Time and space, space and time. There is never enough of these two when it comes to drag racing.
Space: As fans, space was only needed for hats, sweatshirts and seating at the race. But as a participant, there is a much larger need for space. Items that need to be stored: Dragster, trailer, fuel, safety equipment, tools, spare parts, hitch, weather station, electronics, quad, etc. And where is all of this supposed to go? Beats me. Just for a moment, follow me through our thought process of purchasing a car just a few months ago. Car – 22 feet long, but it goes in the trailer. Trailer – 30 feet long, but it goes into storage. Tools – Inside the trailer, which again, is in storage. Storage – $80 a month, 3 miles down the road. Sounds like a plan to me. Oh, wait. We forgot that we might actually want to use some of these items when we are NOT racing.
So, Chris gets home from his 3 day drive from California to Washington with the car and after some maneuvering, gets the truck and trailer into the driveway. Now, this trailer fits. However, not much room is left for anything else that would frequent the driveway. But hey, we can make this work. Chris measures the garage and concludes that the dragster will fit in one of the spaces. Great news considering the frequent rain and freezing temperatures of the Northwest. This is where we run into our first setback. One of the largest sellers of the dragster was the fact that it was a narrow chassis built for a 5’4 female. However, I am currently in California finishing up school. So, who is going to get the car out of the trailer? Apparently the solution is my 13 year-old-brother. Scared yet? I am. My new dragster, my baby is being driven out of the trailer by my little brother who has never sat in a dragster in his life. I distinctly remember exchanging money with the Frank Hawley office in Pomona for a similar experience, but hey… Go for it, Mike. After a Austin Powers-esque turn in the driveway (nearing a 10 point turn), the car found it’s home in the garage. And it’s all in once piece, whew!
Happily ever after… right? Wrong. It’s been almost a month and the mystique is wearing off for everyone but Chris and I. Neighbors are tired of hearing the dragster run, the Homeowners Association is upset about the trailer in the driveway, and the family is tired of maneuvering around the dragster in the garage. Options? Keep subjecting everyone else to our passion, or find a location where we can work on the car and trailer that isn’t the driveway or garage. Hopefully the answer is the latter; I’ll keep you updated.
Time: I knew when we started out on this adventure that my life is insane. I thrive on a busy schedule and am constantly mapping out my day or week to keep it all organized. Those who truly know me realize that I have a bit of an obsession with organization. But it keeps my life on track and fulfilling. I am currently in my last semester at Chapman University and will graduate on May 17th with my peers. Not long after, I will pack up my belongings and schlep them back to the Northwest (ironically, in the trailer). I begin work and school in the Human Development department of Washington State University in mid-August. So, where does drag racing fit into this equation? Well, I hope to spend the time between the move and the beginning of school with the car. My goal is to enter as many Test/Tunes as possible and simply spend some time in the car and at the track. Hopefully this will prepare me for actually entering races later in the year.
Time in the car is also another important factor. It’s the nature of drag racing to keep the actual time on the track minimal. This is due to the necessity of keeping the large number of cars moving through and of course, less time on the track means a quicker elapsed time. Therefore practice is easier said than done. I spend time each day practicing my reaction time and mentally going through runs. But nothing can substitute actual time in the car. Chris and I have hunted down all of the Test and Tunes in Washington State and hope to make as many as possible. Plus, I love nothing more than sitting in that drivers seat.
New slogan: “Will race for rent (for the car, not me).”