Before I say anything, watch the video.
Once we all quit giggling at this doofus’ blunder, let’s think about what just happened. A first time drag racer lined up at the start of his first race in his new supercar. When his more experienced competitor began heating the tires of his heavily modified sub-compact, our newbie misunderstood and launched the car down the track.
In road racing, it is pretty much universal that no driver goes on the track without some sort of schooling. I’m assuming the oval track folks have a similar procedure, though maybe not as the speeds on most short tracks is negligible in most cars. The reason for this training is to ensure that there is as little potential for injury as possible. Not only is the safety of the driver being protected, but so is that of the course workers.
From what I understand, most drag strips allow people to show up and run down the strip. That’s obviously the case with this schmo, as he had no clue what would happen when he got to the line.
He’s driving a vehicle capable of reaching 60 mph from a standing start in 3.4 seconds, does the 1/4 in the mid 11’s and 120 mph*. Most strips require a helmet and harnesses for cars capable of sub 12 second runs, and yet someone let this guy out on the strip when he didn’t know what to expect! Was he wearing a helmet? Who knows, the tint was too dark to tell.
I hope there were no track workers sweeping somewhere on the track, as they would have had the stuffing scared out of them at least.
The point I’m making here is that it doesn’t matter what the venue is, drivers should not be allowed into a competitive environment unless they have been taught at least the very basics of the sport. I’ve never even been to a real drag race, yet I have a pretty good idea of the starting process thanks to a modern invention called television. If this dude had kicked the bucket, or worse killed a worker, the track owners would be in deep, deep doo!
*note: I mention these numbers as this is what the car is reportedly capable of. No, I don’t think our subject would likely attain those numbers, but that is beside the point.