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Old 03/27/09, 08:17 PM   2 links from elsewhere to this Post. Click to view. #1 (permalink)
TOPFUEL (OP)
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DRAG RACING BASICS

I decided from watching people race at the track that I might add some basic racing items for everyone to learn from. I am not saying I know everything but I have raced for close to 30 years. I have done street cars to Top fuel (boats).

So lets start with the real basics. I will go though simple stuff to instant centers and adjustments on cars if my feedback is positive.


Drag racing is two cars lined up or staged side by side. when the light turns green they both leave the first to the end wins, Sounds simple.

BURNOUTS
Prior to the run each car is allowed to do a burn out you drive the car though the water box this adds water to reduce traction so the tires can spin. The goal is to lay down a straight tracks of fresh rubber.
Modern racing tires work best when the temperature is 30 degrees higher than that of the racing surface. A fresh burn out removes small rocks and dust from the racing surface. I see people do burn outs that are far to smoky and to long in time. This over heats the tires and actully reduces traction. Street tires are a prime example of this. When the tire gets to hot it actually releases oils that are in the rubber and makes it slipery.


The track temperature can effect the traction also. Ideal temp is 90 to 105 degrees. Above that and the rubber on the track release oils and solvents. To cold and condensation can form on the track not enough that you can easily see it but it WILL reduce traction.

Ok enough about a proper burn out.

STAGING

Alot of racers I watch don't really understand this.
First thing is line up straight to the track this is actually hard to do. Look a a far point in the center of the track and try hard to pull straight to the track in the groove(talk more about in the groove later). Try not to turn the wheel the last few feet of pulling up to stage this helps keep you straight.

After the burn out back the car up at lease 15 feet back from the starting line if you are allowed to do a burn out past the starting line. If not start pulling up so you are 10-15 feet away from the starting line. At this time try to line up straight like I said in the last paragraph.
This is inportant. Stop take a deep breath check your oil pressure your water temp make sure you are in first gear. Relax just wait a few seconds. This sounds dumb But I have seen many a racer blow a race because they were not in first gear.

PRESTAGING
Prestaging is when the first amber bulb turns on. At this point courtesy staging is when you wait untill the car next to you has lit up his top bulb. At this point roll up to turn on the stage bulb. Usally this is about 6" or so try to roll up slowly to just barely turn on the bulb this makes it so you are always in the same position each and every run this helps be consistant.

ROLLOUT

Rollout is the distance that the front tires have to travel before the starting light beam reconects and starts the clock or red lights you. The typical car has about 12" of roll out. Some drag race only cars have ways built into them to increase the roll out. More rollout gives you a sort of running start at the race but lowers your reaction time. With the new LED lights it might help prevent red lights. As with anything in racing to get something you give something up. Longer roll out give bad reaction times this can hurt in sportsman racing when you have to run on an index. On this type of race you want to start the clocks as fast as you can. Some racers even deep stage. This is when to top prestage bulb turns back off. At this point you are actually 6" closer to the end than the other racer but red light is VERY easy at this point. A slower car will usally try this to get some advange.


After both cars have staged then the starter will flip a switch and the tree comes down. The tree has 3 amber bulbs each bulb will light up at .5 second intervals for a sportsman tree. On a pro tree all three will light up at once with a .4 second between the amber bulbs and the green light. If the driver leaves to early the staging beam reconnects and the red light goes on at this point the race is over unless the driver next to you red lit by more.

