"Thunder in the Canyon" roars back to Buffalo Springs Lake

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Updated: 7/15/2012 9:54 pm

It takes months of preparation, all for just a few seconds of pure adrenaline. And it all took place at Buffalo Springs Lake this weekend.

After a two-year hiatus, "Thunder in the Canyon" drag boat racing has returned, and racers like Ronald Jones could not have been happier to show off their hard work.

"This is a 1980 Earl Smith tunnell boat," Jones said. "It has got a 460-cubic inch Chevrolet motor on race gas, running about 10 to one compression. Pretty mild motor."

Hosted by the Southern Drag Association, the event brought people from all over the nation. Paul Hodges, a board member for Buffalo Springs Lake, said racing is just
part of the attraction.

"Our organization is just like a big family," Hodges said. "It is the comaraderie, just the friendship. A lot of these people, we only see them at races."

But do not be mistaken. Hodges said he loves racing more than almost anything.

"And the launch, a lot of these races are won or lost on the launch out there," Hodges said. "And it is really, it is a thrill, especially for an old guy to feel
that power surge come on all at once."

And the excitment is not limited to men like Paul. This event marked Dakota Beck's first-ever race, and he said it is something he will never forget.

"Just taking off from the boat," Beck said, "by far, that would be the best. And then, when you put it back on the trailer and everybody is telling you, 'Oh good job,
good job'. It is like, everybody here is watching me do everything. So it is a very, very good experience."

There are ten classes of boats that raced, and the winner of each class received a trophy and a cash prize.

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