Drag racing, an acceleration contest from a standing start between two vehicles covering a measured distance, is probably as old as the automobile itself. As a legal and commercially organized sport, however, it began on Sunday, June 19, 1950. On that day at an airstrip near Santa Ana, California, C. J. Hart, originally of Findlay, Ohio, hosted with two partners the Santa Ana Drags. A year before that, in Goleta, California, a drag race was held on a closed-off section of road with approval of the police, but it was only a one-time event. The surge of returning veterans at the end of World War II, many of whom could afford an automobile and had a sense of adventure as well as a desire to test the performance of their machines, …show more content…
Drag racing is an automobile or motorcycle competition that uses straight, level, and fairly short ¼-mile (400 meter) or ½-mile (800 meter) tracks, though distances can vary. Competitors commonly race by twos, side by side. The vehicles start the race from a dead stop, accelerating to great speeds in a short interval. The first vehicle to pass the “traps” or end of the official track wins. The drag racing track extends sufficiently beyond the traps to allow vehicles to decelerate safely.
Drag races are frequently run in “heats.” A heat is one completed drag race, and many take place in a single racing event. Winning a heat allows the driver to progress to the next heat. At the end of the day, the two best drivers compete against each other for the final win.
Autos and motorcycles used in drag racing have been modified in most cases, some heavily so. A vehicle is classified according to its modifications to ensure fair competition. Cars built for drag racing might