NHRA Drag Race Showcases Local Drivers st Beech Bend

By Melissa Warren | 

Today's races didn't draw the big crowds or publicity like some do at Beech Bend, but they're a chance for anyone who loves drag racing to compete.

"There's probably a hundred to a hundred-fifty cars out here today, and the competition is still pretty stiff even on a local Sunday out here," said Track Manager Brock Porter.

All types of cars and ages of drivers competed in a sport where everything can depend on a thousandth of a second.

"There's no limit to the type of cars. Every kind of car imaginable will be at some event at some point in time," said Beech Bend Raceway President Dallas Jones.

For many like Porter and Jones, working in drag racing is a family affair.

"We've grown up around this all our life and it's part of life," said Porter.

It's also in the blood of many of the drivers.

"From the day I was born, I've been going to the race track. My mom and dad both raced and when I turned 16, I started racing and driving myself," said driver Clayton Clark.

Clark is like many drivers in that respect but there's another thing that separates him from the pack.

"I had and accident on the interstate and it was a situation where I had a C-6, C-7 spinal cord injury, and I've been extremely lucky to be able to do what I want to do. I still get to do what I love," said Clark.

Clark didn't let his accident stop him and kept racing through his recovery. He says he'd tell the younger racers it's because it's what he loves.

"Have fun with it. You want to win, but it's not always about winning. It's about having fun too," said Clark.

Clark spends almost every weekend from March to November racing. Jones says next weekend's races should draw crowds as they host the Tenn-Tuck Big Bucks Race.

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