Life’s a real drag for these two brothers
Brothers can have all kinds of connections. Sometimes they like the same sports, school subjects, foods, etc. Dominic (10) and Jionni (8) Genardi, brothers and students at Berthoud El, agree that they like race cars. Dominic started racing last year, and his younger brother started this year. They each have their own race cars.
In their case, the cars are drag races. For the uninitiated, this is a sport or competition in which specially built or modified cars race over a short distance as a test of acceleration. Usually, they go two at a time, to be first to cross a set finish line.
Those that are familiar with this type of racing think of a quarter-mile race with cars that are called “rail-jobs.” A rail-job typically has wide racing slicks for back tires and skinny tires up front. The car is long and slender with a pointed front end.
The junior version of the rail-job, used by the Berthoud brothers is 14 and one-half feet long. This compares to 18 or 19 overall length for full-size rail jobs.
The race follows a short, straight course from a standing start, but unlike the adult racers, they their racing distance is 1/8 of a mile. The Genardis’ race others in their age group, reaching 50+ m.p.h.
The engine is ethanol fueled. The boys’ mother, Jennea Challman pointed out that safety is stressed in the sport. Racers wear full fire suits, helmets and utilize other safety gear. She also acknowledged and thanked the sponsors of the boys’ cars. This includes B Town Automotive, FFE Transportation and Denver Freight Express.
The brothers race mostly at Bandimere Speedway in Morrison, Colorado. They also race at other locations including three days in Las Vegas
The type of racing that is done is called bracket races. The race is more than just stepping on the accelerator when the light turns green. The cars are not clutch-driven, so the youngsters only have to focus on the accelerator, brake and steering in a straight line but there is more to bracket racing.
Before a race, each competitor does two runs or time trials. They note their times, how the car feels and the race day conditions. Then the racers have to do some thinking and calculating too. The race, in addition to speed, takes in how accurately the competitors come to a finish time that they predict before the race. This data, along with their reaction time and finish time determines the winner of each race. In many cases, races are won or lost by 1/1000 of a second.
Jionni said that to get better, one has to rack up a lot of “seat time.” According to Dominic, computer games designed to help their racing skills and reaction time also help them remain competitive.
Both boys said some of the subjects they are learning in school is helpful. Jionni said he finds math skills to be important. Dominic added that fractions come into play too.
The boys are learning about auto mechanics in general too. Even at 10-year-of age, Dominic fuels his own racer, helps change the oil and checks tire pressure.
When asked what they liked about drag racing, Dominic said, “going fast.” Jionni’s answer was “winning.” Since going fast is part of winning, it seems the brothers mostly agree with each other.
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