cuts installation time
  • Opening to allow fuel to flow freely into the sump
  • Made from Aircraft grade T6 billet aluminum
  • Precision CNC machining technology for a perfect fit
  • Works great with stock or aftermarket fuel tanks

The XDP Fuel Sump is beneficial to all trucks including stock daily drivers, mild street modifications, drag racing applications, and even sled-pulling.

Well, there you have it. He did his job, and while I might select another option, he is on the right track. I may keep him around yet.

From the Black to the Blue

The speed of a dragster is addictive. Some are born to it and it makes them shine. That sudden rush of adrenalin is like no other experience—except maybe speeding on the water. Perhaps you can’t top auto racing speeds, but you can get darn close. The daredevil in you will find its match in watersports like skiing, kneeboarding, and speed boat racing for sure.

The attraction of speed is irresistible. It is about dynamics of motion, surpassing the norm, and testing one’s limits. As a dimension of sports in its various incarnations, it is about beating the odds and burning your rival. Setting records is part of the fun as is just being there at a given time and place where fans gather to witness human moxie and mettle. It is not just for men, mind you. On land or sea women thrive.

So I am all for going from the black to the blue so to speak. Racing against yourself is one kind of challenge if no overt competition exists. I suggest trying out a variety of watersports to find the perfect one that hits the nail right on the head. Most skim the water in some fashion and allow you some degree of skill and control. They all enjoy the atmosphere of sun, sand, and sensuality.

Family fun is part of the package if you tone it down some. Never encourage a kid to exceed his or her athletic abilities, but do urge them to push beyond initial fear. You can tell if your offspring are too daring for their own good. Water safety and sport rules must be maintained. Once that is engrained, the sky is almost the limit—within reason.

Each water sport has its supporters and detractors depending upon the nature and expense of the gear required. Swimming and diving are at the top of the simplicity scale. Pools can be a claustrophobic environment for those used to the beach, but there is water polo and water aerobics to add to the mix.

Out on the waves (and certainly in the river), there is waterskiing, windsurfing, kayaking, jet skiing, bodyboarding, riding inflatable tubes, rowing, rafting, surfing, sailing and the list goes on….It seems we can’t get enough perpetual motion. For those landlubbers at heart, you can sit in a yacht and watch the world go by.

Under the water is a visual realm without parallel for scuba, deep sea, and free divers. These sports are not associated with speed but should be mentioned as parallel activities to be enjoyed recreationally. If speed is your passion, however, stick with the above. Each is exciting and compelling in its own way. You can conquer the elements in a canoe, kayak, or on a waterboard once you know the ropes. If you are truly into racing others, go where the venues are and learn how to participate for fun.

In sum, the mighty blue may indeed have it over black. Measure each offering in terms of the thrill of the adventure and the rewards gleaned. They all have merits in terms of physical and mental exertion. You may still come back to drag racing, but you will have tried something new and daring in the process.

Deep Roots of Drag Racing in the UK

drag racing post 5

Drag racing in the UK has a rich history, believe it or not.  While the fact that drag racing is a hot sport in the UK may be one of the best kept secrets ever, we fans are well aware of the fact.  Here is a little background on the subject that I have dug up that I think you will find as interesting as I do.

Santa Pod Raceway opened in 1966, earning the title of Britain’s very first official drag stip.  It was an exciting time for fans of drag racing.  There are many stories about the Drag Fests and the drag racing pioneers that I find simply intriguing.

Nick Pettitt is an expert on UK drag racing history.  He has put together about 70 DVDs and also a fantastic book that gives a great perspective and a gold mine of history about the subject.  It’s definitely worth checking into his works if you want to learn from the best.

Ted Lloyd James was one of the first to race in Britain, dating back to 1953 and even further.  He was a sprinter turned dragster.  He had a super-fast dragster car and knew how to race it.  He remains one of my favourite racers of all times.

