I got to realize a dream come true. Let me back up a little. Last Tuesday, we were very fortunate to actually have Terry McMillan and his crew, along with their Top Fuel Dragster for our “Goodson Race Day” here at Goodson Tools and Supplies. Now, we have had these events in the past with lots of dragsters and funny cars from the various ranks that compete in NHRA drag racing but this time was different. You see Terry McMillan told me that he would actually start his 11,000 Horsepower up for us right in our parking lot. Pretty cool, eh? Well it gets even better… he asked me if I wanted to be in the driver’s seat when that Top Fuel motor fired up. As you can imagine it did not take me anytime at all to say “HECK YA !” I am in for sure.
Little did I know what I was in for!
First, it is a very tight squeeze to get into the dragster. Then I got the driver signals that were in the form of hand signals. 1 finger was “pull the fuel level to full on.” 2 fingers was “push in the clutch.” 3 fingers was to “grab a big handful of brake.” Then when he gave me the OK sign it meant get ready as he was going to hit the throttle and give me and the big crowd one of those famous WOMPS. Now keep in mind I have been able to sit in a lot of dragsters before, heck I even got to drive Robin Samsel’s Alcohol Fuel dragster a couple of years ago up at Brainerd. Well to be honest I was towed up to the starting line and then got out and Robin got in to take it down the track, but still very cool.
I had my ear muffs on and when I felt that Top Fuel Engine roar to life my heart started to race and my adrenalin started to flow. It seemed eerily quiet, almost serene, for the first part of warming up the engine. I felt a lot of vibrations and was becoming mesmerized by the sound, smell and all the data that was flashing on the digital screen above the butterfly steering wheel. Then all of those pre-rehearsed hand signals started and then the OK sign and then……………………WOW oh WOW….. When Bob Peck, the Car chief gave that throttle a WOMP, I was given a real feel of what it was like to be a Top Fuel Driver. I thought I was ready when it came time for the second WOMP, but again, it was a thrill that I am still trying to put into words. I can now understand better as to why these drivers need to be in shape and why they practice as much as they can so they can be ready to hit that “loud” pedal and run the 1000 foot distance in under 4 seconds at over 330 MPH.
When it was all over I managed to get out of the dragster, but I will admit that it took about a ½ hour for my legs to stop shaking. I must say, that was the thrill of my life in drag racing. I can’t thank Terry, Bob and the whole Amelie Oil Team for making this happen. If you ever have the chance to get close to one of these Top Fuel NHRA Dragsters……………..you too will have a memory that will be with you forever.
Thanks again to Terry McMillen his crew, Samsel Racing and crew for helping make my dreams come true!