Monday, July 11, 2011

What do you do on Saturday?...

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!

7 comments:

Stacie (craft-princess) said...

Came here from your mom's blog! I have a brother in law and two young nephews that are heavy into this type of racing! The kids were complete motorheads at a very early age! It is fun to see them all enjoy this is a family! Many wishes for your family at winning and safety!

Amy Johnson said...

That was really interesting; thanks for sharing. It's good that you have a hobby that the whole family can get involved with. We don't have any drag strips in Wisconsin that I'm even aware of. I've never known anyone who drag races. I wonder if it's more of a thing in your state? Either that or I'm just oblivious to it. LOL!

jrmom said...

@Amy...there are actually 4 drag strips in Wisconsin. Two are NHRA sanctioned, 1 IHRA and one exclusively for junior dragsters.

KAT said...

wonderful post. My son (33 yrs old) would enjoy this for sure. he is a self proclaimed "Gear Head"
KAT

Evette K. said...

Wow you are one strong woman. Came from your moms blog and was pleasantly surprised at yours. Will be back often I can assure you. Thanks for the great look into drags. Went to the one drag strip in NJ when I was young...in the stone ages...to "Englishtown" and had a ball there. Very exciting sport for sure...but LOUD>lol. You are a great and talented card maker as well so do not forget that. Inspire us more!

Jane Wetzel said...

hi there! came here from your mom's blog and HAPPY to be a follower! My hub used to drag race many yrs ago- how fun! Oh and btw...LOVE Ikea! Went to my first Ikea this past spring in South Carolina while visiting there- I hear your kids are pretty awesome...thats what the "grandma" says! lol :)

AnItA mArIe said...

i poped over from ya mum's blog!..
wow thats totally kool...cheers Anita