Sydney Allard was another old timer.  He won the Monte Carlo Rally in 1952 and made a name for himself although he had been racing for some time by then.  He was well diversified, racing hill climbing, endurance and anything else that gave him a rush.  He was among the best of the best in no uncertain terms.

The British Hot Rod Association took roots in 1960, founded by Wally Parks.  That is when England began to learn about drag racing and excitement was in the air.  The National Sprint Association appeared on the scene two years later and England was moving on towards a love for drag.  Brian Sparrow was responsible, in part, for putting the UK on the map for drag racing.

Tony Densham and Harry Worrall were pioneers of the first true British engine dragster.  They used a British engine and a light frame and came up with a winner that would do down in history.  Dragster Developments formed due to the invention.

I love the fact that in the days of old, there were not all the conveniences that there are today.  Making a car race ready was not done through a computerized program.  It took a lot of brains, determination and hands-on sweat and tears.

England welcomed the sport of drag racing.  It was more competitive than the traditional sprint races, forcing cars to race side by side, toe-to-toe.  Technology was making it possible for the cars to fly faster than ever and the fans were in awe.

Indeed, The UK has some very interesting history when it comes to drag racing.  From the days of illegal racing down closed off highways and bi-ways to the professional organized sport it is today, drag racing in the UK has deep roots that are worth digging up.

Drag Racing Under Pressure

You begin to sweat a few minor beads, and then the fluids start to accumulate. You are now sweating bullets as they say. Your face is dewy and moist, as are your armpits. Your blood pressure is skyrocketing, your nerves on alert. Your breathing is shallow and comes in short waves. Your body tenses as the autonomic system goes into high gear to keep you alive. It is defcon one. That is US army lingo for top level emergency readiness. Are we at war? No. You are about to enter a drag race.

While it isn’t always this hair-raising, drag racing can be at times when the stakes are high. You may have a particular opponent or rival you absolutely must beat. Or it is a semi-final or final competition. Or friends and family are watching and expect to see evidence of your regular boasting. Whatever the case, a little pressure is part of the story of the sport whether it is a home town last minute event or a professional speedway heat.

Drag racing exists on multiple levels in the UK and elsewhere, so it is hard to generalise. But trust me, pressure has its role. The type of driver that goes out for this enterprise loves the feeling described above. They love to feel that blood pumping vigorously—it’s part of the joy of being alive. And you can do it whenever you race!

If it gets out of control, and I have seen this happen, you jeopardize everyone involved. It is almost like a household pressure washer has sprayed you with fear. Some people have to give it up or get a grip. I don’t like to see a bloke walk away. It can be an ephemeral thing that never rears its ugly head again, or recurrent. If the latter is your case, there are coaches and strategies to help. Undue stress and anxiety should not be part of any sport at any time in a negative way where it interferes with your ability to perform and enjoy your experience.

I don’t want to talk you into such high level pressure, just to explain that it can happen now and then. When it is minimal, you can just pass it off as light nerves–or use it to gain and edge. Some people need a mild amount to excel. That’s normal. But when it comes to real destructive pressure that has turned into dread and fear, it is something that needs to be pruned from your head asap. Thus, you must recognise the difference of degrees and handle it accordingly as best you can.

Drag racing is one of the most exciting activities I can think of undertaking and I wouldn’t ever want to deter a new participant or spectator. Pressure is just something we don’t often discuss, and it could be of help for some. Recognizing it and talking to others will reveal its prevalence. You will soon see how others cope. And they do.

A Fan’s Handbook: How to Enjoy Drag Racing

drag rcing post 4

It seems like it would be a no-brainer to know how to enjoy drag racing.  But such is not the case.  Enjoying the race fully is an art.  Take it from me, an avid drag racing fan, there are some tips and tricks to getting the most out of a race.

First off, know a little history about the track you are going to.  Make it a day, a week-end or a full fledge vacation.  Usually there are historical points of interest on the scene that you will find quite interesting.  There are generally other fun things to do in the area as well so do your homework and make it a memory.

