For some idea of what it's like to drive a Top Fuel dragster, take that experience and multiply by 10. My learner car was a 700-plus-horsepower McKinney Super Comp gas dragster from the Frank Hawley Drag Racing School in Gainesville, Florida-plenty fast, with more than Nascar-level horsepower. But it was a go-kart compared with the 6,000-plus horsepower, nitro-fueled dragsters raced by the pros. In the quarter-mile, a Top Fuel "rail" dragster has reached 332.18 mph (the record, set in 2001 by Kenny Bernstein), covering the distance in 4.477 seconds. Moving that fast requires a shotgun marriage of brute power and precarious, finicky mechanical engineering, performed over one of the briefest timed events in competitive sport. Downforce, G-force, parasitic drag, and assorted other manifestations of the violence of this sport must be overcome. A rail's purposely flexible chromaloy frame is designed to bow upward in the middle like a saw on the track, as carbon fiber and magnesium wings push the front and rear of the car down. The super-soft dragster tires, inflated to just 6 psi, wrinkle elastically at launch, slingshot forward, then, disfigured by centrifugal force, balloon zanily in the heat of the run.