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Drag racing is a competition in which vehicles compete to be the first to cross a set finish line, usually from a standing start, and in a straight line. First gaining popularity in the USA after World War II, the sport steadily grew in popularity and spread across the globe. By 2009, there were hundreds of dragstrips in operation, mainly in developed countries.
Most drag races begin with a standing (stationary) start and are just 1/4 mile long (1,320 ft (400 m)). Races last between 3.9 and 17 seconds, with finishing speeds ranging from 80 to over 330 mph (530 km/h), depending upon the type of vehicle being used. The faster vehicles then need a parachute to slow down.
extract from wikipedia