ALBUQUERQUE, NM – Every week, racers come to Albuquerque Dragway to try and improve their love of racing and to get ahead of their competition.
Drivers often sport muscle car outfits – Camaros, Challengers, Mustangs – but their time and money is just something under the hood.
On a quarter-mile drag where they see if they’re all paid, go-to.
After each race – or pass – drivers are given a ticket that shows how fast they drove down the track, how long they took and what data they’re using to improve. their work.
After 20 years of racing, Dan Giuliano, or Dr. Dan, knows all about it.
“You have to pay attention to every detail because one little thing, one little thing, you don’t do right can come back to bite you,” Dr. Dan said.
On Saturday, Dr. Dan raced alongside a few guys who were living their dream of driving for the first time.
“It’s very exciting for me, because I can always see my son racing his race car,” said Juan Morales, a first-time racer.
According to officials, like longtime broadcaster Gene Grant, this is Albuquerque’s only professional art fair.
“Anyone can come. No matter what kind of car you have, you don’t have to have a tow truck to do it,” Gene said.
Gene has announced races at Albuquerque Dragway for several decades now. He says the track was built in the 1960s and began operating in 1963 after several high-speed accidents on Albuquerque’s roads.
“You need a drag strip to beat the street racing problem,” Gene said. “If there’s no other way, your community will suffer from street racing.”
Unfortunately, that tragedy still exists today.
Recent speed enforcement has recorded some drivers going over 100 mph in Montgomery and Gibson.
“We don’t want cars going over 150 mph in Montgomery. It doesn’t work for anyone. The innocent, they should stay out. That’s why we’re here to provide that outlet, we don’t like the city streets,” said Gene.
The Albuquerque Police Department and the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Department conducted operations to reduce illegal street racing in the city.
According to Gene, the Dragway has worked hard to reduce that.
“We’re trying to reach out and provide programs for them, one of them is the Night Market. We’re doing three times this season, which means we’ll be open at midnight here. get the fans out,” Gene said. You know, when you’re young, you wake up in the middle of the night, it might lead you somewhere.”
No matter who’s behind the wheel, Gene says you won’t find winners or losers at the drag strip.
“It’s hard to win second place, you don’t see a lot of drag racing, there’s no one really good. There’s a lot you can win or lose,” Gene explained.
That close competition brings people back to the starting line every year – and it’s not just the tough cars that make it to the races.
Motorcycles, Jeeps and many other vehicles come to the valley. When you can check the speed, you can compete, and the same applies to electric vehicles.
“The electric thing is coming, we’re going to see a lot of electric cars here, we have electric motorcycles. These Harley Davidson electric bikes come here and they work well. A lot of Teslas come out. I’ve been in a Tesla once and we hit 150 mph twice in a row with one of the best racers ever to come out here. It’s also exciting for me,” said Gene.
The top racers will end the year with the annual “King of the Track” competition, scheduled for November 13 at 9 a.m. this year, to see who is the fastest.