Sport: Grumpy the Drag King

Professional drag racing doesn't offer much in the way of fringe benefits or job security, but at least the hourly pay is difficult to beat. Last year, for exactly 46 minutes of racing, Bill ("Grumpy") Jenkins got $260,000 (including $110,000 for commercial endorsements). Barring an accident, his wage rate this year —roughly $5,650 a minute—will be about the same.

A small (5 ft. 4 in.), balding troll of a man with a porcupine persona, Jenkins, 42, dominates a sport usually associated with big bruisers in black leather. Last year he won ten of the...

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