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Power Tool Drag Races rock Maker Faire

If you ever wondered how fast a power saw could go, you should be at the Power Tool Drag Races

SAN MATEO, Calif.--I'm standing on the race track at the Power Tool Drag Races here at Maker Faire, and while I'm pretty sure I'm not going to get killed, I'm not certain.

That's largely because I'm surrounded by little racing machines adorned with what look like very, very sharp saw blades. I assume they will stay on the track as planned, but you never know.

A few years ago, I went to these races when they used to hold them in San Francisco and gasped along with several hundred other racing fans when one of the contestant machines veered off the track and shot a huge plume of flame directly at a San Francisco Chronicle photographer.

He told me later he got the shot. Anyway, here we are, and the flag girl is exhorting the racers to start their engines. They do, and in a puff of smoke, two high-speed machines shoot their way down the track, blades a-spinning. The crowd goes nuts. The tools speed their way to the end of the run, crash down into the provided garbage bins, and a cheer goes up.

Then they began the preparations to do it all again.

Happy happy, joy joy.