There are a lot of people in drag racing like Ed Hundley. They enjoy racing every week, taking their street-legal cars as fast as they can go in a quarter-mile.
Hundley has been racing for nearly 30 years. This year, the 51-year-old did what he and millions of other Americans always have wanted to do. He purchased a new Chevrolet Corvette.
"It is something I always wanted, but I thought I couldn't afford it," said the Westminster native. "It was kind of a spur-of-the-moment-type thing. I traded my 1995 Chevrolet Z-28 in on it.
"The first thing I wanted to do after I brought it was to get right home and get to the track. I didn't know what it would do. I wasn't sure what to expect. But I wanted to find out.
"The first run was 13.72 seconds for 102 mph in a quarter-mile. Almost two tenths of a second faster than my Camaro. When I finished the first run I said to myself, 'Wow, this was great.' I never started out that fast in a car that I just brought home."
The new car will go faster and you can bet that Hundley will be working on it each week. Like the majority of drag racing enthusiasts, Hundley enjoys the challenge of going as fast as he can and yet keeping the car street-legal.
"I like cars," said Hundley. "Instead of fooling around, I always try and get the best I can get. I have never raced with a tow car; it has always been street-able. I enjoy taking the best you can buy and seeing what you can do to it and still use it for normal transportation.
"It's a lot of fun competing against other cars. You learn a lot about your car. Basically, it's learning the tricks and good timing. It makes you feel real good when you can make your car go faster."
While Hundley always enjoyed drag racing, he really didn't become serious until they started bracket racing. "It made drag racing much more interesting with all the cars competitive," he said. "Everybody knew they had a chance, whether he had a 10-second or a 15-second car."
In bracket racing, drivers leave the starting line at different times with the fastest car leaving last. In a perfect situation, the fastest car, despite leaving the line later, will catch the slower car at the end of a quarter-mile and both cars will cross the finish line in a dead heat. But reaction times and how well a driver can predict the consistency of his car are important variables in determining the winner.
Hundley believes it is easier for the slower car to win in bracket racing, yet he prefers to give cars a head start.
So far, the Corvette has been everything to Hundley. "It is faster than I expected and easier to make even faster than the other cars I've owned," said the man who has been racing since 1968.
"I have always liked speed, always been competitive, so drag racing was a logical step for me. Some years I have been more serious than others. Whether I have been racing weekly or monthly, I have always been interested in racing.
"When I am not racing, I spend a lot of my spare time trapshooting with my wife, Linda. But racing is my first love."
Pub Date: 6/16/96