Who Invented Drag Racing?

Drag racing is deemed to be the most spectacular of all motor sports because both the drivers and spectators actually feel the rush of adrenaline as they anticipate who will be victorious in the event. Since it is a thriving sport in many countries including America, UK, and Europe, some people may have probably been curious to know who invented drag racing before it became a multi-million dollar sport in various countries.

A Little Known History of Drag Racing

Much speculation still surrounds the idea of the real creator of the drag racing sport. Many say that this particular motor sport has actually been practiced ever since the second automobile was created.

However, there are some who can be given credit for their own contributions to this sport.

One of them is Leslie Long. Long was considered to be among those early Southern California hot rodders who has a love for this sport. Long participated at the dry lakes matches before World War II. And still continued to be a regular in the racing matches after the war in Santa Ana (which was considered as the first commercial dragstrip in the world).

Another of the famous contributors to this sport is Wally Parks, the editor of the Hot Rod magazine, who was said to be the person who invented drag racing. Parks had written an article in the April issue of the magazine in 1950 about “controlled drag races” which may act as a particular alternative to the more common lakes racing during that time.

After a year, together with trusted associates, Parks invented this motor sport virtually. They were able to organize the NHRA (the National Hot Rod Association), made the procedures for the sport, and established the required standards that are still being practiced and followed up to now.

Racing Matches Held Years Ago

A year before the article by Parks came out, particularly during the spring season in 1949, a number of rodders were said to have flocked to Goleta, California to join the match. The race there was called by many as the first official drag race.

Attempts and Pleas to Continue the Racing Matches

After some time, another drag race was held at a blimp base by the SCTA (Southern California Timing Association, an association for various clubs which organized racing matches by the lakes). It was Leslie who knew that another fellow racer and a manufacturer of speed equipment, Chuck Potvin, was unsuccessful in the attempts to make drag racing matches continue. Potvin’s conversations with the SCTA were futile because SCTA said that no one is actually interested in the sport.

In the year 1950, there was another attempt made. This time it was to garner permission for organizing the sport and use the airport known as the Orange County airport in the Santa Ana area. The ones who asked city officials for permission included CJ Hart, Frank Stillwell, and Creighton Hunter.

In the 2nd day of the month of July of that same year, the racing matches in Santa Ana officially began.

A lot has happened since then.

Thanks to the invention of Parks, the person who invented drag racing – albeit virtually in nature – and the contributions of Long and other contributors throughout history, this thrilling sport is now officially being practiced by many countries around the globe.

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