As I have mentioned before we are involved in drag racing. When I was a young girl (yesterday...hehe) we went to the drag strip occassionally. Now it's part of my life. As a matter of fact, I was at the strip up to my delivery date with Mo and back again two weeks later. My kids have celebrated many a birthday, 4th of July and Halloween at the strip. It's their extended family...and that's a good thing.
Hubby races a 1967 Chevy Camaro with a 350 small block tucked inside. He enjoys running the Nostalgia class and has won several times. In case your wondering, we run 9.29 seconds at 148 mph. To clarify, that means he goes from a dead stop to 148 mph in 9.29 seconds in 1/4 of a mile.
Both of kids raced junior dragsters. Unfortunately Mo is too old now...anyone over 18 can't run the "little cars". Jon is the only one running in the points system this year. We started out great but have stumbled a bit in the last few races. In drag racing every weekend is like the super bowl. You race multiple people before you are considered the winner. Briefly, if you have 20 cars they will be paired up in 10 sets, leaving you with ten cars. Then you pair those 10 drivers up and they race. And so on, until you have the final two drivers and they will determine the winner and runner-up. So for a 20 car field you would race 5 times before you could be considered the over-all winner.
Here's a few of us getting lined up in the staging lanes. This is where you get all your gear on and get paired up. There's lots of safety gear...helmet, fire suit, 5-point seat belt, gloves, wrist restraints and neck ring. The engine on the juniors is basically a 5 hp briggs and stratton...with a few modifications. Jon runs a 9.47 seconds at 65 mph in the 1/8th mile...from a dead stop. I know some of you are thinking...isn't it dangerous. Honestly, not really. There are so many safety features both on the engine and surrounding the drivers that they are safe. Certainly safer than being in my passenger vehicle out on the highway with so many crazy drivers talking on the cell phones, eating their lunch or just trying to be there before you.
The cars have little slick tires on them, so they roll through the water box and do a burn out. This heats up the tires so they "stick" to the starting line when they launch.
Dad makes adjustments to the idle so it will pull itself into the beams. What does that mean? To be sure both cars are lines up in the same place there are staging beams. It's a laser that runs across the track. When your front tires roll into the first beam it turns on your pre-stage bulb. You roll just a little more and you reach the second beam, this turns on your stage bulb...this means you are ready to race. Once both drivers are staged the "tree" is activated. Three yellow bulbs come on and then you mash the gas! Reaction time is a big deal...many races have been won, and lost, on reaction time (how fast do you react to the lights?). Imagine sitting at a stop light with a car next to you, the green light comes on and you hit the gas pedal before the one next to you...you had the better reaction time.
Drag racing is a great family sport. Is it expensive...sure, but isn't any sport/activity that you really get into?! But it's worth the money when your kids want to hang out with you on the weekend and tinker on the cars with you throughout the week. If you have a drag strip near you why not head out on a friday or saturday...I bet you get a few butterflies in your tummy and want to go again!