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Avoidable Contact #79: Hunting for supercars at the Dragon, in the “Marysville Meteor”

“Talk not to me of blasphemy, man; I’d strike the sun if it insulted me. For could the sun do that, then could I do the other; since there is ever a sort of fair play herein, jealousy presiding over all creations.”

 

I was 14 years old when I read Ahab’s famous quote for the first time, and although I was separated from Herman Melville by over a century’s worth of time and such inventions as the Texas Instruments TI-99/4a Home Computer, let me tell you: I knew exactly what he meant. At the time I was busy trying to strike the sun myself, scrubbing dishes at a pizza place every Friday night so I could pay a $6 Saturday-morning entry fee and race a battered $169 bicycle against all the rich kids and the handsome kids and the effortlessly athletic kids at a BMX track outside Columbus, Ohio.

 

In the 34 years since I’ve made a habit of tilting at windmills, whether that meant competing heads-up against IBM for tech contracts as a small businessman or racing Pirelli World Challenge using an open-deck trailer and volunteer labor. The more you stack the deck against me, the better. So when my boss, the handsome and well-regarded Larry Webster, told me that he was going on a “supercar trip” to Route 129, the infamous Ass Of The Lizard Tail Of The Dragon, I knew immediately that:

 

a) I would go;
b) I would bring a Honda Accord.

 

Read the full column on Hagerty.com:

https://www.hagerty.com/media/opinion/avoidable-contact-79-hunting-for-supercars-at-the-dragon-in-th...

 

Replies (11)

Replies (11)

And THIS is why I am here!

 

Thanks Jack.

Intermediate Driver

Jack, 

Great recap/story! I've been at the tail many times (just 2 weeks ago on my motorcycle). It is funny, a group of us have been going there since the mid 80's and now all the "twisty" roads around there have names, Back of the Dragon, Head of the Dragon, Moonshiner, etc. We are now looking for the meanest road around and plan on naming it, "the Ex-wife of the Dragon"...ha, ha. 

I actually met you years ago, my son Dominic raced BMX for a few years with Sweet Bros BMX (Brad Sweet)...Cheers, Sal 

Passenger

Love this so much!

Hagerty Employee

Great article.  Good cap to my Friday!  I've done the Dragon several times.  Two ends of the spectrum, once in a Challenger SRT8 and then in an NA Miata.  I have to admit that I preferred that NA on the Dragon.  I preferred the SRT8 on the drive to and from.  

Pit Crew

We've done the Dragon on many a road trip, and this put me right back in the action. Great story. You'll have to try it in a Sunbeam Tiger on stock skinny tires some day, that WILL keep you attention!

Hagerty Employee

Jack, Absolutely I remember the shopping cart ramp..."fail".... Dominic now has 4 kids and his 4 year old started riding BMX bikes this year, he hasn't raced yet..but the beat goes on!

Passenger

Always fun when David bests Goliath, good read and appreciate the "Ahab" quote

Pit Crew

I don’t mind a little Macca humiliation, but did it really out handle the GT, even in the wet? I recall reading your praise of the Evora’s chassis when the 400 came out.

Passenger

Great story and a testament how adding corners (and also water) can have a leveling effect. When I worked on the Viper program, there were many times I was stuck in a minivan chasing Vipers and I will tell you, Chrysler minivans hold there own. Do they corner as well as a Viper? No. Will the average person in a Viper be annoyed that you are on their back bumper? Sometimes. 

Pit Crew

Love this!

Navigator

Jack,

out of curiosity, was this some organized "track day", or you were just hoping that  sheriff was not in town?

 

Asking for a friend, of course :).

 

I remember an article by your boss, a long time ago, who was driving with some local guys. In a V8 Ferrari against RX7, and it didn't end well for Ferrari :). Locals "went to high school with deputies", so they've had a word when they can perform (responsible and reasonable) shenanigans.

New Driver