Learning about the racers is important too.  Who is racing while their wife is in labor with their first child?  Who is suffering from an injury but still determined to be in the race?  It is fun to know personal details about the racers and also to have your favourites to root for.  It just makes the race all the more better.

Knowing the rules and regulations is helpful too.  It is more involved than you may think.  There are certain behind-the-scenes happenings that make it more than just a simple race and knowing the ins-and-outs will make your race watching a more enriched event.

Dress appropriately.  I have been to racer where I felt like I would burn up and some where I was sure I would freeze to death.  Races that last all day usually call for layers of clothing so you can bundle up or strip down determined by the time of day.  If there is a chance of rain, bring an umbrella for sure.

You may want to carry a set of ear plugs with you.  If you are bringing children or a lady to the event, I would certainly suggest doing so.  The races get loud and sometimes last for quite some time so better safe than sorry, in my estimation.

Bring along some extra funds for food and drinks or bring your own picnic if it is allowed.  There’s nothing worse than starving while you attempt to enjoy a race and the adrenaline flow can make you quite thirsty as well.  Find out the rules on bringing in your own cooler and food before attempting to do some and never bring glass containers in.

Sunglasses or a hat are helpful to have on hand.  I have had seating that did not allow me to even see the race due to the sun being in my eyes.  I squinted and cupped my hands over my eyes but to no avail.  Sometimes you can purchase such gear there at the raceway but it is not a given.

Being knowledgeable and being prepared will make or break your drag race experience.  It is advised to read up and search online for any and everything that has to do with the race, the raceway and the racers of the event that you will be attending.  And by all means, don’t forget your camera.  Know your stuff and enjoy the game!

Drag Racing: How to Get Started

drag racing post 3

Are you thinking of getting into drag racing?  If you are, here are a few things to help get you from the garage to the tracks in just a few steps.

One thing you must be sure of if you are considering drag racing is that it is a dangerous sport.  I am sure you are well aware of that but take it to heart and know the risks.  It is estimated that about 22 people a year die at a racetrack, be it a driver or a fan.  That is only of those that are recorded.  Many others suffer fatalities in illegal, undocumented races.  Know that the dangers are out there and are very real!

With that settled, it’s time to figure out what you will need to get started.  Of course, you need something to race.  Knowing the nuts and bolts about a fast car (or any vehicle) is key.  If you don’t know, do some research or employ the knowledge of someone who does know.

You will need to know how to work on your racing vehicle or have access to someone who is mechanical.  There is a lot of upkeep that comes along with racing.  Plus, you will want to constantly be making it better and faster.

Know the rules.  There’s more to drag racing than just getting out on the track and speeding down to the finish line.  You are going to need to study up on the rules and regulations so you don’t get disqualified and so you have an upper edge.

You will also want to become familiar with the tricks of the trade.  Talk to those who have raced for a good period of time and find out the easy way the things they had to learn the hard way.  You may also want to search online for advice and for sure, subscribe to all the racing magazines you can.

Spending time in the pit is a great way to learn more.  You can volunteer to help out and you’ll really get a feel for what goes on behind the scenes.  It’s exciting to be a part of the team and it’s very helpful to your racing endeavors as well.

Taking classes is a good option for aspiring drivers.  Many of the speedways offer driving courses at very affordable rates and most have different levels of instructions so you can start at the bottom and advance.  There’s nothing like hands-on training by a professional in a safe setting.

You will need to acquire the gear you need.  Different types of racing require different equipment so find out what type you will need for your particular interest.  All will have safety gear but which kind will vary so find out for sure what you need and accumulate it as you can.

Amateur races are a good way to start out.  You will have much less pressure in these races and can learn tremendously from your own trial and error.  Once you get good at it, you can begin to move up in the ranks and eventually, hopefully get a sponsor which will help you afford the things needed to go from good to great.

UK Drag Races: Spot On Spots to Catch a Great Race

The UK is known for horse racetracks but seldom acknowledged for its racing tracks.  But, truth be known, there are some spot on ones here in the UK.

