Dragster Flames Out Badly On Race Track, Twice


Going fast is expensive, and dragsters are especially high on the list of pricey speeding devices.

National Hot Rod Association Top Fuel dragsters produce approximately 7,000 horsepower, or about 37 times that of the average street car. That means one cylinder of the eight cylinders of a Top Fuel dragster produces 750 horsepower, which is the entire horsepower output of a NASCAR engine.

These specialty cars accelerate from zero to 100 mph in 0.8 seconds. The gas is about $30 per gallon, and racers can spend upwards of half a million dollars on one car.

With that in mind, consider Wile-E-Coyote. That’s right, the cartoon coyote who’s constantly scheming to catch the elusive and extremely fast road runner. What makes the coyote both funny and admirable is that he never gives up. In the face of failure after failure, he comes back with a new, elaborate, and apparently very expensive plan to once and for all catch the road runner.

And there is always one plan on which the coyote has spent so much time and taken such great care to assemble, only to have it fail in one anticlimactic flourish as soon as he flicks the switch. The best-laid plans, indeed.

A dragster team sponsored by Gas Monkey Garage echoed Wile-E-Coyote on the tack recently when the engine on the Top Fuel dragster exploded off the line. Okay. This happens from time to time. So the crew simply pulled the engine and managed to put it back together within an hour to be able to jump off the line and compete again.

And it happened again.

A bad day at the track is also an expensive one. But we’re not one to talk; we don’t have a dragster, and we certainly have never caught a road runner.

Photo credit: Dreamstime