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Drag Racing Story of the Day!

Running Home to the Drags

By David Ross

Ain't got a picture to share, or a way to post it. But if ya got a minute or two, I'll paint one for ya ...

My daddy'd been dead a couple of years, and my Momma didn't have a clue how to properly raise a wild young boy just barely in his teens with nothin' on his mind but cars and girls. The lack of a father figure was weighin' me down pretty bad. It was the heat of the summer, and I had me a belly full of my Momma and my four sisters, and made up my mind to take off on my beat-up old Schwinn stingray and never come back. 

I took off early in the morning and rode hard for several hours trying to work through the anger I felt at my Dad for gettin' himself killed, and at my Momma for not understanding what I needed in my life, much less caring enough to try to find out. The harder I rode, the harder I'd cry, 'til I'd nearly worn myself out from both. When I finally slowed down both riding and crying, I realized that the roaring in my ears wasn't just the sound of my own self bawlin', it was something else entirely. I had nowhere else to go, so I kept ridin' toward the noise. I rode most of the day, the noise growing louder at each turn of the crank. 

As darkness began to fall, I still had not reached the source of the noise (which by now had become an intermittent roar that I could feel as well as hear). I realized that I was a long way from home and hadn't eaten all day, and I was more than a little scared. I rode on through the tears, without the slightest idea where I was, or how to get home. I paused atop a slight rise to wipe my tear-streaked eyes with a grimy fist, and when the tears were gone and my vision once again cleared, I beheld a vision as I could only dream of! There stretched out before my bleary eyes was Tampa Dragway, and lined up all in neat little rows were all the cars I'd ever built models of! 

There was The Little Red Wagon, The Hemi Under Glass, The Swamp Rat, The Bounty Hunter -- every boy's fantasy line-up... The Greek, Cha Cha, Dyno Don, The Farmer, Brutus, Jungle Jim -- they were ALL there! I rode down the fence ‘til I thought I was out of sight. Then I ditched my bike and crawled under the fence. As I straightened up, I was staring right into the face of some guy working on his fuel dragster. He looked at me real hard, like he could see right through me, like he UNDERSTOOD me! He said, "Hey kid, could you give me a hand?" Hell, I didn't have to be asked twice! 

I stayed with him and his friends for the rest of the night, getting in the way more than helping, but feeling like I BELONGED... I was in heaven! He went to the semis, then we packed everything away including my bike, and he took me home. I never did get his name, nor did he ask me mine. I got my ass reamed royally when I got home, but it didn't faze me one whit. 

From that day forward, I spent every free moment at the track, still do. Lying there in my bed before dropping off to sleep, I heaved a contented sigh through nitro-singed nostrils, and realized that I had not been running away FROM home at all ...I had been running TO home. The place I call home to this day ... the drag strip! Thanx mister, whoever you are ...

David Ross


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