There are all manner of automotive competitions out there for drivers to test the potential of their vehicles. From drag racing and road racing to autocrossing and drifting, there are ways to have fun. Growing in popularity, however, are the standing mile and half-mile events where drivers can accelerate from a start and verify their vehicles’ top speed.
It’s essentially like a cars and coffee but with actual racing taking place…—Blake Hutchison, WannaGoFast
“There are a few things that make this event so attractive,”Blake Hutchison, President of WannaGoFast, explained. “First, is the fact you get to race for a half mile which is double the distance of a standard drag race. Second, you get to race on an actual airport runway which is something we’ve all dreamed of at some point in time. Third, it’s an open-race format (we run all classes mixed throughout the day) that gives people tons of passes compared to a standard drag strip. We run cars every 40-45 seconds. Four, it’s not near as hard on the car as a drag strip, you can idle off the start line and then build up to your speed, elapsed time doesn’t count at our events. Lastly, we have cars of all makes and models and the racers are all extremely friendly. It’s essentially like a cars and coffee but with actual racing taking place…”
Apparently the thrill of running flat out for longer than a quarter mile appeals primarily to owners of supercars and modern muscle cars. Amongst the top-dollar rides and Brand X competitors, Coyote-powered Mustangs—primarily of the 2015 and newer variety—dominated the Ford hardware. These cars ranged from simple bolt-in combos to all-out boosted machines.
This event gives them the ability to race literally 30-40 other Mustangs and see how their build stacks up against someone else’s…—Blake Hutchison, WannaGoFast
While there were plenty of participants, it didn’t feel like there were quite as many Mustangs running as there were last year. However, the opportunity to see all this great hardware roaring down the airstrip at Jumbolair definitely attracted throngs of spectators, who lined up down the street to get in and see the action.
We like the WannaGoFast half-mile events, because it’s a different style of racing.—Justin Starkey, VMP
“We like the WannaGoFast half-mile events, because it’s a different style of racing. Not everybody gets to drag race. This is from a dig, but it’s got a lot of roll-racing aspects to it. The cars just have to pull a lot of mile an hour on any surface. It’s not necessarily a prepped drag strip,” Justin Starkey, of VMP Performance, said. “It challenges us as a company and we like to be challenged.”
Adapting from the sure launches provided by slicks and a prepped drag strip to the uncertainty of street tires and an airplane runway was definitely a challenge for VMP driver Rebecca Starkey and her 8-second drag ’Stang.
“It’s very different,” she told us. “It’s basically against every instinct that I have. It’s basically take what I know and do the opposite, which is not comfortable for me, but we are working with it and I am doing the best I can.”
And, that she did. Her car was running well at around 180 mph, but no matter how fast the cars were running, all the drivers seemed to enjoy themselves in a pretty relaxed environment that let them legally run at felony speeds.
If this kind event sounds like fun to you, WannaGoFast heads to South Florida on March 25 for its next event and you can find out more right here.