Thousand Feet Drag Races, That’s The Ticket

Drag Strip

At least that’s what the NHRA is saying in light of a rash of fatal and near-fatal crashes over the past year & a half.

Drag races are, traditionally, a quarter mile long or 1,320 feet, so, by shortening the race to a 1,000 feet, they get another 320 feet off in the event of an accident. It was this lack of run off that was, in part, responsible for the death of Scott Kalitta less than a month ago.

In short, however, this strikes me as being a real dumb idea.

I know, rules makers and sanctioning bodies always feel driven to “do something” when the course of events throws them something like this, but I still think it’s a stupid move.

I say that where safety is concerned, the tracks should be the last thing to be drastically altered.

Up the sepcs for the cars. Mandate SAFER barriers. Rework the specs for the energy attenuation in the run off area (i.e. re-work the sand trap and the catch netting). And, if push comes to shove, mandate that all NHRA sanctioned tracks have more run off area than they do know.

If the track can’t make those improvements, then there’s no more high level drag racing there.


Filed Under: Motorsport