Volume II, Issue 1, Page 21


1/15/2007

I’ve driven dragsters with 800 horsepower. I’ve ridden 220-pound motorcycles with 70-plus ponies. I’ve skied behind 1000-horse boats. And once I even got a traffic ticket for popping a wheelie in my ’66 Chevelle. But never-- I repeat -- never, have I had so much respect for a vehicle than when I climbed into the cockpit of a 1200-pound sprint car powered by a near 700-horse alcohol-injected small-block and proceeded to try and make it go around a fifth-mile dirt track without piling it into the concrete retaining wall.

For this latest go-fast venture I trekked to the oval tack at Ventura (Calif.) Fairgrounds to take part in Cory Kruseman’s popular Sprint Car School. Teaching the beginner’s course is Cory Kruseman, one of the West Coast’s most competitive sprint car racers and a devout believer in having fun while being safe. It was safe to say he had his hands full with me. Having a preconceived idea of what power is all about isn’t the best attitude to take into this course. No sir, because your idealistic notion that you know what to expect will be shattered the first time you nail (or attempt to nail) the loud pedal. Not only are these cars scary fast, but the driving and controlling of these dirty beasts is unlike anything a street (or drag racing) enthusiast has ever encountered.

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