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Drag Racing Basics – Feeding Your Demand For Speed

Take Your Classic Ford Drag Racing

There was a fourth dimension when dragstrips and route courses across America were bustling with the sounds of screeching bias-ply burnouts and solid-lifter crackling, and pb-infused fuels burned nether high compression. The muscle car era was in total swing, and the manufacturers waged war in battles of horsepower and cubic inches.

At some signal though, information technology seems like those with the vintage cars threw in the towel and stopped showing upward, leaving the belatedly-model crew to take all of the fun. Now we’re not maxim that yous should be hanging out at the track all the time, simply you lot should be able to bask all of that high-horsepower hardware that you’ve installed under the hood, and taking your car to your local racetrack offers that opportunity in a very rubber environment.

For some of you, going to the track may be old hat, but for others, it could be your get-go fourth dimension. In either example, this story will be both a practiced refresher, and a basic introduction to drag racing. One time you lot have your feet moisture in total-throttle, straight-line fun, y’all tin check out your local route form to see if at that place might be even more fulfillment in turning at speed, and we’ll be covering that end of the spectrum at a later date.

Certain, you’ll hear a lot of people talk almost how valuable the cars are, and that it’southward not the best idea to drive one in such a manner. Our cover car this calendar month certainly bucks this trend, and the vision of this relatively rare motorcar melting prophylactic will certainly cause some anguish for some, but cars were made to be driven. Their sole purpose on this planet is to get us from Indicate A to Betoken B. Then what’s the impairment in getting there fast?

If you lot call back this sounds crazy, recollect once again. More and more than enthusiasts are enjoying their classic cars in more exhilarating ways. If you become a hazard, bank check out an NMRA or NMCA race that may be shut to you. You’ll detect a lot of very nice vintage firepower in the staging lanes.

Follow along as nosotros take a classic Mustang out to the track and show step-by-step what goes on at the dragstrip. In one case educated, y’all won’t experience so intimidated and yous’ll enjoy the feel that much more than. To find your nearest racetrack check out the links at the end of our story then call the track to notice out its track schedule. Be certain to write u.s.a. and permit the states know nearly some of your on-track racing exploits.

Driving position is important equally well. This isn’t the Saturday nighttime cruise-in at Big Boys. Yous want to be able to reach the shifter, ignition, pedals, and whatsoever safe equipment with ease while fully belted in. Adjust the seatback for a clear view of the track too. Besides, consider a helmet mandatory. Yeah, we know most tracks are fine without a helmet for the slower cars, but arrive the addiction of wearing a full Snell-approved helmet, you won’t regret it if something bad happens. Electric current Snell ratings of SA2005 or higher are what almost tracks require, only new SA2010-rated helmets are now becoming available.

The last light on the tree is the dreaded foul, or cerise light. If you lot get out the starting line before the dark-green light illuminates the carmine lite comes on, disqualifying you. Just we said leave on the last yellow; won’t that give you a foul? Not exactly. Most street cars are slow enough that by the time you react and the car moves forward, the dark-green lite comes on as your tires go out the starting line. Exercise volition tell you when you tin can leave the starting line with your combination, but like we said, don’t worry about reaction fourth dimension correct now.

Dragstrip Dictionary

While it’s piece of cake for us to permit certain terms roll off the tongue, since we’ve been going to the rail for years, we felt it would be helpful to list the most common track terms and what they mean. We hope these will help yous be at ease trackside and when talking to your fellow racers.

Burnout To spin the rear tires to heat them, effectively cleaning the tread surface and heating the tread for increased traction
Christmas Tree Institute at the starting line, the “tree” is used as a count-down timer for both drivers in a elevate race
Deep Stage To roll farther into the phase beam, turning off the pre-stage light, which places the motorcar farther downward the track, which volition raise elapsed time, but assist your reaction time
Elapsed Fourth dimension The time it takes you to travel the track’s distance from starting line to cease line
Foul Commencement If y’all leave the starting line (meaning start the timer clock) earlier the green light has lit, it’southward a foul get-go and the red light will illuminate
Full Tree This is the typical starting line setup used at test-and-melody and Sportsman racing, where each amber light is lit for 0.500-second in sequence, followed by the green light 0.500-second later; a perfect start is a 0.500 light on a full tree
Holeshot When racing another car and y’all leave the starting line before the other auto by reacting to the Christmas tree faster
Pre-Stage The first row of small yellow lights on the Christmas tree, these lite every bit yous approach the starting line, letting you know you’re about to enter the staging beam
Pro Tree The pro tree is reserved for higher levels of heads-up competition and has all three amber bulbs light simultaneously, followed by the green light 0.400-second subsequently
Reaction Fourth dimension The fourth dimension, expressed in thousands of a second, that it takes your car to clear the phase beam afterwards the terminal bister light has flashed on the Christmas tree
lx-Foot Time Simply put, how long it takes your motorcar to travel the first 60 anxiety of the dragstrip, which reflects how quick your total run will be
Speed Trap The last 66 feet of the measured racing surface earlier the cease line; this is where your mph is measured
Phase The stage light is the 2d row of yellowish lights and indicates your tires are directly on the starting line. One time both drivers accept lit the phase lights, the countdown timer will begin equally activated by the track’s starting line personnel

For more than information on events, points series, rubber equipment, and tracks in your area:

  • world wide web.ihra.com
  • www.mdra.com
  • www.nhra.com
  • www.nmra.com
  • www.pscaracing.com
  • www.sfifoundation.com
  • www.smf.org

The Almost Common Problems

While at Gainesville Raceway in Gainesville, Florida, snapping the bulk of the photos for this story, we spoke with some of Gainesville’s track officials to notice out what the most common issues are they see when people come to the runway for the showtime time. We thought for sure they would include people staging their car in the wrong place, turning around and coming back downwards the rails surface, and other “OMG!” moments. But while these things happen occasionally, they see a much bigger problem with the iii main bug listed here.

Concentrate on your elapsed time and mph first. Reaction time is not important for test-and-tune nights. You want to know what your machine is capable of, non and then much your reaction to the lights. Waiting for the solid green calorie-free to get out the starting line means yous’ll never ruby-red light (foul) and you lot can work on shift points and launch techniques. Once these are optimized then you can sneak upward on reaction time.

Make only 1 change at a time. Start time racers seem to get a niggling anxious, the rail guys tell u.s.. They’ll make a pass, and then get bump the timing, change the tire pressures, and launch at a unlike rpm all on the next laissez passer. Brand one modify and then brand a few passes to ensure consistency before y’all make another change, no matter how minor.

Exist enlightened of your surroundings. There’s a lot going on at the track, and not just on the racing surface. The pits are busy with race cars, pit bikes, pedestrians, and more than. On the track surface, always sentry the runway officials, peculiarly the starter. He’s in contact with runway spotters and the tower and if there’southward an outcome with the runway or your car he’ll moving ridge you off. This is for anybody’due south safety, so pay attention to all track personnel.

Source: https://www.motortrend.com/how-to/mdmp-1102-classic-ford-drag-racing/