After going down the track there will be several key pieces of information on your time slip 60' time this tells you your traction as does the 330' time. since the car isn't going to fast by then it reflects traction more than at the 660 and 1000' mark theese numbers tell you more about HP since wind resistance plays a bigger role.
The last set of light before the end are the mile an hour lights they measure how fast you were going the last 66'


Anyway I hope this provides some information to racers about the track and burn outs next time I go more into groove and reading time slips TOP FUEL
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Last edited by TOPFUEL on 03/27/09 at 10:03 PM
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Old 03/27/09, 08:43 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Great post!
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Old 03/27/09, 09:18 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Question...
The time doesn't actually start until the tires move? Or once the green light is lit? Because I will see cars sitting at the line after the green light trying to build boost or get a good launch or something, and they still run like a 9. Why do people do this?
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Old 03/27/09, 09:26 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Good post thanks for the info.
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Old 03/27/09, 09:33 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by SLOMARO View Post
Question...
The time doesn't actually start until the tires move? Or once the green light is lit? Because I will see cars sitting at the line after the green light trying to build boost or get a good launch or something, and they still run like a 9. Why do people do this?
These cars aren't in it for the race, they are there to get their best time.
There is a term, forgot what it is, but it basically starts the run time when they leave the starting instead of when they get the green. They leave when they are ready all out.
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Old 03/27/09, 09:56 PM   #6 (permalink)
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OK two things The green light starts your reaction timer. The breaking of the stage beam starts the ET timer. I can sit at the green light for 2 minutes and still run a 9 second Et and lose to a 40 second Et car if the left with a reaction time of .1 second. When you are not racing anyone the reaction time means nothing. If you ever here of someone winning by the hole shot it is his reaction time was faster then the other lane. EX lane 1: ET 9.00 reation time .050 total time 9.00+.050 = 9.050 lane two: ET 9.02 reaction time .020
9.02+ .020 = 9.04 he won but went slower
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Old 03/27/09, 10:12 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Actually, as soon as the tree is activated, the reaction timer starts. Otherwise you wouldn't be able to trigger a redlight. It starts at a negative number and counts up to 0 at the instant the green light is lit, then starts counting forward from there.
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Old 03/27/09, 10:28 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by TOPFUEL View Post
OK two things The green light starts your reaction timer. The breaking of the stage beam starts the ET timer. I can sit at the green light for 2 minutes and still run a 9 second Et and lose to a 40 second Et car if the left with a reaction time of .1 second. When you are not racing anyone the reaction time means nothing. If you ever here of someone winning by the hole shot it is his reaction time was faster then the other lane. EX lane 1: ET 9.00 reation time .050 total time 9.00+.050 = 9.050 lane two: ET 9.02 reaction time .020
9.02+ .020 = 9.04 he won but went slower
Ok I understand now. But I used to hear people saying things like "If my reaction time was better I would run a x.xx E.T." or "My car would be an 11 second car if my reaction times were better." I'm guessing these people do not understand that reaction times do not effect your E.T. in the end. Or am I missing something?
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Old 03/27/09, 10:29 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by SLOMARO View Post
Ok I understand now. But I used to hear people saying things like "If my reaction time was better I would run a x.xx E.T." or "My car would be an 11 second car if my reaction times were better." I'm guessing these people do not understand that reaction times do not effect your E.T. in the end. Or am I missing something?

You are right the don't know what they are talking about reaction has nothing to do with ET
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Old 03/27/09, 11:16 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Good Post...
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Old 03/28/09, 08:16 AM   #11 (permalink)
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make this a skicky
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Old 03/28/09, 09:41 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Good post, stuck.
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Old 03/28/09, 09:45 AM   #13 (permalink)
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dam, this post would of really helped out on my first time to the track on 3-14-08,, hence will def. help out on the next trip out... nice sticky
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Old 11/09/12, 09:32 AM   #14 (permalink)
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GREAT POST GOOD INFO... What is a Good RPM to take off on with a stick, after dropping the clutch the first couple I was told to ease out of it at first. I am thinking about 4k RPM, I run a C5 vette. So curious
Thanks
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Old 11/09/12, 12:00 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Go to a few test and tunes to find out what fits best for you. Some cars (mine) get no traction at a 4k launch. With a 2nd gear burnout my sweet spot is about 2.5k. Subject to change with tire swaps, pressure changes etc... Basically its good to retest if anything changes.
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