Street racing, and in turn grudge racing, are as much about the negotiation of a race as they are about the race itself. The bets are certainly a key part of the conversation, but so too are the stipulations, particularly when you have a pair of clearly mismatched cars whose owners nevertheless want to race. Think of it like a bracket race, just without the dial-in’s, break-outs, or gamesmanship at the stripe.
In this recent matchup that took place at the Carolina Dragway during Mike Hill’s March Madness grudge event, racer Christopher Gordon, who goes by ‘Block,’ negotiated a deal with the driver of a Fox-body Mustang to give him a 17 car length advantage. Not the back tire or the hit, but 17 car lengths. Seventeen!
Doing some quick math, a Fox-body is 14.97 feet long. Multiply that by 17 and you get a head-start of roughly 254.5 feet, or just 76 feet–or five Fox-body lengths–short of HALF of the entire 660-foot long race course. It looks odd to see a car sitting at and then launch from that far out … with the christmas tree many semi truck-lengths in his rearview mirror and near half the track already covered, but alas, it was real, and it does happen in the anything-goes world of grudge racing.
Unfortunately for Block, the negotiated race didn’t work out in his favor, as his Fairmont audibly developed a miss in the engine and in the end, he lost the race by as many if not more lengths than it began with. Unfortunately for the fans, they missed out on would have been one hell of an epic run-down at the finish line, but that such a race was negotiated at all was entertaining enough.
Video courtesy Justin Malcom