Friday, July 8, 2011

Today, life was a real “DRAG”…

So, today was the big day… time to drag!

Last year for my birthday, Shawn and Jenn, along with Judy, bought a 1 day Drag Race Experience for me at the Grand Bend Motoplex.  What a day it turned out to be!  Last fall the day got rained out, so it was put off to today!  Perfect!  30 + degrees today with nothing but sun!

Many thanks go out to Derkzen Motorsports, out of London, Ontario, for putting on the day… check it out here:

They made it a very special day for the 16 people who took in the racing!  Judy and I arrived at the track around 10:00 a.m., just in time to get things rolling.  The crew from the track was still getting it ready, but that was fine, as Eric Derkzen gave us our talk about the cars.  Safety sure came through as number one!   These cars to go fast.

Judy took my pic as we entered the track, first thing this morning… look at the sky!  These are specially prepared Mustangs.  They run a 350 cubic inch Chev V8 motor in them and burn Sunoco 94 Octane gas.  All of the guts of the car are ripped out… all that is left is a seat for the driver!


As you can see below, there is not much left of the Mustang inside… they add in a roll cage.


Ford lovers will just die when they see this 350 Chev V8 inside the Mustang!


Judy came over with me to the track today, and thankfully they had this nice covered area, right beside the starting line to stay under for the day!

Derkzen supplied lots of water, Pop, and Pizza to keep us all going for the day.  Your guest could stay with you and mingle with the other drivers.


Well, all set to race below, this is not a sport for the faint of heart! 


Below we are all going over the safety rules, and how the timing devices work.


Making sure everyone knows where the switches for the radio, and air conditioner are!  NOT!  There is only a switch to turn on the power, and a button to start the motor, and a switch to turn the engine fan on and off. That is it!  OH, and it got quite warm in the cars, as there were no vents, and you have to race with the windows up! 


Before you head to the start line, you have to heat the back tires by way of a “burn out”.  They have a device that locks the breaks on the front wheels only, and then you just give it some gas…


and before you know it, you are doing a big smoky burn out!


Each of the 16 participants get to make 4 runs with the Mustangs.   When you get in the first time, you run in “auto”.  Get to the start line, wait for the light to turn green, then hit the gas and see if you have the nerve to hold it to the floor for the full 1,320 feet of the 1/4 mile!  Some did not!  My first run today was about 13.6 seconds… not too bad, at about 101 mph!  I got better on my second run at 12.7 seconds at 107 mph. 

There were some other racers who paid to use the track filling in the blank spots of the day… this guy on the bike ran at 9.6 seconds, and 146 mph… the fastest thing on the track today!  He was quick!


Here I am below, heating up the tires for my third run of the day.  This run, I shifted the transmission manually… they have a special shifter for the automatic, and you just push it forward real hard to made a shift from 1st. to 2nd. and then from 2nd. to 3rd.   My times improved for the afternoon, to 11.89 seconds at 116. 2 mph and then my last run was my best of the day, 11.86 seconds, at 116.5 mph. ( That is about 190 Klicks per hour!)   I was just off the low run of the day of 11.80 at 117.5 mph… but that is life!


Lots of smoke around the track today as other racers got into it!


Here I am walking back to the grand stand after my run with a big smile on my face… during my 3rd run I raced a guy who came with his big fancy Camaro and I blew him away!  Felt good!



We were done racing at 4:00 and then we took a drive up the main street of Grand Bend to check out the beach!


Don’t know what it was, but my Jeep just didn’t feel like it had to power after I was finished at the track!  Gotta get a bigger motor for  it!


Made it home by 5:00 in time for a dip in the pool.  Just a perfect day.  Thanmks again Judy, Shawn and Jenn!  I enjoyed! 

Wish everyday was more of a DRAG!

Till tomorrow…


  1. Jim loved your post from the title to the new motor in the Jeep. He used to drag race many many years ago and his best time in a 57 vette was 10.88. He's a Chevy man and just loved the fact the Mustangs had Chevy engines in them. We, women, do know how to make our men happy - with presents of course.

  2. Great birthday gift......looks like a real hoot.
    I'm off tomorrow solo around Superior and Lake Huron.....
    See you at the next ride...


  3. What a drag!!

    Amazing. When I read your blog the other night I thought you were going to WATCH drag racing not drive one of them!!

    Great birthday present! Maybe next year you'll get to pilot a real helicopter (OUCH!!).

  4. what a fabulous birthday gift!...glad you enjoyed 'draggin'!!

  5. Although we live a mere 25 minutes from the Grand Bend Dragway we have never been there. Sounded like a great day with one of a kind memories to last a lifetime.

  6. WoW what a great gift... Glad you had such an awesome day and the photos were GREAT!
    Have fun & Travel safe

  7. Hey, John what a blast eh ! 11:86way to go !!!! Now you have the bragging rights.

    I think Judy should try it next and show the old guy how to do it ;-)

    Jim Crook

  8. I don't think you can slide a big block Chev into it John, but maybe one of the new Corvette engines might fit. Be expensive though, and a bit harder on fuel.
    Maybe after you have been back on the road for a while the Jeep won't feel so underpowered?