High school students are encouraged to “push the pedal to the metal” as they push their vehicles to the limits during the competition at the May 28 All American High School Drag Races at …
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High school students are encouraged to “push the pedal to the metal” as they push their vehicles to the limits during the competition at the May 28 All American High School Drag Races at Bandimere Speedway in Morrison.
Again this year, there will be races for high school drivers, a special alumni classification for drivers 19 to 23 and junior dragster race with 5- to 17-year-olds behind the wheels of vehicles with bodies designed to be half the size and shape of the National Hot Rod Association’s top-fuel dragsters.
The gates open for entries at 8 a.m. Junior dragster races begin at 9 a.m. and high school drag races begin about 10 a.m.
The cost to enter the races is $35. Rules require the car be equipped with seat belts and the car must pass a technical inspection where the vehicle is checked to ensure the seat belts are securely fastened to the frame, the brakes are good and there is plenty of tread on the tires.
The individual behind the wheel must have a valid driver’s license. The driver of any vehicle that makes runs down the quarter-mile strip faster than 14 seconds is required to wear a helmet.
The majority of students are from the metro area, but each year, there are drivers from other portions of the state as well as a handful of entries from neighboring states.
The event always draws a crowd on the track and in the stands. Last year, for example, about 250 drivers representing about 50 different schools took part in the drag racing competition. They were joined at the races by about 100 young men and women behind the wheels of junior dragsters.
The annual event is very popular and kids show up to race with all kinds of “wheels,” ranging from a hot rod that they drive in weekly races at the track to the family’s station wagon or sport utility vehicle. So, to make the competition as fair as possible, entries are divided into two classes, one for the cars, trucks and motorcycles the kids drive on the street and a different division for the drivers who will be behind the wheel of vehicles built to compete in drag races.
Also, a handicap system called a dial-in is necessary because the field includes such a wide variety of vehicles.
The dial-in time is set in time trials and the handicap system allows the slower vehicle in the head-to-head drag race to leave the starting line first. But, running faster than the “dial-in time” is called breaking out and could cost a driver the race.
Winning means moving on to the next round. Losing means it’s time to go home. Drivers get merchandise prizes each time they advance. There a multitude of prizes given out during the competition and the elimination races continue until a single driver captures the day’s championships. For more information, go online to www.bandimere.com/highschooldrags.
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