After the oil and broken hardware is finally mopped and broomed off the drag strip, another pair of fuel cars march down the asphalt at terminal velocity and begin shooting out pieces of burning titanium through the exhaust, a spectacle reminiscent of roman candles at a fireworks display on Independence Day. The heat generated from the explosions is quite palpable and makes one feel warm and even patriotic, in a fuzzy, non-jingoistic sense. Is this the Spirit of America? As referenced by the moniker Breedlove assigned to his speed machines that debuted on the Salt Flats in the summer of 1962? Whatever it is, it is more than apparent by the repeated extravagant and Teutonic displays of noise and fire that it is our God-given right as Americans to burn up precious metals in a public display of sensory overload and fiduciary carelessness.

“It’s amazing the stress these Top Fuel guys are subjecting these aluminum engines to,” I say to Roy, damning the dangling modifier, “… the same engines that Chrysler built for their street machines back in ‘63 or ‘64.”

Another Top Fuel car goes by on fire, burning off its parachutes.

“Too bad they melt after four or five seconds of use,” Roy laughs.

“We live in a time and place of entropy, where you can blow very expensive shit up and laugh about it – as long as you keep it between the guardrails…”


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