Wednesday, September 03, 2008
Showdown at the zMax Dragstrip
Well, PT Barnum would have been proud of the folks over at the new zMax Dragway. They arranged what easily could have been a pay per view event, the top NASCAR driver, Kyle Busch vs. the top Drag racer, Tony Schumacher in a best of 3 drag race.
At the press conference promoting the zMax Nationals and the Bank of America 500. The race, the two drivers, were both reflecting on their remarkable seasons and the focus and determination of their teams. Tony Schumacher, who has not lost a race since June, was not only thankful for his season but being able to share it with his family. He realized success can be fleeting and is thoroughly enjoying the journey.
They also realized in their sport the playoffs are about to start and what they have done in the regular season is the prelude to the real part of the season Chase for the Cup (NASCAR) and Countdown to One (NHRA).
When Kyle Busch was asked about what he knew about drag racing.."Start when the light turns yellow". That was the coaching tip that Tony Schumacher gave to him.
Tony Schumacher had set the Top Fuel records for wins having won 6 races in a row and 11 of 18 races. You would think he had a distinct advantage in this race.
As Kyle and Tony lined up their red and white Toyotas, you would have bet that Tony would have won the first race. As they headed down the quarter mile track and over the finish line the lights came up and Kyle had won. They lined up for heat number two, again a new rivalry seemed to be forming...down the strip they went with the engines so loud on the modified Camrys. Again, Busch won. So he gave Tony a 3rd try. You would think the new all time NHRA winner would be steaming for a win. So the lights went from Red to Yellow to Green....Kyle Busch smoked him. With good humor, they both seemed to enjoy this.
Busch discussed how the adrenaline must flow going down a track at 300 plus miles an hour in less than 5 seconds. He was used to driving for a few hours an 5oo miles for a win.
After they raced, I had a chance to hop in the red Camry and race my photographer, Maurice. He got off to a great start and about halfway down the track I caught up and won with my speedometer showing about 90 mph. I am ready for you Kyle.
The zMax Nationals will be held from Sept 11 to Sept 14th. The Bank of America 500 is in October at Lowes Motor Speedway.