RACING IS A “DRAG”
Racing is a “drag,” that is, if you are a drag racer. Every year in during the first week in August, Reno, Nevada, comes to life with classic cars from all over the country. The event is Hot August Nights, which brings ten days of fun, music, car shows, drag racing, swap meets, car auctions, and so much more.
There’s a kickoff two day event which starts up in Virginia City, a town that dates back to the 1800’s, when mining was rich and prosperous. The town had a population during that time of some 30,000 people, but today, it is home to some 10,000 citizens. The Comstock, as it is called, still wears the look of yesteryear and gives you a sense of how it might have been back in the gold rush days.
If you are a classic car owner, you will be awed by the ambiance the town brings to a classic car show. But this is only the beginning. After these two days are over, you head down the hill to Reno, Nevada, where Hot August Nights really starts to rattle and roll. Cruises, entertainment, and of course, the Drag Racing, will all put a huge smile on your face.
I am working hard to encourage more women to join in the fun as classic car owners. I know they are out there. I held the second annual “Women with Wheels” car show Father’s Day weekend at the National Automobile Museum. Some 30 female classic car owners were in attendance and loved every minute. The men also had a great time and they all can’t wait for next year.
But the one event that I just love to hear the women talk about, is the drag racing held at the Nugget Casino. I recently connected with a female classic car owner, Sherry White, who owns a beautiful Ford Mustang, red with black stripes. She has taken Hot August Nights by storm. It also helps that her husband, Kerry, is as deeply into this event as she is.
So what makes one want to drag race their classic, especially a woman? I sat down with Sherry to find out just what makes her want to hit the asphalt, burn up some rubber, and race down a track to compete against another classic car owner. (The video below, the Red 1970 Mustang Mach I is Sherry White)
This year was actually Sherry’s first time drag racing. She told me that if we would have asked her 10 years ago about getting behind a wheel and hitting the drag strip, she would have said, “Not only no, but Hell No!”
Well, 10 years does make a difference. It was Saturday morning, they had company in town for the event and when everyone was up and getting ready for the day’s events, Sherry’s husband asked her what they were going to do today, she replied, “I am going drag racing.” The look on everyone’s face was that of a deer in the headlights.
Sherry was ready to try something new. Her husband had taken her to a race in Las Vegas and while at the races, Sherry heard a different type of noise going on in the distance. She asked Kerry, what that was and he said, that is drag racing. Immediately, Sherry had to check it out, and, well, the rest is history. She knew this was something she needed to try, soon.
After her husband was sure Sherry was serious about drag racing, he knew there were a few things he needed to purchase for the Mustang prior to Sherry’s drag racing debut. They headed to Summit Racing and picked up a few things, installed them on the car and she was ready to roll.
There was a bit for Sherry to learn about drag racing before making her first pass, like, the light tree, what do all the lights mean? How to properly do a ‘burn out’ to prep your tires. Then at the end of the track, what do the different flags indicate?
Sherry said her first burn out wasn’t that great, but it was only her first time, with practice it could only get better. It was time to give it a try. Since Sherry’s husband Kerry was familiar with drags, he decided to be the first to race against his wife, just to make sure she was comfortable and to offer his devoted support. The first pass wasn’t all that great, and, yes, her husband beat her, but this was only the beginning for Sherry, there was no holding her back now. The adrenalin rush at the end seeing the flags set her hair on fire and wanting more.
Not only did Sherry drag race once, but can you believe, 8 total times and she won two of the eight races. In one of the videos shown in this article below, Sherry went up against a 1954 Chevy Convertible. The car was not remarkable, but the driver was. It was a woman, 16 years of age, from Las Vegas, Nevada. The car was previously owned by her father, and when she showed interest in the car, he restored it for her. Her hope was to drag race it at Hot August Nights – which she did. What a moment for both of the ladies!
As for Sherry, I asked her, what’s next? With a smile on her face she replied, “Bigger tires and more horsepower.” So I guess you know what she and her husband will be doing in the next few months.
Come on ladies, let’s make next year at Hot August Nights a drag to remember. Happy Motoring.
Register for Hot August Nights 2017 https://hotaugustnights.net/
Hot August Night Drag Racing https://hotaugustnights.net/drag-races/