The Times Journal & Russell County News
Friday, Apr. 18, 2014 — RUSSELL SPRINGS & JAMESTOWN, KENTUCKY — russellcounty.net
Get online news updates FREE - Subscribe:  [?]
Google

Cruisin': Remember Drag Racing?
In Sept. 26 Issue
Russell County News
By Ron Cowell, Columnist

Drag racing is described as a straight dash over 1/4 of a mile from a standing start for the shortest elapsed time. I remember those days when I was a kid and we would head out to the Starr Ave. Extension and run them off until we saw the cops, then we would all scatter.

The form grew directly from illegal match racing on rural roads by high-schoolers in the postwar 1940s-early 1950s. Teenagers, “souping up” their r cars, wanted to show off their mechanical skills. The most objective way was the standing-start race of two cars over an identical short distance.

The arbitrary distance of 1/4-mile came, according to one version of the story from the fact that it was easily measured on a straight stretch of rural road and because a longer distance would be unnecessarily dangerous.

Many worked-over old cars could hit nearly 100 mph in “the quarter.”

 Hot Rod magazine made the hot-rodding phenomenon seem like a widespread form of youth rebellion. Its cover glamorized speed and mobility even as the content warned of the terrible consequences of dangerous driving.        

    In the early 1950s promoters built legal drag-racing strips. With little investment, an organizer could lay just over 1/2-mile of asphalt in two wide lanes. The extra length for the prep and burn-in apron at the starting end together with an over-run beyond the finish line, They added some bleachers, add timing apparatus, and were ready to go into business on sunny weekends.

Local law enforcement authorities were pleased that such tracks gave the drivers a legal, and safer, place to race. Teenage mechanics and drivers proudly brought their cars to the “strips” to prove their mettle in fair competition. And if they failed to win, they worked on their cars some more and tried again the following week. The bulk of fans have always been those who have had experience working on their own cars

Rules served teenage enthusiasms and teenage views of fairness. The result was a form of racing with just a few basic classes to accommodate modified production cars raced by amateur owners and also to accommodate highly specialized, purpose-built dragsters mostly run (today) by professional teams.  

 "Big Daddy" Don Garlits and his Swamp Rat XXX had the first top fuel drag racing car was the first to exceed 270 mph. Acceleration was and is the only value. Shorter time down the track was the goal. They could do this by shaving weight and boosting power any way possible. Cars with comparable kinds of bodies ran in match races, with few restrictions on engine, chassis, and drive-train modifications that owners could try.

Rules have changed over the years to accommodate technical changes, such as fiberglass bodies, and additional safety improvements, such as roll cages and fire suppression to protect the driver.

Drag racing is not as widely popular with the public as Indy or NASCAR. It is more a mechanic’s form of racing rather than a driver’s form. Any enthusiast will rightly point out the skills of the drivers of such high-powered cars, the fastest of which now exceed 300 mph in the quarter mile That’s a far cry indeed from the drag race depicted in Rebel Without a Cause.

If your Car Club is having an event and you would like us to tell everyone about or someone who you would like to see featured in this article send all information to, djron47@yahoo.com . All information on upcoming events needs to be in at least two weeks before the event.

If your Club or church or group is having an event and you would like to display some classic cars at that event let me know at least two weeks before the event. I will put you in contact with one of the clubs that will gladly bring their cars out for display.

Until next time,, Keep Cruisin!

Content Management Powered by CuteNews
SUBSCRIBE to The Times Journal: CLICK HERE

SPONSORED LINKS


Publish Yourself PUBLISH YOURSELF
You can publish news about your group or organization directly to our site, using your computer.
CLICK HERE
Laker Band LAKER BAND
Visit the award-winning official web site for the Russell County Marching Band.
CLICK HERE
Lake Cumberland Web Cams LIVE WEB CAMS
Views of Lake Cumberland as it is right now, from a number of web cams.
CLICK HERE
Lake Cumberland LAKE CUMBERLAND
lakecumberland.com
Official site for Lake Cumberland with everything for the lake visitor and fisherman.
CLICK HERE
The Times Journal is a weekly newspaper issued on Thursdays. It was first published on October 13, 1949, by Andrew J. and Terry Norfleet.
-
P.O. Box 190
120 Wilson St.
Russell Springs KY 42642
Phone: 270-866-3191
Fax: 270-866-3198
Russell County News is a weekly newspaper issued on Saturdays, and is mailed free to every address in Russell County, Ky. It was first published on February 1, 1913.
-
404 Monument Square
Jamestown KY 42629
Phone: 270-343-5700
Publisher:
David Davenport
(publisher@tjrcn.com)
Managing Editor:
Greg Wells
(editor@tjrcn.com)
News & Sports Editor:
Derek Aaron
(sports@tjrcn.com)
Advertising Manager:
Stephanie Smith
(ads@tjrcn.com)
Business Manager:
Kim Haydon
(business@tjrcn.com)
Production Manager:
Renee Daffron
(people@tjrcn.com)
Jamestown Office:
Kim Graham
(rcnoffice@tjrcn.com)
PUBLIC MEETINGS
Members of the public may attend meetings. Boards or agencies may schedule other meetings at special times, but are required to notify the public.
FISCAL COURT: 2nd Monday of month, 6 p.m. in the Courthouse
RUSSELL SPRINGS CITY: 2nd Thursday of month, 6 p.m. in the City Hall Municipal Room
JAMESTOWN CITY: 3rd Thursday of month, 6 p.m. in basement meeting room at City Hall
SCHOOL BOARD: 3rd Monday of month, 6:30 p.m., Board of Education office in Jamestown
LIBRARY BOARD: 2nd Tuesday of month, 5 p.m. at Jamestown Library
AIRPORT BOARD: 1st Tuesday of month, 5 p.m. at Airport
TOURISM COMMISSION: 2nd Wednesday of month, 12:30 p.m. at Tourism Office
CHAMBER OF COMMERCE: 3rd Tuesday of month, noon at The Cove restaurant
LOCAL & AREA
NEWS SITES
The links below open new windows. We are not responsible for the content of the sites.
Laker Country WJRS
(Russell Springs)
lakercountry.com/
WKYM-1017 (Monticello)
wkym.com/
Adair Progress (Columbia)
adairprogress.com/
Casey County News (Liberty)
caseynews.net/
Clinton County News (Albany)
clintonnews.net/
Cumberland County News (Burkesville)
burkesville.com/ccn/
Wayne County Outlook (Monticello)
wcoutlook.com/
Somerset
Commonwealth-Journal
somerset-kentucky.com/
Danville
Advocate-Messenger
amnews.com/
Lexington Herald-Leader
kentucky.com/
Louisville Courier-Journal
courier-journal.com/
WKYT-TV, Lexington
wkyt.com/
WBKO-TV, Bowling Green
wbko.com/
USEFUL SITES
The links below open new windows. We are not responsible for the content of the sites.

RUSSELL CO. OFFICIALS
RUSSELL COUNTY SCHOOLS
RUSSELL CO. LIBRARY

LAKE CUMBERLAND
STATE RESORT PARK
TV LISTINGS:
Choose your service and provider
SOMERSET MOVIE SHOWTIMES

.