Drag Racing

Car culture is a proper culture, driven by the spirit and the stories of the people who animate it. It’s part of civilization and whether you would deny its social importance because you don’t deem cars worthy of any interest, you’re missing one of the best parts that life is offering. Whether this will be for a limited time or forever, people all over the world give their own remarkable interpretations of a common interest: cars. Europe has rallies and Formula 1, Japan has JDM with guys obsessed with modifications, touge and kanjio driving and America has the cult of no-nonsense, mad and crazy V8’s. Drag strips and oval tracks are what it is all about: a good laugh, friends, and that distinctive, earth-shaking “brprprprprprprpr” staccato of a nitrometane-powered V8. This is the heart of uniquely American car culture: SCCA is great to watch but it’s an re-interpretation of European road-racing. This is pure America: you might have gone to many muscle car rallies back home, but this is another story. For these fun-loving rednecks, anything can become a drag-racing car. Vans, old Beetles, beefed up Chevy’s, pick-up trucks…the Yankees sure know how to fit a big thumping V8 literally everywhere! It’s a part of America that no one considers and something which speaks way more than Nascar does of the culture that animated our friends overseas. Here there’s no advertising: here everything that matters is the smell of burnt nitrous, the impossibly loud scream of two garage-built funny cars tearing the asphalt, the mechanics wrenching frenetically to obtain those 5 seconds of pure adrenaline rush. This is as good as motorsport can get! Also…where else you have to do a mandatory burnout in order to get the tires sticky enough to stick more to the ground? We went to Saint Louis, Missouri, to visit the Gateway Motorsports Park for a night session of races. The cars staging up, with their V8 bellow shaking the ground is no different than seeing an F18 being hooked to the catapult of an aircraft carrier. Every launch is perfectly staged and as the cars literally take off, there’s a unique libratory feeling. It’s great…and boy does everyone of us love going fast in a straight line!

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