: Dragstrip on winter tires?

12-22-09, 08:59 PM

Should I? Do I dare? Oh man, this sounds fun! I don't know if I'd actually do it in my V, but I'm sure thinking about it.....

A brand new decade and the 2010 drag racing season at Dragway 42 will kick off two weeks from today when the track hosts the nation's longest running New Year's Day drag racing event outside of California with its 11th Annual "Hangover Nationals".

The New Year's Day racers will be competing heads-up on a 20.10 index (or dial-in) with the first vehicle reaching the finish line without running quicker than the index being the round winner.

In mid-season, nearly any street or tow vehicle can travel the 1/4 mile in under 20 seconds, but when Mother Nature puts down a coating of ice and snow on the track surface, a 20.10 standard is much harder to achieve than it may first appear.

This year's "Hangover Nationals" champion will also take a special place in history, the winner of the first sanctioned drag race of the new decade.

For those who might wonder who was the winner of the first sanctioned drag race of the previous decade, it was Shirley Muldowney who defeated Don Garlits in a battle of top fuelers just after the stroke of midnight on New Year's Day at AutoFest 2000 in Florida.

The final round of the 10th Annual "Hangover Nationals" (which was run on a 20.09 index) saw a the field of nearly 200 competitors be pared down to a final round match-up of Norwalk's Kurt Murray representing the 4-wheel drive / all-wheel drive machines in his 2001 Chevrolet Silverado and Smithville's Corey Griffith in his Pontiac Grand-Am representing the 2-wheel drive side of the eliminator.

Just like in any other bracket race, the win light comes from the proper combination of starting line reaction time and the ability to 'drive the finish line' in an effort to be the first across the stripe without running quicker than the index or dial-in time.

In the 2009 final round, Corey Griffith's Grand-Am had the better reaction time and stayed ahead of Kurt Murray's Silverado all of the way to the stripe, however his 'too quick' elapsed time of 19.9759 on the 20.09 index turned on the eighth and most important win light of the day for "Team Murray".

The 11th Annual "Hangover Nationals" at Dragway 42 will be run no matter the weather conditions. Gates will open at 11 AM with eliminations beginning at 2:30 PM.

As has been the practice for the past several years, the 2-wheel drive machines will compete separately from the 4-wheel drive and all-wheel drive machines until the final round.

This unique event allows an unlimited number of passengers to ride along during time trials and eliminations. These co-pilots and backseat drivers are generally very willing to assist the driver by keeping track of where the competition is located as the vehicles make their way down the track.

Dragway 42 is holding the line on prices again in 2010 and will keep the entry and spectator fees for this event at the same price as they have been for the past 3 years. An 11th Annual "Hangover Nationals" race entry is just $15.00 while adult spectators will pay just $10.00 for the event.

As is the case at over 99% of Dragway 42's events, youths 14 and under are admitted free of charge.

Check the snowtires and load up on the sandbags in preparation for this event which regularly features racers from a multi-state area battling to be the first race winner of the year, and in this case, the first race winner OF THE DECADE.