Wondering about wild grapes

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Top Fuel Drag Racing

Sorry, I am a little late getting today's blog on. Got a call last night and actually got a paying job. Worked last night and finished up this morning. Paid for the groceries this week. Had to do something, Ben and I didn't win the lottery. (grin).

I love NHRA Top Fuel Drag Racing. It is the only sport that I watch on TV and the only sport that I attend in person when the tour comes to the Houston area. I am HOOKED on it. Have the same three seats for the past 4 years at Houston Raceway Park on the west side of Baytown.

It is something that you can not explain to someone. You have to be there in person to feel it. And feel it you do. The hole earth shakes and you feel it clean down to your bones. The top fuel dragsters and the top fuel funny cars run about 8000 horse power. Yes I said eight thousand!!! They burn pure nitro-methane. Here is a picture of the top of drum of that stuff:

For the last couple years, since Scott Kalitta ran off the end of the track in New Jersey and was killed, they have shortened the length to the finish line for the two nitro burning classes. They now only run a 1000 feet, not the normal quarter mile (1320 feet). They still get over 300 mph in less than 4 seconds. Normal runs for the top fuel dragsters are about 3.88 seconds and 310 mph. They hit speeds of 280 mph in the eighth mile (660 feet). They are the fastest accelerating vehicles, including jets and rockets, that man has ever ridden in. Not only the feeling, but the sound, the smells (burnt rubber and nitro), the excitement. Below are two pictures of burn outs. The first is a top fuel dragster and the second is a top fuel funny car.

Nitro fumes will choke you up and make your eyes water if you get too close when they test fire the cars in the pits. Yes, you can get up and personal in the pit area. You can meet the drivers and watch them completely rebuild their motors after every run. They are given a maximum of 75 minutes to get back to the starting line.

And a funny car driver, Ashley Force Hood, the daughter of John Force.

I have a lot more pictures, but I think you get the idea. They also run Pro Stock, Pro Mods, Top Alcohol, and more. It is an all day affair and one I look forward to every year. Check out the NHRA website: http://www.nhra.com/

A note for Ben, You say you didn't hit the lottery yet. We just can't understand that. They say that the odds are close to getting hit with lightning and you had that happen three (3) times!!! Did you hear about the lady in Bishop, TX that won it three (3) times. Do you think she was hit with lightning three times, also????


  1. Cool pictures sir, and I KNOW you had to use a high speed shutter ! :-)

    Didja know I was in the winter nationals at Green Valley in 67, think it was ? yep, I had qualified in my 66 VW at the local tracks,, and NO!! I lost my first race in elimination,, missed my second gear shift!!

  2. No, I didn't know you raced. I never did any on track racing, but I did have a 1957 Chevy Converable that had an enginge that would turn over eight thousand rpm's. Usually shifted at 7800 rpm. Power dropped off after that. Sure wish I had that car back. Bought it for $400.00, put $2500.00 into it, and sold it for $400.00. Sold it in 1965, it was just an old car then, not a classic.