Recently, the Vehicle Virgins YouTube channel posted a video complaining about getting kicked off the drag strip. Not because he did anything wrong. Because his Tesla Model S is simply too fast. Ridiculous!
How could those jerks at the race track possibly be so mean to him? Is it because they’re a bunch of haters and shorts who refuse to admit that Teslas are superior to internal combustion cars in every way? Probably so. I bet they also want the planet to burn.
Wait, actually, it’s because rules are rules, and they exist for the safety of everyone at the track. As the InsideEVs article on the video points out:
The Sonoma Raceway, apparently, has some strict rules for cars doing 1/4 mile runs under 9.99 seconds: “Drivers of vehicles running 9.99 or quicker or 135 mph must have a valid NHRA competition license, and the vehicle must conform to the general regulations of the NHRA (National Hot Rod Association),” the rule slip stated. A fire suit and helmet were also required for cars as fast as the Plaid.
To literally anyone still capable of even the most basic critical thinking, there shouldn’t be an issue here. Mistakes happen on the race track, and even when safety rules are followed, wrecks can still lead to people getting injured or even killed.
And those risks exist whether you’re driving a modified Mustang or a stock Model S Plaid. If you’re going fast and hit a wall, the laws of physics don’t care what kind of powertrain your car has. That’s just how reality works.
The video itself doesn’t really matter, especially because I’m almost certain he showed up at the track knowing he’d get kicked out. Controversy gets clicks. What does matter is that InsideEVs took the (probable) bait and published the dumpster fire of an article linked above, which ends with this sentence:
It’s time for the racing world to realize that electric cars, especially Teslas, are way ahead in performance compared to the internal combustion engine (ICE) cars, and (perhaps) it’s time to rewrite the rules.
What? No. Never. That would be a terrible idea. Why would anyone ever suggest that?
It’s not like the rest of the article was solid, and I’m trying to pull a bait-and-switch by jumping all over a single sentence, either. Earlier in the article, the author said:
A parachute installation is required by some dragstrips for cars that perform a quarter mile under 10 seconds at 150 mph trap speed due to the fact that simple braking wouldn’t be enough to stop the car alone. However, by mid-2022, Tesla is introducing the Model S Plaid Carbon Ceramic Brake Kit for a price of $20,000 (yes — twenty thousand dollars).
Yes, the Vehicle Virgin should definitely have been allowed to break the rules this time because, at some point in the future, Tesla will offer better brakes for the Model S Plaid. Excellent logic and reasoning.
It’s not like the NHRA put these rules in place because it’s afraid of EVs and is discriminating against Teslas, either. When Dodge released the Challenger SRT Demon, owners had to follow the exact same set of rules if they wanted to drag race their car. Why? Because it’s dangerous to crash at high speeds, and the NHRA doesn’t want people to die.
The next question, of course, is how did this article even get published? It reads like it was written by a 13-year-old Tesla fanatic who just started a WordPress blog. But no, it’s on an actual website that other people actually read. Wait, never mind. There’s a disclaimer:
This article comes to us courtesy of EVANNEX, which makes and sells aftermarket Tesla accessories. The opinions expressed therein are not necessarily our own at InsideEVs, nor have we been paid by EVANNEX to publish these articles. We find the company’s perspective as an aftermarket supplier of Tesla accessories interesting and are happy to share its content free of charge. Enjoy!
Oh, OK then. Except the Tesla accessories company didn’t actually write the blog it was allowed to crosspost to InsideEVs. The original original article comes from a fan site called Tesla Oracle, which is both confusing and also makes a lot of sense.
If you’ve spent any time on Twitter, you already know Tesla fanatics will make any argument and move any goalpost to defend their beloved automaker. Logic, facts, and reasoning be damned. Of course, someone like that is going to think Tesla owners deserve special treatment. They’re wrong, but it does make sense.
I don’t know how to say this any more clearly. You don’t get to ignore NHRA safety rules because Teslas are electric and awesome. Either follow the rules, drive more slowly, or get off the track.