I can’t get enough of the noise of an H-pattern-shifted drag car. I don’t care if it’s a Mitsubishi EVO tuned to kill or a nasty LS-powered Camaro, a Sox and Martin Plymouth or whatever else will show up. If it’s on the strip and someone is willing to bang through the gears like there’s tens of thousands on the line and there’s no tomorrow, I will be right there paying attention. There’s lots of reasons to enjoy stick shift-class racing…driver skill becomes a bigger part of the picture, there’s more mechanical violence involved, and when it’s done right you can’t beat the spectacle. Automatic racers will argue until the end about it, but the truth is that if you can bang off four or five shifts after a solid launch off of the line, you’re doing just fine.
I’ve only run a stick car at a dragstrip once. The combination was not ideal and the driver’s lack of skill was on full display. I stalled my 360-powered Dodge Diplomat out twice then, out of frustration, clutch-dumped and spun at least a third of the track. I will not be racing my Cruze anytime soon, but watching these cars racing at Street Car Takeover Charlotte has me salivating for another round or two with a V8-powered row-your-own machine badly.