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Drag racing q's?

  #1  
Old 07-09-2009, 06:13 PM
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Default Drag racing q's?

I might head out to a local drag strip tomrrow evening and have never been. Whats goes on usually to set up the car before a race. I've seen people give it gas go about 10 feet, the reverse back to the start line, whats up with that?
Also any helpful tips to give me that edge? I've heard turning the AC onto hot, but not full blast sucks heat in from the engine bay.
 
  #2  
Old 07-09-2009, 07:08 PM
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First things first, when you go to the track- you're going to have to get your car "tech'd", meaning they go over the car to make sure its in mechanically good shape, and everything is ok (they also look for roll bar, helmet etc if you had a car that goes fast enough). Make sure you do that- that is where they normally write the numbers on your car.

Second, go park the car and let it cool from the drive a little. Go sit up in the stands and actually watch a couple cars go through from the parking area through the end. I mean watch every move they make.

What will likely happen is you will pull up into the 'staging lanes' (the area before the strip)- be careful to find out what the different lanes mean (I've seen these lanes up to 6 wide depending if you want your time displayed for everyone or not, etc- basic would be 2 lanes wide).

When you get to the front, and they flag you up- they will flag you up to the burnout box. DRIVE AROUND THE BURNOUT BOX. You have no reason to need to do a burnout at all- you have basic street tires, and you will make everyone really mad if you drive through the water and drip it all over up to the starting line. They usually do this just after the last set of cars in front of you takes off. This is the step where you've seen people go forward then back up- some people do a big burnout and pass the line.

Then they'll motion you forward to the line- keep in mind it is actually about 10' back from the actual tree. You'll see little boxes on the sides of the walls by the ground- this is where you need to stop. There are 2 lights in the box- that correspond to the top two pairs on the tree. Pull up slowly until the first light hits (top pair of lights light up), then roll another couple inches to trigger the second light (2nd pair of lights down light up).

Once both drivers are 'staged' like this, the tower will trigger the clock- and you'll see the yellow lights count down- on green you go. You'll want to actually floor it on the last (3rd) yellow light if you care at all about your reaction time or about the race with the other car (.500 or 1/2 second is considered 'perfect', any earlier and the green wasn't lit yet- its called a red light). Keep in mind, the RT means nothing to the actual ET clock; it could go green- you sit there for 5 seconds, and you could still run the same elapsed time (ET) and same MPH you always do. Just keep in mind, using the reaction time, it is possible for you to run a faster ET than the other car, but still lose the race- if their reaction time is quicker and the ET difference is small.

Make sure you stay WOT until the finish, and smoothly apply the brakes- and pull off at the turnoff (keep in mind some tracks have 2 turnoffs- which is why you watched cars before). Usually the far turnoff is for very fast cars that can't slow in time for the the turn. If you're in the lane by the turnoff- you have right of way; if you're in the other lane- make sure you watch the other car, and let him turn first if he's there already.

The time slip shack should be just after the turnoff on the return road.


A couple words of warning:
-if your car leaks fluids, don't bother taking it down the strip; if they don't catch you at tech, you'll just make everyone mad by slicking up the starting pad (this means NO AC at the track!!)

-make sure all 4 tires are in good shape

-if your car breaks for ANY reason once you've started, immediately (and safely) pull close to the wall, and slow down there (stop if you have to). You don't want to slick down the entire track with your fluid

-always follow the hand signs of the people at the track, keep your eyes on them

-always keep an eye on the other car (even if your car is dead nuts reliable, theirs may not be, and they could break and swerve into your lane)

-if you can reasonably stop for the first turn off, do so- usually the next turnoff is for high power cars doing 150++ at the finish, and you will likely tick everyone off if you putt all the way down to the end

-make sure you personally check over the car's mechanical condition at home before you leave

-I can't stress enough to sit and watch quite a few people run before you decide to go

Tips to be quicker:

-take out all spare junk- you shouldn't have any cargo in your car- this includes floor mats and spare tire (make sure you bring it in case you get a flat though)

-try not to go with a full tank of gas; gas is heavy, and there is no need to haul 17 gallons down the track when you only need 2-3.

-slide the passenger seat all the way forward, and yours as far forward as comfortable (more weight up front = more traction)

-try powerbraking off the line for a harder launch


Really, just try to have fun. You will probably get a lot of crap for running a high 16, low 17 second car in the pits, just ignore those people- everyone started somewhere.
 
  #3  
Old 07-09-2009, 08:37 PM
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if ya check the tracks site that will give you a tutorial like thag and do it to check track requirements...some tracks require helmets no matter how slow/fast you run
 
  #4  
Old 07-10-2009, 01:47 AM
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you can remove the left headlight for more air flow to the box.
 
  #5  
Old 07-10-2009, 08:38 AM
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I can't take out the headlights without a few tools and I have to drive back across cincinnati at the end anyways. I am going out to do this for fun with some friends against a variatey of vehicles from '02 dakotas, to 2000 malibus, to my friends '05 silverado so we all just wanted to see where we stacked up.

But about the AC on heat thing, anyone actually know if it really does suck in the air from the engine bay?

Also, windows up or down? Give better aerodynamics eitherway?

For the weight, I have two 12" subs in my trunk that are quiet heavy, would it really be worth it undo all the wiring and take them out?

Last question what do you mean by powerbreaking right before the start? Like holding down the break then shifting it threw 1st gear, then 2nd gear, then into drive or just throwing it strait into Overdrive or drive?
 
  #6  
Old 07-10-2009, 10:56 AM
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I do not think you want the A/C on with the heater...yes, it may take some heat away from the engine bay, but you loose HP running the A/C....Maybe just put the vent on with the heater on. Afterall, you do not need to run the A/C to make the heater work.

If you are really trying for the BEST time, then the subs should go...if you really don't care, and just want to go down the track, then I guess its not worth the time, but I would take them out.

I would go with windows up....you have better aerodynamics this way...(so you might want to forget about the heater thing, or you may die from the heat! J/K)

I THINK that what bumpin96monte means by power braking is hold your left foot on the brake, and give the car gas with your right foot. Hold the RPM's around 1,500, and when the light turns, take your foot off the brake, and smash the gas the rest of the way to the floor. (don't make a habbit of this, it is hard on your tranny).

Not that it really matters, but I would take it out of O/D, and but it in 3rd while racing it.
 
  #7  
Old 07-10-2009, 11:08 AM
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Awesome information, I plan on making my first trip to the track next week once I get my zzp downpipe and wizaird CAI installed
 
  #8  
Old 07-10-2009, 03:15 PM
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MAMONTE, thanks for the quick reply, but sadly I only have 2nd and 1st gear until it goes to drive the overdrive. So should I go with second or drive or over drive as my options?
 
  #9  
Old 07-10-2009, 03:33 PM
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go with 2nd and if ya get up there in the rpms throw it in the next gear
 
  #10  
Old 07-10-2009, 03:45 PM
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When your shifter says 1, 2, D, isn't Overdrive a toggled option, and D is the 3 with OD turned off?
 

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