While Dominic Toretto and the street racers of "The Fast and the Furious" live their lives a quarter-mile at a time, the drag racers at the annual Buckwild Truck and Tractor Classic are given just 250 feet to prove their worth.
The show — featuring drag races, tractor and truck pulls, a car and truck show, and more — is an annual fundraiser for the Carroll County Agriculture Center, and helps keep the facility maintained and running throughout a year of events and celebrations held on the grounds. According to committee member Jake Schaeffer, who helped organize the event, the show began slowly four years ago, but has grown exponentially every year since.
This year, he said, they expect to bring in close to $30,000 in registration fees and tickets to support the Ag Center. The two-day event began Friday evening with the tractor pull competition, while Saturday featured trucks competing in pulls, drag races, dynamometer competitions, as well as a truck show where each was judged based on design as well as ability.
In the morning, cars, trucks and other vehicles got to try out the dirt drag strip in the Shipley Arena in unstructured races. Here, class didn't matter, so pickup trucks went up against Mack Trucks, while work vans raced against utility task vehicles.
Prior to the start of the adult races, children took to the track in the Power Wheels races. These more environmentally friendly electric toy cars matched up everything from miniature tractors against Barbie Jeeps as children got their taste of a love of speed on the track.
After the kids had their chance, it was time for the adults to finally race for real, in two competitions; one paired street pickup trucks against each other while the other featured pickup trucks versus semi and dump trucks.
Travis Waddell, of Mount Airy, fixed up his street truck just in time to participate in the Buckwild drag races. He said this is his first time racing with the truck which he started working on seven months ago.
"I've been doing tweaks with the trans and the motor," Waddell said. "You've got to have them work together with this tuner and how much power we got coming through these tires."
Waddell said he's been interested in cars ever since he was young and saw his dad working on old Mustangs in the shop. He said his first car was a little Ranger, and he began toying around with that.
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While waiting for the drag strip to open, Waddell approached Don Brady, of Hanover, Pennsylvania, to see if he wanted to race. Brady was also taking a new vehicle out for the first time Saturday, washing it before the race to make sure it looked pristine while crossing the finish line. He said he's always dreamed of having a nice truck and being able to race it.
"I had a Chevy 1500 with a 9-inch lift on it that was my baby when I was 16," Brady said. "Then I figured, well, I'm a man now. I need a man's truck, so I got me a diesel truck."
Brady said the key to racing isn't what's under the hood, but who's behind the wheel.
"You've got to watch the tree to get your start right," Brady said. "Performance is what's going to get you down there, but it's timing that's key."