Need for speed: Waco hosts boat drag race competition

Published: Jul. 19, 2021 at 10:47 AM CDT
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - Drag boat racing is just s loud and exciting as what you would expect.

“This is a typical drag racing deal, except it is in water. Everything is faster in water,” says David Carroll with the Southern Drag Boat Association.

When he says faster, he means top speeds well over 200 miles per hour.

“We have a team that did some exhibition passes and set a lake record this year with 240 Miles Per Hour.”

Duel on the Brazos has been around for over four decades, and Texas drag boat racing has deep roots in Waco.

“There is a lot of history with this town. There are a lot of racers from here and a lot of people who have promoted this sport for a long time. So, this is a good event for us to come to,” explains Carroll.

The races featured over 100 different boats and were enjoyed by thousands of spectators gathering on the banks of the Brazos.

JT Mooney has been racing for over 25 years and he claims, “This is number one entertainment in the world. We have the number-one fans and spectators watching.”

Even the competitors have built special bonds with one another, lending a hand -- and even parts -- wherever they are needed.

Racer Tyler Bane tells me, “It is amazing. You can’t beat this family. It is a family event, and you will never find another family like a boat-racing family.”

In some cases, it literally is family. David Carroll no longer races, instead he has handed the keys down to his daughter.

Now, he is far more nervous watching her cruise to the finish than he was during his decades spent in the driver seats.

“They tease me about killing grass because I start pacing back-and-forth when she gets in the water. That’s what you’re going to do when your kid is there.”

Carroll’s daughter brags to go about 15 miles per hour faster than he father’s top speed, but Carroll claims that’s just because he buys her better parts and builds her a better boat than the one he had.

The Texas circuit heads to Marble Falls in three weeks for the next event.

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