Part 1 of our coverage of this years 2nd Import Face Off at Royal Purple Raceway is about the drag racing. Cliff and his crew of lackies have brought us a drag racing event pretty consistently for quite a few years now. I say “pretty consistently” because Houston has a bit of notoriety when it comes to rain-outs. This has always been a place where some great cars get to make a few passes down the quarter-mile and show everyone in attendance what Houston has to offer.
The day started out early. The cars and drivers showed up and immediately began working. Tires needed to be changed and have air pressures adjusted, fluids needed to be checked, daily drivers needed to be worked over a little bit to go racing, etc.
Each and every car needs to go through the tech inspection before they are allowed on the track. Each inspection was dependent on how fast the car ran and subsequently on how the driver was dressed. You can’t wear shorts to drag race. If you drive an 18 second car then showing up with pants on pretty much gets you on the drag strip. If you drive an 8 second race car you better bring your helmet, fire suit, roll cage, and a good crew to help keep the car running at its peak.
After the inspection you get to wait around to hear your class called to the staging lanes. Each class lines up and waits to go on their journeys down the 1320. Trash talking is permitted even though I didn’t get to hear any myself (lol). For the most part everyone gets along very well out here. Despite the competition that looms they all manage to get along and share some stories and a few laughs.
The burnout box! I really don’t think there is an explanation necessary here. There is a guy standing at the very beginning of the track with a water hose making sure that you are able to get a good burnout before the race. Warming up those tires is essential when it comes to getting traction. If you don’t have traction in your 800hp civic then you stand to lose to a stock Scion xB (come at me bro!).
Now we have reached the business end of this article. This is where the rubber meets the road…literally. You line up at the tree, get the car staged, and wait for your green light. Once you see that light you are off on a journey of 1320 feet worth of sticky pavement. As long as the car doesn’t break you will cross the lights and be on the other side before you know it. It’s now time to collect your time from the booth and head back to the pits for some improvements and adjustments.
Look for part 2 of our Import Face Off coverage tomorrow!