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Larsen Motorsports intern talks price of running jet dragster

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Photo Courtesy: Bernhard  Beck - blog.lostentry.org
Photo Courtesy: Bernhard Beck – blog.lostentry.org

The difference between premium gas and regular can be as much as 30 cents per gallon leaving sports car owners cringing every time they fill up. Yet, these wannabe racers would break the bank if they tried to quench the thirst of a thirsty top fuel dragster. Paige Sanchez, Larsen Motorsports Intern and Embry-riddle Jet Technology Co-host, gives some insight on what is takes to be in the racing industry and the cost associated with it.

Do you know an average amount of money a typical race team spends on fuel for a year?

Well in this industry there are a lot of expenses besides fuel such as advertisement costs, travel expenses, merchandise, and several other expenses. Expenses tend to fluctuate and vary depending on the race team. However, fuel is a lot more expensive than your typical person pumping gas each week.

Do you think the amount of money that race teams put into the sport is a reasonable amount?

I would say no. In order to be seen as a competitive team you have to have a lot of money. The only way to get in is to have big bucks. Sometimes it’s not even about the best driver. There are a lot of drivers at the local level who deserve to be racing in a higher division.

So how do you get into this competitive pricey business?
Well working with Chris Larsen, Owner of Larsen Motorsports, he always told me there are three ways to make it in this business:
1) You buy your way into it
2) Born into racing family, or
3) You are one of the very few people who are able to work their way up and earn their stripes

Do you think non race fanatics realize the amount of money that goes into fueling these cars?

Oh I’m sure they do. They know these race teams spend millions of dollars a year. Formula 1 teams spend way more than NASCAR teams. You don’t have to be a race fan to see the money that goes into it!

How has being a part of the race industry changed the way you view what goes into fueling these powerful racecars?

After interning in the motorsports industry for almost two years now, it has been extremely eye-opening to see how costly it is to operate a race team and how these race teams are on such tight budgets. Every time one of our jet dragsters makes a pass down the quarter-mile, it costs about $200 in fuel and about $1800 total in consumables and wear items. Now that’s only for five and a half seconds down the drag strip! Imagine what it costs to maintain these fire-breathing dragsters.

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