I came across this documentary on the 1969 US Nationals, at the Indianapolis drag strip, and couldn't help but marvel at just how dangerously cool drag racing was back then. If your afternoon or evening is a bit slow, I would recommend grabbing a snack and watch the whole documentary. This film shows off the amazing atmosphere, excitement, and sitting-on-drive-shaft bravery that was present at the Nationals that year. 

The documentary is split into five parts, I've posted the first three here.]

One of the coolest things that stuck with me after watching the film, is the story of a racer who was chewing gum at the line. When he launched, the acceleration was so hard that the gum was lodged in his windpipe and was unable to breathe! A day after being hauled to the hospital unconcious, he was still able to drive the next day for the finals.

Vintage racing. Wow.]

Do yourself, and your inner gearhead, a favor and watch the whole thing. 

Part 4

Part 5