Drag racing looks like America. No other motor sport has been so ready to welcome people of all shapes and sizes into its ranks. From its beginnings in southern California, over 60 years ago, drag racing and drag racers have been more interested in how fast a car runs than in the size of the driver’s wallet or the color of his or her skin. Women and members of racial and ethnic minorities have been a part of the sport for so long that people on the inside take it for granted. It’s only when an outsider points this out that drag racers stop to notice.
This selection of photos from my long-term project, Democracy of Speed, were all made at Eastside Speedway, in Waynesboro, Virginia. I’m grateful to the many friends that I’ve made there for inviting me into their world.
All photos copyright John Edwin Mason, 2002-2009