Racing, A Way of Life

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By WSIL Sports

BENTON -- Racing at the dragstrip is more than just a hobby, It's a way of life. Dave Angelly and his family are just like hundreds of others who camp out at dragstrips across the country in the summer, racing for the love of the sport and the thrill of winning.

"You spend most of the week getting ready to go," he said. "Then you spend the weekend racing. Afterwards, you turn around and do it all again the next week."

Dave admits the lifestyle isn't for everyone. The Angelly's race almost every weekend from March through Thanksgiving, logging thousands of miles on the road. This year they've already traveled to four states.

"We don't hunt, we don't fish, we go to the race track," Angelly said. "We take the dog and make a weekend out of it. That's just our whole family hobby, that's what we do."

That's why Dave is teaching his 10-year old son Mitchell the sport. At I-57, they host junior dragster races, which give kids the chance to follow in their parents' footsteps.

"He grew up at the dragstrip with us so he already knew what was going on," Angelly added. "By the time he was old enough to race, he was ready."

Juniors can start racing when they turn eight years old. Their smaller dragsters can reach speeds up to 80 miles per hour. Mitchell has won nearly three-fourths of his races the last three years.

"I plan to drive straight and get a good light," Mitchell said.

"When he wins or does good, it's more fun than when I do," Dave remarked.

There's more to racing than just driving fast though. Mitchell is also in charge of taking care of his own car.

"I fuel my car," the fifth-grader said. "After each race I have to change my oil.

"I check my own tires, air them up."

Like father, like son. Racing is a way of life that the Angelly's say can't be beat.
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