Carolina Dragway going strong after 50 years

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

JACKSON, S.C. -- Most of the time we focus on NASCAR, as the sport continues to be nearly as popular as ever. But did you realize the CSRA has a deep history in drag racing? Carolina Dragway is going as strong as ever and fast as ever.

It's the need for speed.

"If you turn left you're not going fast enough is the way I look at it," said Jeff Miles.

It's also one-on-one racing.

"Instead of like NASCAR, you have 500 laps and 42 other people, it's you and the guy in the other lane, one's coming back the other is going home," said Bo Sutton.

Since 1957, Carolina Dragway, a.k.a. the House of Hook, has been going strong with pedal to the medal quarter mile excitement.

"You get an 8, a 9, a 10-year-old kid, all the way up to a 75-year-old man or woman for that matter that just loves the sport of racing and the adrenaline rush."

Wait, did he say kids? Yup, it's the junior dragsters, and they cover the quarter mile at near 80 miles an hour. It can freak a parent out. Just ask Jason Bilton of Orangeburg, who has a 12-year-old daughter racing.

"Absolutely, because the first time you ever go down, the car is so small you can't get in it and make a pass, so you're kind of putting them in it blind," said Jason Bilton.

"Well, my dad's dad done it, then my dad did it, so I just wanted to do it too," added Hannah Bilton.

Her focus though, just like the rest when they get to the line.

"When they stage, I focus, I concentrate, and when they go it, I go in and I'm just ready," added Hannah.

"I just try to relax, take some deep breaths, focus, put everything else out of your mind. One little distraction will throw your whole game off," added Sutton.

When a race is decided by hundreds and thousands of a second, the little things do add up.

Like any motor sports, drag racing isn't cheap. But for the junior dragsters, they can get into for a couple of thousand, as far as the bigger, faster cars, the sky is the limit.


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