Start Your Engines!
The green flag waves, and you’re off! Smoke from squealing tires fills your nostrils as your big-block Chevy engine roars, and within seconds you’ve reached blue-lipped speeds of over 130 mph (209kmph). This experience was once limited to experienced racers like Mario Andretti and Doug Foley, but the thrill of drag racing can now be enjoyed by anyone—even teenagers—at Doug Foley’s Drag Racing School.
The schools, which started in 1997 in Atco, New Jersey, are now located throughout the U.S. There are a range of courses available to speedsters, including half-day Dragster Experience, 2-day Super Comp, and—for those who’d rather leave the driving to others—a Dragster Ride-Along in a specially built two-seat dragster. No granny-mobile, the two-seater still packs 800 horsepower and a couple of g-forces. And if your need for speed is unquenchable, the schools also offer a competition license for students who have completed the three-run Dragster Experience. After time trials, racers compete in three rounds of elimination racing to determine who will win the championship and the winner’s commemorative plaque (champagne not included). Prices vary per course, ranging from about $150 for a ride-along to a couple thousand dollars for multi-day courses.
There are advanced driver training programs available, but most courses assume that all attendees are drag racing novices. With safe driving in mind, courses begin with a complete safety and procedural orientation taught by Doug Foley himself, and each driver is issued state-of-the-art safety equipment. The Junior Dragster Racing School is a 2-day course that involves both students and their parents; racers go through exhaustive training and prep work before taking a dragster out onto the track.
For corporate and personal gifts, client entertaining, employee incentives, and private parties, Doug Foley’s Drag Racing School can provide an unforgettable event (did someone say bachelor party?). Perks can include full catered food and beverage set-ups, track-side photography, custom-made video, T-shirts, and custom company branding campaigns that include banner placement, promotional literature—and a lifetime of memories. —ML
Doug Foley’s Drag Racing School ( 866/DRAGSTER  or 856/753-8000; www.dougfoley.com).
When to Go: Courses are scheduled throughout the year nationwide; check the website for details and schedule.