It is much easier to cheer old Chevelles, deceptive Dodge compacts, little Civics. Even pickup trucks. Two diesels square off and, depleting the ozone layer and national oil reserves alike, chug away under a cloud of black smoke. Two Escalades, one burdened with an arena-strength sound system, the other with seven flat video screens inside, pair up. (Audio wins; it was turbocharged.) Much more popular is the gray-primered 1970 Camaro with the license propped up on the dashboard. Goes pretty good, too.
A new white Supra, though, feels too store-bought to appeal to this crowd. The driver squirrels it around in the water box (show-off!), revs menacingly at the light and then, right at the green, seizes up, dead. This is not the only Las Vegas strip joint where a rear end has gone out on a Friday night, but it's probably the only one where the event draws a two-minute standing ovation. "Bringing your mama's car to the strip," sighs the public address announcer. "Sounds good, looks good...." The crowd goes wild.
And so it goes, into the wee hours, the fumes of so much acceleration forming a petroleum mist over the track, the whining buzz of four-cylinders underscoring the throatier roar of V-8s. They just keep going, two by two, as fast as they can.