Learning about the sport of drag racing

This is about all the excitement Sunday spectators were able to see from the Warriorhawk, a jet engine car from Washington that is supposed to be able to go speeds in excess of 200 mph. Although the Sunday specatators did not have the opportunity to watch it run, Saturday the Warriorhawk made two runs.
Photo by Doreen Heintz

Doreen Heintz
Sports Editor

Sometimes it is difficult to write a story about a sport one has never watched before. That is how I feel about drag racing. Last Sunday was the first time I had ever went to the Lewistown Raceway to cover drag racing. I think the big draw for me to go was to see a jet car that was coming all the way from the state of Washington to cruise down the Lewistown drag strip at speeds in excess of 200 miles per hour.
I arrived at the Lewistown Raceway before noon on Sunday, giving up my time to watch my Seahawks playing on TV in order to see this so called “funny car.”
Upon my arrival, I was told where I should stand to get the best photos of the jet car starting down the raceway. I was also told that the car would make a lot of noise – too bad I forgot my ear muffs.
High noon came and the jet car was pulled on to the drag strip. In just a few moments, it would be time to watch it race down the track. The jet car fired up, and then just as quickly shut down. I got to hear a conversation between the driver and his mechanics that they could hear a knock in the car when it started to fire up.
The jet car was pulled off the track. The crew tried feverishly to figure out what the problem might be. A mechanic in Washington was even called for his advice.
Knowing it would be awhile before the actual races would start at 1 p.m., I decided to walk around and look at the different drag racing cars.
I stopped in front of three fairly interesting-looking cars and met Steve Huff. Now I have found a story.

Huff drives Harley motorcycles professionally
Huff comes from Seattle, Wash., and races motorcycles professionally for Harley Davidson. He also happens to be a nephew of Lewistown’s Paul Huff, although he said he does not know Paul well.
Huff no longer races motorcycles on the track, but is now racing Harleys at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah in an attempt to break land speed records.
“Right now I am attempting to set a world record of 270 mph on a motorcyle,” Huff said. “Currently the record is 262 mph.”
Huff has 11 national and world records in racing.
Huff recently built a race car that is powered with a Harley motorcycle engine.
Eighteen-year-old Sheyenne Carrel races Huff’s car. Huff works with Sheyenne in her racing. Sheyenne started racing four years ago in the junior class. The cars she used in the junior class are now driven by her younger brother and sister.
“I really like the adrenaline rush you get from drag racing,” said Sheyenne.
Earlier in the season, Sheyenne finished as runner-up in the pro class, but on Sunday she was eliminated in her first race.
Huff is really impressed with the Lewistown Raceway.
“There are no easy passes here,” he said. “There are as good of competitors as anywhere right here.”
Huff also enjoys the friendly people around Lewistown. He added that the drag racing here is as organized as any he has seen.
The drag racing got started, and after the first round of racing, the jet car made another appearance on the track. Some smoke came out the back end of the jet car this time, but for all of us who had waited until Sunday to watch the jet car race down the track we missed out. Luckily those who had came on Saturday for the races were able to see the jet car in action. There is a video of it on the Lewistown Raceway Facebook page.
I am not sure if this drag racing would ever get in my blood like it has for many people, but we are all different in the sports we love. 



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