Toyota Speedway at Irwindale

Best Cop-Approved Drag Racing, August 2008

A Honda Accord isn’t supposed to smoke a Corvette in a drag race, but at the Toyota Speedway at Irwindale, that kind of thing happens all the time on the eighth-mile drag strip. Anyone with a license, $20, and a street-legal car or motorcycle can race. The five-year-old program started as an alternative to illegal street competitions and is now a weekly spectacle, with hundreds racing every Thursday and just as many fans on the sidelines watching. The events, which are staffed with fire and medical crews, cost $10 to attend. Don’t forget earplugs: Careering street cars can sound as loud as landing jets. Canlike headphones are good for techs on the strip, but it’s hard not looking like a kook wearing them behind the guard wall. Racegoers will attract no stares using foam versions. North Noise Husher Earplugs are the ones to get; they have an antimicrobial component and reduce more noise than softer options.