“Just look at this insanity: Camaros, Skylines, HiAces, RX-7s, Jimnys,” NoriYaro explains, showing the field at a drag racing event at Twin Motegi Ring. “Japan: it never doesn’t deliver.”
Japan really isn’t at the forefront of drag racing. Japan doesn’t even seem to be at the forefront of drag racing Japanese cars. America and more corner-deprived countries excel at going fast in a straight line, with more industry, parts and culture around the sport.
Look at this collection of drag cars running the 300 meters of Motegi’s straight and you’ll see lots of American cars with American speed parts.
But you’ll also see all kinds of oddball Japanese cars, from manual minivans to tiny Suzuki offroaders to a seriously modified Toyota Progrès, a car I had entirely forgotten existed.
We never got it int he United States, it’s like a Lexus IS but narrower and longer, better suited for elderly buyers. It’s kind of like a Japanese Buick, only it came with a legendary 3.0-liter 2JZ straight six (naturally aspirated) and rear-wheel drive from the factory. This particular one is turbocharged, with nitrous and stroked out to a more-than-healthy 3.4 liters.
This is all to say that the variety of cars there, and the enthusiasm to run absolutely anything is what makes the event so cool.