Survival of the Fastest
Seconds after the drop of the flag, stuff is definitely getting torn. While a select few drivers with boats on trailers fare well, those simply dragging boats at the end of a chain appear to be the crowd favorites. With an unpredictable whip in every corner, they increase the potential carnage tenfold. By lap two, a pair of cars spin into the corner, and their slingshotted boats lose parts piecemeal as cars bash their way past. Other debris begins to appear out of nowhere, the result of fiberglass being dragged over pavement in a losing battle with friction. Sparks are flying from the boatless Elvis Mobile, which in addition to its boat has now lost its back passenger-side tire and is grinding its way around the track on the rims. And then there’s the endless assault of dust, grit, shredded rubber and who-knows-what-else flying through the air.
“It’s best not to think about what it is,” deadpans Naomi, “especially after they just dragged that port-a-potty around the track.”
It would be absolutely comical if not for the peril the drivers face. Hitting upwards of 50 mph on the straightaway, each car barrels into the corner with tires squealing and boats jackknifing. Near the halfway point a Mustang towing that vintage Jet Ski hull spins a 180 right in front of me and slams into the concrete wall. My initial laughter turns nervous as I notice the driver’s head come out of the window and smack against the unforgiving concrete. The red flag comes out, but it takes a while to get the other racers’ attention. Meanwhile the unconscious driver dangles as cars scream past within inches.
Once he comes to and is escorted to a waiting ambulance, the race picks up where it left off, the crowd stoked for more destruction. And though it would seem you’d want to finish first, it’s apparent that — in the twisted world that is Crash-a-Rama — winning isn’t everything.
“You lose your boat, and you’re off the track,” Naomi says. “But it’s more fun to stay out there and run over all the boats.”
God help me leaving the parking lot.