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Because it’s bracket racing, the Bladen family estimates how fast the car can complete a quarter-mile. The goal isn’t to beat the car next to them but to get as close as possible to the estimated time without going faster.

If everything goes right, Bobby III won’t have to worry about deploying parachutes, straightening the car to keep it from hitting the wall or getting the front tires back onto the pavement.

Off the track, the father and son get along well, even working together at the family paving business.

“He’s my best friend,” Bobby III said.

Both agree the relationship has its struggles and disagreements, but neither would change a thing.

“We argue sometimes, we butt heads,” Bobby III said. “I have my ideas; he has his. Sometimes I’m right, sometimes he is. But it’s harder for me to swallow my pride. But I wouldn’t change it for the world.”