The Cessna Goes Drag Racing!

Now that the Spirit of LeMons is tagged and insured, I figured I might as well melt some brains at my local dragstrip (Maryland International Raceway) by showing up to race the street legal class in an airplane. I drove it the 40 minutes to the track, generating big smiles and thumbs up the whole way. I stopped outside the track at the ticket booth, and immediately heard the announcer excitedly yelling over the PA that an airplane had just arrived to the track. He told the crowd "There's an AIRPLANE pulling in to the track, folks! An actual airplane! If I'm lyin', I'm dyin'!"

We knew it would be slow. Friends had been asking me all day what elapsed time I expected it to run, and I guessed 19.2 seconds in the 1/4 mile. With a 2600 pound curb weight and less than 100 HP, it isn't exactly ideally suited for drag racing. My first pass proved that guess was spot-on, as I ran 19.25 in the 1/4 at 70 MPH. I started out drag racing 20 years ago, but it's been probably 4-5 years since I raced last, and more than 10 since I raced more than once or twice in a year, so I figured I would be a bit rusty on the tree. Suprisingly, I cut decent lights anyway, soundly beating the first four drivers I faced off the line. I went from .10 to .07, .05, and .04 reaction times, before redlighting while trying to cut a perfect light during eliminations. During that redlight pass, I still managed a 19.06 on a 19.05 dial, which would have been pretty much unbeatable. Maybe next time...
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Jeff Bloch (a.k.a. Speedycop)