Watch This Dragster Rip Off a Gasoline Tire Burnout
It’s exactly what you think it is. And it’s awesome.
When asked why he wanted to climb Mount Everest, George Mallory reportedly replied, “Because it’s there.” We’d like to imagine drag racing driver Dave Nelson had a similar rationale for pouring gasoline on his dragster’s tires and cooking off a fiery burnout.
Then again, Nelson—who competes for JDN Racing—may have also been motivated by his desire to win a GoPro award. Which, indeed, he did, scoring one of the coveted titles for the footage of his blazing burnout as captured by one of the company’s eponymous action cameras. We’d say it’s well-earned, considering the downward action of our jaws upon seeing the sight of the dragster blasting forward with tire ablaze. (Don’t worry, folks—Nelson said in the video’s comments that he was wearing a full fireproof suit, as were the surrounding fire marshals.)
Granted, we have our doubts about just how effective a method this is of heating up the traction surfaces ahead of a race. The fire doesn’t last long once the tires start spinning; not only does the thin coating of gasoline burn off quickly, but the action of rubbing the rubber against the asphalt is a pretty effective way of replicating the last third of “stop, drop, and roll.” On top of that, it seems like external combustion through the application of an accelerant would be a far less even way of heating up those donuts than the friction that arises from rapid rotation against asphalt.
But regardless of its efficiency, we still love watching it. C’mon: It’s a dragster with gasoline-covered tires doing a burnout...OF FIRE.