The Top Fuel Experience: An Awe-Inspiring Film About Nitro Racing


NHRA’s Top Fuel class is the pinnacle of the sport of drag racing, the class all drivers aspire to compete in, and the one only the greatest drivers succeed in conquering. The price of admission is steep and the price of failure can be even steeper, and until you have the opportunity to get up-close-and-personal with a nitro car, you could never understand the raw power and sheer in-your-face sensory overload the nitro cars create. It’s an experience that transcends the senses and is difficult to re-create in the two-dimensional world of television and internet.

Any drag racing fan will tell you that it’s often difficult to explain to an “outsider” just what it is that’s so attractive about the sport in general. We’ve all heard the comments – “what’s so interesting about racing in a straight line?”, and the truth of it is, it’s hard to describe just what it is that draws us in.

Some have speculated that gearheads are born, others firmly believe that they can be made, and it is this second concept that the bigwigs over at the NHRA have struggled with – how to attract new fans and impress upon them just how awesome the sport of drag racing is. Heck, they’ve been getting pre-empted on ESPN2 for softball and poker, so maybe it’s time to think up a different marketing approach to attract the younger crowd.
The production values and overall feel of this video provide a great place to begin.

Hats off to crew member Corey Michalek of Pat Dakin’s Commercial Metal Fabricators Top Fuel team for taking the time to shoot and edit this incredible video from his perspective over the last two years, creating what is, in our opinion, the most amazing independent video ever produced about drag racing. It’s a great illustration of how each of the different elements of drag racing need to come together to produce a successful run, and a great way to spend a couple of minutes wishing for spring on this winter day.

Check out more of Corey’s drag racing-related work at his Vimeo video page.

About the author

Jason Reiss

Jason draws on over 15 years of experience in the automotive publishing industry, and collaborates with many of the industry's movers and shakers to create compelling technical articles and high-quality race coverage.
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