The Shakespeare County Raceway is a fun, family oriented place to watch drag racing.  Definitely one of my favourites, it’s located in Shakespeare County, at Long Marston Airfield in Warwickshire near Stratford-Upon-Avon.  It’s pretty accommodating, I must admit and affordable as well. There are nostalgic races, modern car races and even lawnmower races sometimes.  You can catch a great race or, on some days, take a run down the raceway yourself.

Another great raceway is Santa Pod which is the European Drag Racing home and where FIA/FIM European Drag Racing Championships are hosted and televised.  There is a nice variety of races to choose from like retro and classic cars, funny cars and monster trucks.  I love the Bug Jam and Big Bang which is the Volkswagen Beetle and Camper fest.  Santa Pod Raceway is located on the Northamptonshire and Bedfordshire border and is very family friendly.

Crail Raceway in Scotland is at Crail Airfield.  An event called “Thrash and Dash” takes place every night from February to November and is quite the rave.  It’s especially fun to make an adventure vacation out of the trip because there are a myriad of things to do and places to see and scrumptious spots to eat a good meal at.

In the colonies, the Morris Park Motor Sport Complex Dubbo Speedway in New South Wales is, in my opinion, geared a bit more for adults.  It has stocked bars on each side and boasts fabulous views of the very well-kept professional track.  Some great races can be watched there and the atmosphere is outstanding.  I especially like the Sprint car races and the Formula 500s.  If you want to keep a good eye on the action, Dubbo is the place to go.

Eastern Creek Raceway, also known as Sydney Motorsport Park, in New South Wales is not only a good location to watch car races, but it’s an excellent location to see motorcycle races too.  This track offers a lot of diversity and also has the Garage Café is a clubhouse which serves up a nice bite to eat in between races.  There are a lot of things to do around the Raceway so it’s worth making a day or a week-end out of the trip.

Sometimes the best racetracks are those that are tucked away and unheard of by most.  The excitement can run wild at these.  You must be careful, however.  Some of the out of the way ones are not legal and you can get yourself in a heap of trouble if the rack is busted.  Be sure the spot you go to is legit so you know the drivers and yourself are protected in case anything go wrong.

The UK may not be exactly popular for drag racing, at least not as it is for horseracing.  But for those who have a keen eye for a good race, it certainly has some notable racetracks that host some of the best races I have ever seen.  Just look around and do some homework and you will, no doubt, find a great spot.

Fire in the Belly

It’s all about speed and guts. The timid need not apply! Drag racing is not for the faint at heart. You have to have the right mindset and love the competition enough to go beyond your limits to win. You have to have that fire in the belly, as they say. And we are not talking about a little camping stove, no little pellet stove like this one at finestfires.com; we are referring here to a roaring fireplace with flames reaching the heights—beyond the norm, but with safety.

Drag racing is an exciting sport, in the UK and around the world. It happens in a flash and your heart skips a beat every time. People around the world tune in to see the cars line up and blast down a short track—a measured distance, maybe a quarter mile. Under 11 seconds is a mighty score. A heavily modified Toyota Supra was well under this at a recent race. I want to see that turbocharger!

Devotees don’t miss an opportunity to indulge their speed demon alter egos, even if they can’t participate themselves. Where does this fire come from that forms in the belly and never departs? It’s like you have a personal fireplace down there that gets stoked just before every race. You can go from a street racing fanatic to the real motorsport with all its rules and regulations and various classes. You may start as a kid collecting cool dragsters. Maybe you watched with your dad or uncle. Whatever happened, you got hooked fast, like me.

Here it is play by play. Each car has a turn at performing a burnout to heat up the tires before they line up. An electronic light system is put into action to indicate the start. This can get complicated, so trust me, it happens. Once underway, the race is like a blitz of action. Each lane is timed separately. An entrant has to surpass a pre-determined time. There is elapsed time and reaction time, and speed to measure and consider.

