Irwindale Drag Strip 2/13/2014

My car has been in the shop for what feels like forever. Really, it’s only been about three weeks, but it would have been about one week, if it weren’t for a UPS SNAFU. In case you didn’t know, SNAFU stands for “Situation Normal, All Fucked Up”

Well, anyway, I’ve been dying to drive something other than my little Toyota truck. I love my truck, but there’s something missing. Probably the other 4 cylinders.

In a moment of high-octane withdrawals, I called my cousin Cesar, and asked him to bring out his rotary. “I want to go to the races.” Here’s his little race car. It’s an old RX2 rotary powered monster.

“Oh yeah? You paying for gas?”

“Yeah”

Done. Most car guys are easy. Gas, or beer if they aren’t driving. I’m the same way. So we headed out to Irwindale Event Center, home to my local drag strip, the Irwindale Speedway.

I took some pics too. Here they are. 

I have to admit, I’m really biased when I take pics of cars. i only take pics of cars I like. If you check out the album, you’ll see this gaudy red steering wheel, covered in some pebbly red material. I knew right away it was skin, because dude driving it had on a ten gallon hat and a belt buckle as big as a pizza pan. This is the garb of choice for a So-Cal “Paisa”, and dude obviously had some cash.

I asked him, “De que es el Cuero? (What’s the skin made of?)”

And he said, “Mata-rayas!”

Sting Ray. This guys wrapped his steering wheel in sting ray skin. PETA would shit. He killed a damned sand shark so his steering wheel could look cool. It was pretty awesome. I don’t condone it, I wouldn’t do it myself, but there it was in front of me, and it was awesome. Only sad thing is, that as a Mexican fisherman, I know that we don’t east Sting Ray. At least most of us don’t. (They’re all bone!) I’ve had some prepared Guaymas style, and after I ate it, I knew why most of us refuse it. It was pretty damned gross. Even the parts that weren’t spiny.

So anyway, kudos to you, red Sting-Ray-leather-steering-wheel-guy. You obviously do whatever the hell you want, and I can respect that. I just feel bad for the Ray.

We stuck around, here’s one of my favorite clips from the night. This Mustang popped a wheelie so hard, I swear the earth stood still for a second. And a small block too! As a small block owner, I feel a special pride when they make this much power. It’s more know-how than big parts, and you HAVE to do it right.

After the races we hit the traditional King Taco in East los for a quick bite on the way home. Lots of racers showed up, some still looking at their time slips in disbelief, wondering where they could make up a second, or shave a few lbs off their car. I did hear an interesting rumour that Terminal Island would be opening back up, I really hope that happens. I grew up hearing stories about that place, and I know it’s where people like Dick Landy, Isky, Cepek, Thomspon, Edelbrock, etc. used to beat up the pavement. Here’s an interesting video I found. 

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