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Power tool drag races in the Times, great week in the DIY world!

TEN feet short of the finish line, Barbie Airplane was stranded. A screaming speedster powered by a whirling circular saw flew from a wooden ramp at the recent Power Tool Drag Racing competition in Seattle.

The cheerful contraption — a Craftsman belt sander crowned with a powder-blue toy plane — had been careening down the 75-foot racetrack moments earlier. Then the sander’s rotating belt came undone, stopping it dead.

In the neighboring lane, Heavy Metal Waste, a circular saw souped up with skateboard wheels and flaming antennas, had already rocketed past. Cheers of victory rang from the bleachers.

“Time waits for no one!” heckled the announcer. So Randy Lisbona, a 47-year-old air-conditioning engineer from Dallas, hauled his broken-down belt sander off the track to make way for the next heat.

That’s how it goes at power tool drag races. The premise is simple: Take a hand-held power tool. Rebuild it into a racing machine.