It was a run that was undoubtedly one of the best of a storied career.
So when Mickey Thompson Extreme 10.5 driver Billy Glidden went an incredible 3.862 at 192.63 miles per hour to set a huge career-best and win the Northeast Drags II presented by Penske at Maple Grove Raceway, a simple description simply wonâ€™t do.
Going into great detail on a run that many will remember for quite some time, Glidden explained the massive thrill of going on a holeshot run that was just good enough to slip past Chuck Ulsch and his 3.855 at 202.82 mph.
â€œThe thing with my car is I manually shift. Thereâ€™s no autoshift in it at all, so I drive by feel and sound,â€ said Glidden, who tied Ashley Owens for the all-time wins lead with 13. â€œI have to be very cautious in the first 60 feet with these tires to try to keep from upsetting the tire. Once you knock them off, they really donâ€™t recover.
â€œSo first gear is usually pretty standard on every run, but once I start shifting, like in 3000 feet of air, Iâ€™ll run fourth gear nearly to the finish line. Iâ€™ll put it in fifth gear and pull the chute out. On this particular run, I was in fifth gear in 3.48 seconds.
â€œSo, thatâ€™s enough difference that, yes, you really feel that. You just feel the car accelerating harder through the 60 through 400 feet.
â€œI can always hear the blower guys and I didnâ€™t see or hear Chuck until after I had left off, so it was a very nice run and a very exciting time to see the win light come on.â€
Howâ€™s that for detail?
As awesome as the run was, Gliddenâ€™s picture-perfect description made it even better on a second viewing.
So, did the run feel special to Glidden while he was rocketing down the right lane at the historic track?
â€œI donâ€™t really pay attention, but when I let the clutch out, I probably donâ€™t take a breath until sometime well into the shutdown,â€ Glidden said.
â€œThe car is just accelerating that hard and I think of those cartoons where it shows the person with their face flapping in the win, or with the dog with his eyes being blown open. It isnâ€™t really like that, but it is a fun way to explain it to someone.â€
It was apt for that run, which was one of the best side-by-side races in Extreme 10.5 history.
Glidden had an .028 reaction time to hold off Ulsch, who gained ground quickly during the back half of his own standout run.
â€œThat was awesome,â€ Glidden said. â€œGoing against Chuck, I knew I had to run well, and I had to do everything right. This was very satisfying and a very gratifying win for us.â€
It marked Gliddenâ€™s first win in 13 months, a frustrating notion for him after the potential he showed with a new combination late in 2011.
He ran a career-best (at the time) 3.882 at Dallas last October and entered 2012 with a wave of momentum. Glidden qualified No. 1 in Houston to kick off the year, but tire shake ended his day in the semifinals.
A race later, more bad luck ensued and Glidden improbably didnâ€™t qualify in Bristol.
His finicky new combination has been difficult to solve, but things came together in a major way at Maple Grove.
â€œThatâ€™s the biggest (win) weâ€™ve had in a year,â€ Glidden said. â€œIt was very satisfying. When you get stagnant and constant seeming like youâ€™re running uphill, we wondered if we could pull off another win.
â€œWeâ€™ve been working at it really diligently and it really wasnâ€™t paying dividends. Everything just came together for us really nice. It was very exciting to win a race and run so well. Weâ€™re still riding the high of that.â€
(Photos by ADRL/Richards)