Slam! The door shuts and the stroked 416 roars to life as I turn the key and ignite the power plant under the hood. The butterflies in my stomach begin to flutter as if the rumble of the motor has stirred them up. I just do not feel confident this time. As I pull the ’73 Duster up to the burnout box I start to second guess whether I should lay a long burnout like I did before this morning’s pass or shorten it because of the change in track temperature. I decided to warm them up good anyway, hoping that the slicks will hook up at the line. In the opposing right lane, an early 70’s Nova pulls up to stage first as I inch forward to my staging line right behind him. I have to be ready for a quick light because of staging second. I don’t know how many times I have practiced the lights on those computer program Christmas trees or not to mention the countless passes I have had with this classic A-Body and I still do not have the lights down to a science. One would think that after all this time I would be racking up the “hole shots”. But, no it doesn’t work that way. I can still rack up a few red lights though, that is never a problem. Ok, now is the time to concentrate. I have to get into that “zone”. I tell myself that I will not get a red light this time, but I refuse to play it safe either. With my left foot releasing the clutch and my right foot buried in the floorboard, the power house 416 gets its fix of high octane fuel and does not disappoint. The heavy rear axle jolts in response while the sticky Hoosiers start to ripple as they try to catch up with the rest of the car. There is no question whether the old Mopar “hooked up” this time. This moment is what drag racing is all about. When you get that feeling like you are no longer just a driver and more like a working component of the car’s structure is truly special. I just hold on and drive as the bright yellow Plymouth rockets down the quarter mile strip in a blur of horsepower and smoke. For a few violent seconds, while the keys, that were once hanging from the ignition and are now suspended in the air, I begin to feel that familiar overdose of adrenaline and welcome it as usual. All that I have to do now is react to the rpm gauge and pull those Lenco levers. Every lever pull delivers a defining report of new acceleration. That Nova did come to life towards the end of the race, but it didn’t matter because I still got him at the line. Usually, that’s all you need to send him to his trailer. Although, I couldn’t match the 10.53 time I had this morning, a 10.60 isn’t too bad either when it says 10.61 on your window.