This isn’t like those fake outlaw racing TV shows…
One of our favorite YouTube channels, 1320video, recently dropped an almost hour-long video showcasing racing at Brown County Dragway, what they call “the sketchiest track in the US.” There are some great reasons why this track is risky to race on, but all of those in a way just makes it that much more exciting. You get to see a lot of crashes, close calls, and even fistfights, making for an authentic outlawing racing experience.
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You probably already know which “reality” television shows bill themselves as showcasing some form of “outlaw racing” so I won’t name any names. None of them serve up the same level of excitement and unpredictability as what you get in this video. It’s amazing what not having a script will do for making things realistic.
Just about nothing, if not absolutely nothing, for this track adheres to NHRA standards. It’s too short, too narrow, there’s a strip of grass down the middle of a good chunk of it, plus there’s no center divider – and that’s just for starters. Oh, plus there’s no Christmas Tree, just a guy who turns on a headlamp he’s wearing to signal the drivers to go.
To say the facilities aren’t exactly sophisticated would be an understatement. The racers are parking in the grass, serious rain will strand people on the track, and the VIP section is a nice cleared section of a small hill. However, this is more like how racing back in the day was, before it became a big commercial enterprise.
So while the experience at Brown County Dragway is a little wild, it’s also more authentic. After all, you can’t help but wonder if all this commercialization of racing, the nice facilities, steep entry costs, etc. are contributing heavily to the loss of grass roots racing not only in America but in other parts of the world. When the sport becomes so incredibly expensive, only the wealthy can afford to participate in it.
I like seeing Joe Six Pack out there with his IROC Z or Foxbody, mismatched panels, a couple of turbos the size of watermelons, plus a wing and a prayer and he sends it on some janky dragstrip. That takes a whole lot more guts than some rich guy with a $240,000 build loaded with safety systems and electronics running in the 10s and thinking he’s one of the best racers ever.