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the black art of the fire burnout

Generally speaking, unless it’s pouring from the pipes on a twilight blast to low e.t., fire anywhere near a drag race car is not a good thing. It usually means that a connecting rod is no longer connected, that your pristine engine block has a window of which even Pella could be proud, and that the essential slippery but equally combustible refined crude has found its way onto those cherry-red headers. Voila! Racecar flambé.

But there was a time — back in those wacky, free-love late 1960s and early 1970s — when not only was it desirable to surround your drag car with flames, but you did it on purpose. Yes, race fans, I’m talking about the black art of the fire burnout.

Two of the best-known practitioners of the fire burnout were drag racing legends “T.V. Tommy” Ivo and “Big Daddy” Don Garlits, both of whom have been credited – and have credited themselves – with inventing the self-immolation starting-line practice… read more >

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