Thursday, March 25, 2010

American Cultural Observation 181 : Drag Racing!

Whohoooo! I manned up and went to the Drag Races at the Dallas Speedway! No, it is not a race between female impersonators but rather a competition in which vehicles compete to be the first to cross a set finish line, usually from a standing start, and in a straight line. Before I go further, I have to confess. After manning up, I quickly manned out again. Gosh, I was warned that it would be loud, smoky and sunny. Just as I parked my butt down I realized that I left my camera in the car that was parked what felt like 52 miles away. Wheels were flying... There was a tangible smell of gazoline, burned rubber, cigarette smoke and male musk in the air. Needless to say I did not last long. I came, I saw, and I quickly got the heck out of there! Wall to wall testosterone! It was a taping for a show called 'Pinks All Out' on Speed TV which meant all the thousands of rabid fans were there.

Most drag races are just 1/4 mile long (1,320 ft (400 m)). Races last between 3.9 and 17 seconds, with finishing speeds ranging from 80 to over 330 mph (530 km/h), depending upon the type of vehicle being used. The faster vehicles then need a parachute to slow down, an innovation credited (indirectly) to cartoonist Tom Medley.

Incase you want to know more… Before each drag race (also known as a pass), each driver is allowed to perform a burnout (which heats the tires and lays rubber down at the beginning of the track, improving traction). Each driver then lines up (or stages) at the starting line. Informal drag races can be started by any means, including flag-waving and arm-dropping. These methods are more likely to be seen in an un-professional setting, being most popular with illegal street racing.

Source: Wikipedia

1 comment:

  1. Wow, Marius. I think you're seeing more American culture than most Americans! You described it so well, I feel like I was there with you. Burned rubber and male musk - now if they could just bottle up that scent! ha ha