As a kid growing up, I would often watch racing on TV with my dad. Sundays, we would often watch whatever NASCAR race happened to be on… Though, being a child at the time, I was only interested in seeing the crashes. That was back in the days before Dale Earnhardt was killed 15 years ago at the Daytona 500 – that’s when the crashes became a little more real for me. Don’t get me wrong, I still like seeing the crashes, but now I’m also thinking about the drivers inside the cars.
We would also occasionally watch drag racing, and I fondly remember one time when my step mom was trying unsuccessfully to name a certain class of drag car.
“What are they called? Silly cars? No… that doesn’t sound right… Stupid cars?” “They’re Funny Cars.”
At the time, it didn’t occur to me just how ridiculous those things are – top fuel dragsters that is. Anything that can travel a quarter mile from a dead stop in less than 4 seconds is a damn impressive machine. It’s one thing to strap yourself into one of those potential deathtraps… But what about having one between your legs that you have to hang on to for dear life? That might be the definition of insanity.
Here in North America, the majority of the big drag racing events you’ll see are sanctioned by the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA). There is a similar international governing body, called (appropriately) the International Hot Rod Association (IHRA).
This is the first season that Australia’s 400 Thunder series has been sanctioned by the IHRA, and an event in the series late last month provided quite possibly the most unusual and entertaining drag race you’ll ever see.
That’s the video, but the race starts right around the 1:05 mark – skip to that if you want to avoid a minute of pre-race preparations.
Someone who’s not familiar with the sport of drag racing might think this is how it normally goes… They literally dragged their bikes to the finish line. I especially love how excited the commentators get about it. These bikes usually cover the 1/4 mile in around 7 seconds or so. While I can’t find an official time, judging by the time stamps on the video, it took a little more than 2 minutes to reach the finish.