Drag racing began in the USA in the late 1920's when young people would race each other away from the traffic lights down the main highway of small american towns. As police clamped down on this illegal activity, car clubs formed and these people in there 'souped up' vehicles (hot rods) moved from the highways to abandoned airfields and dry lake beds. Then in 1951 the national hotrod assosiation (NHRA) was formed with established safetyrules. Permanent dragstrips were then set up over the whole USA and now over the whole world.
A dragrace is held between two cars or motorcycles from a controlled set of lights over a measured quarter mile straight track. The first one that crosses the finishline is the winner. In order to beat the competition, the cars and bikes became increasingly more powerful in order to accelerate faster than their opponents.