Your heart beats fast; the dust hangs like diamonds in the air. Time slows to nearly a stop, and all sound disappears. You prepare your lane and double check your gear. Your race is next. Your vision narrows as you say a prayer to God for protection and to give you a good line. You are mere moments from becoming the next legend, or just another rider, and all you can do is hold on for the ride. They raise the gate, you move your bike forward, touch it gently and then roll back a little bit. Your breathing stops; you can feel the rumble of your bike and the air tastes sweet. The gate dropper points at you; you nod. You shift forward in your seat, bring your elbows up, make sure you're in second gear, lean slightly over the handlebars and bring your throttle to half. The gate dropper walks back to the lever and he is now hidden behind a blind. Time comes to complete stop. Will he ever drop the gate? Then IT happens - the gate starts to go down. Time suddenly catches up with itself and speeds to an unnaturally fast pace as you peg out your throttle; the world explodes with sound as the other riders do the same. You shift without letting off, willing to sacrifice your clutch for a millisecond of advantage for your chance to come into the hole shot in the lead.
Sweet 16 Starting Grid
Waiting for their race at Jandebeur's Rider's at the line at Tulsa Motocross
Baker nailing the hole shot At Sweet 16 Large field battles at Sweet 16
Although specifics are different, every motorsport is the same - the roar of the engine, the yelling of the fans, and the smell of burned race fuel. The drivers sliding around the corners. The riders jumping into the clouds. Sports cars redlining as they tear down the straights. Nitro flares shooting from the exhaust of a Top Fuel dragster. The rush and the passion combined with control and precision makes for an adrenaline rush like no other. It doesn't matter if it is a million dollar super car, ten thousand dollar dirt bike, or five hundred dollar junker, the person behind the wheel is chasing their dreams of glory and speed. It is something that slips into your blood and never lets go.
Formula Drift, Road Atlanta Jandebeur's Motor Sports
Hallett Motor Racing Circuit Top Fuel Dragster launching at Tulsa Raceway Park
Motorsports are unique in the human experience. They combine centuries of human engineering with the unflinching reflexes of a champion and iron will of the human spirit. Born in the early days of man, when the engines were horses, camels or even elephants, there has never been moment in time when mankind hasn't pursued a way to go faster or be more agile than the rest of the field of competition. From the chariots of Rome to the modern day Mclaren, mankind has pushed it's limits with every generation.
1928 Riley at the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix, Schenley Park
Mclaren MP4 12C at Hallett Motor Racing Circuit
Track born technologies have pushed the transportation industry forward as well. Cars that perform continuously under extreme conditions need extreme equipment. As research teams around the world work to improve these technologies, manufacturers around the world line up to license the technology for their street cars. Everything from independent suspension for better cornering to disc brakes for less brake fatigue have come from the tracks to our garages. Companies invest billions in their hypercar divisions, creating some of the most exotic creations in the history of civilization so that when you're driving in the rain and hydroplane, the car has the technology and equipment to help you not flip your car. Audi's Le Mans team has dominated the sport over that last century, because when they retire from the track at end of the day what was impossible for them yesterday is old hat for them today.
Jaguar spins in the rain during the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix, Schenley Park Audi R8 GT running at Grand Am Grand Prix, Kansas Speedway
So the next time you get a chance, go out to Tulsa Raceway Park, Jandebeur's, Hallett or any of the other fine racing venues in area. Show these champions of the track that you support them and their sport. Let's show the world that we still believe in being the best. That we still believe in pushing the envelope a little further than we did yesterday. More importantly, let's show our neighbors and friends that we believe in their dreams.
Drag Truck destroying a set of tires at Tulsa Raceway Park during Throwdown in T-Town
A nitro mud drag car running at Tulsa Raceway Park's new mud pits