A Race That's About More Than Speed

Richard Tapia, dragster mathematician, seeks to fuel minority scientists and engineers

Richard Tapia's brain is filled with the names of seemingly everyone who ever drove a dragster.

There's Mickey Thompson, who raced every car of his era and earned the nickname "Mr. Speed." There's Parnelli Jones, who eventually won the Indianapolis 500. There's Craig Breedlove, who once drove the fastest car in the world. Along with Richard and his twin brother, Bobby, they all grew up in Southern California in the 1950s. It was the hotbed of drag racing. The Tapia twins were local