Let’s face it — to pilot a front engine dragster that has a nitro-guzzling power plant in between the rails you have to be a little on the brave side. These machines are some of the gnarliest things to ever hit the quarter-mile and represent all that’s great about drag racing. Les Mayhew of NitroAmerica put together a great mini documentary that shows just how truly awesome these cars are, and how utterly fearless their drivers are in a short flick he’s titled “Slingshot”.
One of the greatest things about nostalgia nitro racing is the raw nature of the machines, from their exposed frame to the 90-plus percent nitromethane-fueled gorilla flames they belch out at night. The modern front engine dragster is an evolved beast from its roots in the 60s and 70s, but still maintain that nasty side that makes the racing exciting.
Mayhew does a fantastic job in this video capturing just how much of a handful these cars are to drive compared to the modern Top Fuel dragster. The driver is trying to wheel a car that is putting over 3,000 horses to the ground, without the aid of a giant wing to help add the crazy downforce that keeps the nitro cars of today planted. Then there’s that whole issue of having a nitro-burning bomb sitting in front of you that could cover you in oil or fire at any second if things go wrong inside the engine, and a rear end housing right between your legs.
The drivers of these mechanical bulls on wheels have just as much character as the cars themselves and embrace the wild nature of their machines. Each time they belt in and make a pass it could be a five-second, side-by-side race, turn into a wild peddle fest, or they might have to channel their inner dirt track racer to keep it off the fence.
No matter what kind of racing you like, there’s no denying the level of awesome these cars bring to the track. The guttural roar these cars produce mixed with an unpredictable nature is why nostalgia nitro racing has become so popular. Click play on the video and be ready to have your mind blown with all the nitro fueled goodness!