Southern National Drag Boat Races draw a big crowd

News 12 @ 11 o'clock / Saturday, July 19, 2014

(WRDW) --

It's the closest the Savannah River will ever be to a NASCAR track. This weekend is the Southern National Drag boat races, and hundreds have come to Augusta for the few seconds of deafening action.

Hotels are filled and things are little bit busier than usual. Folks traveled all over not only to enjoy this weekend's event, but everything the area has to offer. Engines are roaring and the crowds are dense, but Bryan Sanders wouldn't have it any other way. "I just ran 244 miles per hour in three and a half seconds," he said.

Sanders has been drag boat racing for ten years now, but this race, is always his favorite. "Everyone on the circuit is nice, but not like here," Sanders said.

Folks like David Myers agree. He drove in from Kennesaw to see the races today, but also to enjoy the town. "It's always a great city, a lot going on. We went downtown for the first time last night, it was a lot of fun," Myers said.

He's always loved boat racing, but especially the races here. "Gotta love the speed and the smell of the Nitro and it's just a lot of fun," he said.

Fun, fans like Brad Dorsey, have been coming back for year after year. "In 1986 i worked for the United States Drag Boat Racing Association and we hosted the first Augusta Southern National held in Augusta, " Dorsey said.

For him the races mean more than just speed. "It's reliving my past and it's really great," he said.

For racers and fans alike, it all goes by in the blink of an eye. "It's over in three and a half seconds, and then you breathe," Sanders said.

Fans are ready to get out there again tomorrow. Today was the qualifying races, but tomorrow are the elimination races. Gates open at 8:00 AM.

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