You have to admit that the idea of drag-racing is pretty kooky. Why would you pay good money to go to a quarter-mile track when you can accomplish the same thing for free every time you see a traffic light turn green?
It's the time slip, silly -- the written proof that you've made your already-fast car even faster. Most men (and more than a few women) have a biological need for this activity. The act of modifying a car excites a puerile part of the brain known as the testicle cortex, or T Cortex for short. This structure controls our primal urge to tinker with-and occasionally blow up-our favorite toys.
The problem with drag-racing is that the faster you make your car, the shorter the fun lasts. Eleven seconds of yee-haw makes for a pretty lousy evening -- just ask your first girlfriend. The solution is to make the whole thing bigger. (The drag strip, that is.)
The Texas Mile's track is four times the length of most drag strips, so logic dictates that it must be four times as stimulating to the T Cortex. According to both Newtonian physics and Murphian logic, the additional length results in a sixteen-fold increase in the likelihood of missed shifts, mechanical malaise, and, of course, the single most compelling reason to watch any motorized sporting event, at least according to George Carlin: the potential for graphic carnage. Especially for those who modify their cars to the point of meltdown.
Our original plan was to show up at the Texas Mile in something slow and nondescript, stay out of harm's way, and watch a bunch of rednecks do sick burnouts and blow stuff up. But then, troublemaking technical editor Don Sherman hatched the (both patriotic and T Cortex-fueled) plan to see if he could beat a Ferrari 458 Italia with an all-American Chevy Corvette ZR1 deep in the heart of Texas.
So here I am, behind the wheel of a 562-hp Maranello missile, staring nauseously at the mile and a half of pavement stretched out in front of me. I'm about to exhale my breakfast burrito at the thought of driving down this runway 35 mph faster than my United Express regional jet was flying when it touched down in San Antonio.