Compare these to drag racing. It's a sport of many shorter outcomes, most of which are decided in 10 seconds or less. Which may explain why I watched the entire 11 minutes of this video of the 1959 national drag racing championship. Of course, it didn't hurt that the soundtrack consists mainly of roaring engines — I'm a sucker for a blown V8 in full cry.
Among other things, you'll notice there's no Christmas tree; the countdowns were performed by a live human being. Other highlights include a trophy for the safest dragster (seriously?), Art Arfons establishing a new track speed record, and a grand prize of a 1959 El Camino. In case you didn't know, Art held the world land-speed record three times during the mid 60s. And if you're really into trivia, note that GM introduced the Camino in 1959 in response to the success of the Ford Ranchero.
Okay, enough of that. Roll the tape...
And hey, did you notice? People were way thinner back then.