As you progress in your interest, you can acquire knowledge about speed traps, holeshot advantages, redlighting, and what constitutes disqualification. I am not trying to write a primer here on the sport. Rather, I hope to convey some of the intensity and excitement I experience as a fan. There is a standard racing format with some minor differences country to country, some pertaining to elimination based on an index.

If you want, you can get deep into body style, engine types, weight, and modifications. You can become as much of an expert as you like. Or you can just sit on the sofa with a cold beer with your feet up on the ottoman. You can fantasize as much as you desire, putting yourself at the wheel, and feeling the adrenaline rush. You will have down the top categories, or pro classes, including top fuel dragster, to fuel funny car, pro modified, pro stock, and pro stock bike. There are a few others like super gas/super rod and super street/hot rod. It doesn’t get any more fun than this!

Young and Old – Nan Loves Drag Racing

Some sports and pastimes are special. Drag racing gets into your blood after just one exposure. At least, it did for me—and most of my diehard friends. We can watch and talk about it for hours on end. It’s great for male bonding, whether you are into the cars and their modifications, the drivers, or the stats in different countries. UK fans have their favorite races to be sure. We are a smug group. I suppose there are cultural differences, too. As a whole, however, I think it is like a universal subculture as an offshoot of other types of auto racing, and it seems to largely be a male-dominated enterprise. But you would be surprised how many women sit and watch with the men, chugging the same beer, and eating the same snacks. It is practically a family event in some circles. And now there are some female drivers that have changed the nature of the sport.

As with poker and other card games, men do not always relish the entrance of women into their private chambers. A man cave is what the words denote—women keep out!. As for me, I have made concessions and anyone and everyone is invited over to watch a professional race or go with me at the drop of a hat. I do not discriminate. Even Nan, not a day under sixty, puts away the sewing machine and lays down the knitting needles to cheer her favorite racer on. Even the state-of-the-art one she got online from shelikestosew.com starts to collect dust. She can sit there rapt and at attention. She asks the right questions and often has the answers to mine.

And she knows the ins and outs of drag racing well. I am no longer flabbergasted, although my friends still are. That is the true definition of a fan. I don’t care if you are talking about soccer, boxing, tennis, football, or cricket. True aficionados take the time to learn the rules and regs and absorb the stats. They know the odds and the anomalies involved. They can evaluate before the announcer fills you in and spot a winner a mile away. They have the insight, always with an ear to the ground to learn more. I almost expect to come home one day primed for a big event to find Nan and a bunch of old ladies hogging the seating. You might mistake the gals for a sewing circle or quilting bee. I imagine they would ignore me and keep on with their feminine chatter or allow me to enter in if I behave.

I am not sure how Nan got started with drag racing but when she did, it took hold fast. I suppose I am to get the credit. In any case, now I have a permanent drag racing buddy if when my usual set doesn’t arrive. Family obligations and the regular burdens of life sometimes keep them away. But with Nan, I have a well-informed avid companion for my favorite sport–I never have to watch alone.

Racin’ With Rubber Underwear

Some sports are so daring and dangerous that you hold your breath just thinking about them. Some are so thrilling and intense that you practically shit in your pants with excitement. Someone should invent rubber underwear when the portable field bathroom isn’t in sight. Crude as it may sound, it expresses the nature of drag racing at its best. This goes for the spectator as much as for the pro.

Feeling scared in a good way is a very unique and special experience. You don’t have to wonder why horror movies are a perpetual genre with new ones emerging practically weekly. People want more, and more. The same goes for certain sports that get into your blood like an exhilarating transfusion. They jack up your nerves and awaken your senses. The illegal version of drag racing goes beyond the pale for many. Anything can happen which contributes to the appeal, but envisioning two daredevils on a hidden stretch of desert highway is not everyone’s game. You can quench your thirst for speed in other, more controlled ways in the UK and beyond.

