Photography by Brent Leavitt
The highlight of the 2016 competition season has finally come to an end with the North American Championship wrapping up.
This event takes place in three separate locations with the main event located in Louisville, Kentucky and satellite locations in Sacramento, California and Spruce Grover in Alberta, Canada. Competitors traveled in their vehicles or with competition vehicles in tow from up to 2,000 miles away to attend the finale of the competition season. Both Canada and Sacramento locations were outdoor and plagued with horrible weather, but that didn't slow anyone down from making the event. One hundred and twenty-five total DB Drag competitors came together for a head-to-head battle of the loudest vehicles on the planet. Live streaming computers were setup and competitors from all over the North American continent were staged in the lanes against each other live via the internet or head-to-head in their respective locations.
The DB Drag organization is divided into four major classes of competition: DB Drag, Bass Race, Psychlone, and Top Dog. DB Drag is the largest of the events where competitors go head-to-head for the loudest scores. Bass Race is a competition of system control and competitors are set up to compete up to a certain volume, but not exceed that volume over a 30-second period. Psychlone is a daily driven ground pounder competition that awards points for installation, frequency response between 20 to 20,000 Hz, and lowest and loudest musical average. Top Dog is a mixture of Bass Race and Psychlone, where competitors go head to head to maintain the highest overall average and gain points per 30-second run against their competitor. The event was full of tie-breakers and time extensions due to the high turnout in each class.
This is an exciting event to participate in because throughout the entire season competitors practice from show to show gaining points to perfect their skills and improve scores for the final show. Competitors arrive with extra subwoofers, amplifiers, and batteries just in case of a failure, which has become a pretty normal occurrence at the last show of the year. Vehicles are pushed beyond the limits with doors almost ripping off from 10,000 to 100,000-watt sound systems, windshields shattering and folding inward, and vehicle sheet metal tearing apart from the continuous bass.
Like many forms of competition, it is a very friendly environment with many head-to-head competitors being close friends. There is an amazing amount of teamwork involved and overall the competition crowd is more of a family of like-minded car audio enthusiasts than arch rivals. Competitors’ families bring out their barbecues and cook on-site for the crowd, everyone lends a hand when equipment has trouble, and the atmosphere is laid back and relaxed. From the standpoint of a competitor, it is one of the most exciting competitions out there. Each year more experience and knowledge is gained to move forward and come back the following year for another shot at a championship ring. #pasmag
Contributor: Brent Leavitt (Low Notes Garage)