What does one do with a rare weekend off from the high pressure world of NASCAR Sprint Cup racing? Some go to a tropical clime while others go skiing. Some just lay around the house for a change. But a few go racing.
This past weekend was one of those ?off? weekends for all three of NASCAR?s top series and most everybody from the star drivers to the mechanics and yes, even the media, took advantage. But a few still found a way to go racing.
Max Papis drove a late model stock car to a 20th place finish in the UARA-STARS 150 lap race at the historic old Hickory Motor Speedway in North Carolina.
Kurt Busch went drag racing. What? Drag racing? Yep. For the last two years Kurt and a couple of his buddies have been preparing a 1970 Dodge Challenger for competition in the NHRA Super Gas division.
The car started out as a $15,000 original that Kurt found on eBay and, as so often happens with projects like this, things just progressed from a simple restoration to a full blown drag race car. It now sports a late model turbocharged hemi engine and is capable of running on the class index of 9.90 seconds for the quarter mile.
All of this started when Kurt attended the Frank Hawley School of Drag Racing and culminated in his entry, along with a volunteer crew, in this weekend?s NHRA Gatornationals in Gainesville, Florida.
So how did he do? Well, he qualified but then lost in the first round when the engine bogged off the line and he only ran a 10.10 second elapsed time. For the record he was beaten by Wes Neely driving a 1967 Chevrolet Camaro.
The busy schedule of racing and sponsor commitments that are an integral part of the life of a big time NASCAR driver won?t enable Busch to make a regular appearance at too many more drag races. But you can be sure that if somebody mentions that a weekend off can be a real drag, Kurt Busch will definitely agree!
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