Drag race fans go to the track to see the cars, collect some autographs and feel the thunder of massive horsepower. But few would ever expect to go up against a National Hot Rod Association legend.
Michael Griffith of Fritch, Texas, got to live that dream. At Bandimere Speedway outside Denver, Colo., in July, Mopar launched the Mopar Drag N Brag game for iPad® and iPhone®, as part of the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals.
Of the thousands of fans who played Drag N Brag, Griffith posted the fastest time down the virtual drag strip – 4.178 seconds on the quarter-mile driving Matt Hagan’s Funny Car — and won the chance to take on “Wild Thing” Scelzi at Bandimere.
After giving him some time to recover, we asked Griffith a few questions:
Why did you come all the way from Texas, with your wife and friends, to attend the Mopar Mile-High Nationals?
This was the first time I have been to the Bandimere Speedway but my friends have been there a couple of times. What is better than racing with the mountains in the background, serious horsepower ripping down the track, and the echo of the exhaust trembling down the valleys of Denver! It was way worth the drive!
When did you become a fan of drag racing?
I started enjoying drag racing in general around 12 or 13 years old when I received my first dirt bike. Then it grew to drag racing four wheelers, side by sides, sand cars, weekend warriors at the strip, and all the way up to the Top Fuel cars now.
What made you want to play Mopar Drag N Brag?
Actually I downloaded the game on the drive from Texas and played all the way up. The graphics, sounds and realness of the game are astonishing, and the ability to upgrade each car was a nice touch. Still play every day trying to beat my time!
How did you feel knowing you were going to do a live race against Mopar legend Gary Scelzi?
I was on cloud nine. The day of the race I woke up with the competitive butterflies in my stomach and couldn’t even eat until the race was over because I was so excited!
What was your race strategy?
I was super nervous while getting into the Dodge Challenger, but as soon as I buckled up I got tunnel vision and my focus was set on high. All I could see was the lights on the tree. My mind was constantly timing the lights from pre-staging to the green in slow motion. All I could do when the stage light illuminated, to ease on the throttle and line stall the challenger and wait for the yellow lights. Once I calculated the time between the lights I released the brake and put the throttle to the floor and never looked back till I crossed the finish line.
How did it feel beating the “Wild Thing?”
I couldn’t believe it when I looked to the other lane after crossing the finish line and saw that I was leading. I gave it my all. I was truly honored to race against Gary.
Download the game here and tell us in the comments if you beat Michael’s time!