It didn’t take long after the mainstream development of cars that guys decided there was something more fun to do with cars: race them!
The simplest way to race was to find a fairly straight stretch of highway, line up two cars, then race to a predetermined destination. Though this method was quite dangerous (and still is today), it eventually led to the development of drag racing as a sanctioned sport during the 1950′s.
America is credited with the origination of drag racing and it remains the most popular there, though you can find drag strips all over the globe. Canada has several sanctioned drag strips, due in large part to Americans traveling there to race. Then there are other locations you might not expect: Mexico, Australia, Japan, South America, New Zealand, Great Britain, Greece, Malta, and most of the European countries. We even came across a drag strip in the Caribbean while visiting there for our honeymoon. According to a quick Google search, it seems that at any given time there are 300+ drag strips in operation across the world.
When you visit a drag strip, you’ll find that most of the courses are in distances of a quarter mile. That’s what Milwaukee drag racing is all about, the quarter mile. But in other locations such as the southeast U. S. , an 1/8th mile course is pretty standard. If you compared the two, you would find that no matter the distance, the excitement level remains high.
After watching a drag race, you may think to yourself that you could do it. It seems pretty easy, right? I mean, there’s no sharp turns or braking needed: just floor it and go. What you underestimate is the quickness you need, not just with your car but with you. A successful driver must have the ability to react quickly to the green light. A bad start off the line and you’ll be doomed to lose the race. The driver will also need the mechanical ability to tune his car for peak performance, as well as make repairs as needed.
Then you must contemplate your competition. Some racers don’t mind loading their cars up on trailers and hauling it down to the local track to compete against their neighbors for bragging rights. Then you have the rare breed of drag racers. These racers take drag racing very seriously. They only attend sanctioned events and compete for big money, big trophies, and big bragging rights. It’s very difficult to compete with these types of racers…it’s not for the weary.
These big boys, aka professional racers, compete in one of five main categories:
- Top Fuel
- Funny Car
- Pro Modified
- Pro Stock
- Pro Stock Bike
If you work your way up to these ranks, you will commonly see cars reaching speeds of over 300 mph. These high speeds allow the cars to reach the finish line in just over 4 seconds. If you don’t have the guts (or money) to compete at this level, don’t feel bad. Watching cars go down the strip at 300+ miles an hour is still an option, and still brings a high level of exhilaration.
This high level of competition has helped turn drag racing in a mulitmillion-dollar business. The high visibility of these cars in magazines and on television has allowed racers to charge companies big bucks for advertising spots on their cars. You can help but notice all the advertisements that you are exposed to at the track.
The next time you’re at the track or watching races at home on your TV, take a look at all those ads. It truly is a marketing wonder. And if you’ve got friends or family that haven’t been exposed to Milwaukee Street Racing , do them a favor and take them with you the next time you go to a race. It’ll be experience that they’ll never forget.
RedneckRacing.org is Milwaukee's source for Drag Racing Information. Find Pictures from local Car Shows and Drag Racing Events. You can Join our free forum to chat with other Hot Rod owners. If you have Drag Racing Video's you'd like to see on the website, feel free to send us an email of the YouTube video. We try to keep you up to date on all the newest happenings in Drag Racing and Street Racing around the Brew City.