(Photo by Savannah Pritchard)

Need for speed

Sophomore Harris walks the hallways and accelerates on the raceway

November 21, 2014

“Am I going wreck? Will I win? Am I going to go to the next round?”

The lights start to countdown and go from yellow to red in an instant. As soon as the light turns green, the cars burst forward. It seems like they are racing forever, but in reality it is only about 8 seconds. That’s when she pulls ahead, winning the race and earning a spot in the next round. Merely a normal weekend in the life of sophomore Meagan Harris.

Many people have heard about drag racing, but do not know what takes place in a competition. No, this is not the type of racing you see in Hollywood action films. Basically, drag racing is where two cars race on a straight track to see who can cross a set finish line first. The usual length that the cars race is a quarter of a mile.

“I have been doing it since I was 9,” Harris said. “My grandfather has been doing it for a really long time. Then I finally decided I wanted to start doing it.”

Since then, Harris has been in many drag races and all of her hard work has paid off.

“I was the championship winner at the track last year. I also went to Memphis, Tennessee, for the bracket finals, and I got down to eight cars out of 72,” Harris said. “Then two years ago I went to Crandall, Texas, for the bracket finals and I was in the Super Summit Series. That is where 12 different tracks come down to the bracket finals. I got down to four cars when my car broke.”

These rewards do not come without work however. There is a lot of work, dedication, and improvement that goes into racing.

“There is a race every single weekend,” Harris said. “So that is where I usually am.”

Others ask about the dangers of drag racing. In competitions, like the ones Harris competes in, several pieces of safety equipment must be installed on the car before it is allowed to compete.

“You have to have two kill switches, a light, a certain air pressure in the tires and a parachute in case you go too fast,” Harris said.

While it is not a “normal” sport that most Americans are used to, thousands of people

compete in drag racing competitions every year. One person Harris looks up to is championship drag racer Ashley Force.

“She is an amazing racer and has won so many races,” Harris said. “She has also been to the championship so many times.”

Like Force, Harris has found a love for the sport. Over the past six years she has won some and lost some, but has never given up.

“Drag racing is my passion,” Harris said. “It’s like my foot says go before my brain even thinks about it.”

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