There is a fine line between fear and dread. Movies are an illusion, and they never grip you in the same way as reality. Drag racing comes pretty close to the ultimate fright. There is a point of no return when it comes to how much the human mind can take. Drag racing as a legitimate sport stays within the realm of tolerable terror. Street racing participants can pay a high price for their freedom. Some observers wonder if there is a death wish involved; and you have to know the top racers to understand the higher priorities of courage and skill. It is not just about tempting fate, but about cool cars and cooler people engaged in a great pastime or even a career.

A love of cars goes with the territory and many guys are found in their garages while in front of a TV on race days. The organized sport goes back to the 50’s in some parts, and took a lot of amateurs to a new plane. It was first about American muscle cards like the Pontiac GTO and the Olds 442. Think of “Rebel without a Cause” and “American Graffiti” to take you back in time to the early days. As with most racing, the power and speed you witness today in a public context are simply awesome. There is an underbelly of drag racing to be sure, and a certain excitement in flouting the law, but there is also a more wholesome component that speaks more to the true fans of bravado and spunk. Furthermore, it has grown from a secret passion of men to a coed sport. The cars are different with many Japanese imports taking the lead.

So mock fear is okay in my book, and I can shed the rubber underwear. I’ll go find a good toilet like the ones on RateMyToilet.net ha ha.

There will be no accidents: bodily or automobile. Unpredictability is in; witnessing the consequences of excess is out. I will stick with the normal toilet facilities and keep my urge to urinate in check when in the stands.

Drag Racing: It’s A Gas!

While some sit glue to the tele for the World Cup, drag racing is more my line up.  For those of you who are new to the sport or know nothing about it at all, let me give you some fast track info to bring you up to speed.

First of all, let me clarify, that drag racing is, indeed, a sport.  Not only is it a sport, it is the loudest and fastest sport of all.  And might add that it is an addicting sport as well.

In a drag race, two vehicles compete to see who can get to the finish line first.  The vehicles can be cars, trucks, motorcycles and so on.  There are different styles too like funny car races and monster truck races.  I tend to like them all but stock car drag races are probably my favourite.

Drag races date back to the invention of automobiles.  It is something that is just built in to most men and some females as well.  We like to race.  Whose car is the biggest, baddest, fastest one around?  Rev your engines and find out!

For myself, my drag racing days began when I was just a lad.  My older brother used to race his car against his friends.  Unbeknownst to our parents, he would meet up with them on obscure country roads on the week-ends and race for money.  He won often and gave me a portion of the profit in return for not telling on him.  I loved the races and the profits too.

The races I watch now are more professional and are generally on the tele except for when I am fortunate enough to attend in person.  I still get an adrenaline rush as I hear them rev up then peel off down the track and am usually up out of my seat cheering my car on by the time it gets to the finish line.

For those of you who think drag racing is a shallow sport that consists of nothing but two cars racing down a little strip of pavement, think again.  There’s actually quite a lot that goes into a race.

Before the line-up, each of the drivers are given an opportunity to burn rubber which means spinning their tires to heat them up and get them ready to take off fast.  Once each driver has done so, they line up.  Then, they await the lighting of the Christmas tree which is a column of a six light progression that ultimately ends with the green light to “go”.  There are error and fouls which can occur and the lighting is actually pretty complicated and involved which is something most people do not realize.

Then, during the actual racing, there are three measurements.  The first is the reaction time which is the time it takes a vehicle to leave the starting line once the green light appears.  Then, there is elapsed time which is the time it takes from the starting line to the finish line and speed is what is determined through a device called a speed trap that sits in the final 66 feet of the stretch.  The standard race strip is a quarter mile.

There are different strategies to races.  In some, the looser is removed from the race and the winner is as well.  The winner will going the winners circle race and the looser, well, he is simply out of the game.  There are also races where qualifying and elimination rounds are determined that set the stage for the main or final race.

The more you learn about racing and the racers, the more you are most likely going to love drag racing.  If you have never experienced it, why not give it a round.  You might just find that it’s a gas!