Tribune-Courier features editor
An acceleration race measured over a liquid quarter mile straight away - also known as drag boat racing.
Kentucky Lake will hold their second summer drag boat race session this weekend at Pisgah Bay. Presented by the Kentucky Drag Boat Association (KDBA) and Lucas Oil Drag Boat Racing Series, racing tournaments are held throughout the summer at multiple locations in the midwest region.
“People come from all over to participate in the races,” said Rodger Austin, president of the KDBA. “We’ve had people come from northern Michigan and even Canada.”
Spectators enjoy the sport just as much as those competing. Whether they root for their favorite color boat, or follow the competitors from state to state, the bay tucked back in the north end of Land Between the Lakes fills up will lawn chairs, picnic baskets and racing fans.
Each boat is run by the horse power of an American-made V8 engine. As each class is called, eight to ten boats line up and wait for the race ahead to finish. Only two boats compete the quarter mile strip at a time, and most surpass speeds of 150 mph in just under five seconds. As the nitro methane Top Fuel machines vaporize the water, it looks like a mass of smoke trailing behind the boat.
You can witness the exhilarating event first hand this Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. until about 5 p.m. at Pisgah Bay. Around forty boats will compete in four different classes and $8,000 - $10,000 in prize money will be awarded. Time trials will be held on Saturday and final races will take place on Sunday. There is a spectator fee of $5 per person. Children under 12 are free.