Gary Scelzi does a burnout in his Funny Car.
If you're not familiar with these cars, a few words: they run on nitromethane rather than gasoline, and they have about 8,000 horsepower - that's more than 100 times the horsepower of a NASCAR engine. That makes them fast (Top Fuel dragsters have gone over 330mph) and it also makes them unbelievably loud. When they made the first pass, I almost dislocated my jaw in shock. Even after hearing my dad talk about it for my entire life, I just had no concept of how loud that was, and there's nothing to compare it to. Not only did the grandstand shake, but the ground itself shook, and the feeling of the vibration through my chest and entire body was just incredible.
Ashley Force prepares for a run.
We watched the first round of Top Fuel dragsters and Funny Cars, and then Mom and I went below the grandstand for some shade and cool drinks. It was in the high 90s, and I wasn't holding up very well. To make a long and unpleasant story short, I ended up spending the second round of competition in the track's medical care center receiving IV fluids. I was sunburned and overheated, and as soon as my IV was done, we went home to watch the rest of the races on TV. I decided that this was my last outdoor activity ever, but that's okay because it was a truly unforgettable day.