Register FAQ/Rules Image Hosting Members List Calendar Forum Home Mark Forums Read

Go Back   Detroit Racing Forums > Technical Discussion > Technical Articles and "How To's"

» Sponsors
Support Our Sponsors
Reply
Thread Tools Display Modes
Unread 03-10-2005, 11:26 PM   #1
BigWheelinBubba
Registered User
Moderator
 
BigWheelinBubba's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: East side!!!!!
Posts: 6,430
BigWheelinBubba major contributorBigWheelinBubba major contributorBigWheelinBubba major contributorBigWheelinBubba major contributorBigWheelinBubba major contributorBigWheelinBubba major contributorBigWheelinBubba major contributorBigWheelinBubba major contributorBigWheelinBubba major contributorBigWheelinBubba major contributorBigWheelinBubba major contributor
Default TECH: A Beginners guide to Drag Racing...

A Beginner's Guide to Drag Racing
It’s early February and the new racing season rapidly approaches! About this time every year, my fingers start to twitch in anticipation of the release of a line lock or trans brake. For some of us, drag racing is in our blood. For some, it’s an addiction for which there seems to be no cure. Either way, it’s a “gotta’ go do it” situation. I seem to fall into all the above categories! There are some that haven’t experienced the rush from that “never to quick” pass that initiates the desire to go do it again. The first pass on that 1320 feet of race track is always the one where everything seems to go wrong, whether anything does or not is irrelevant, and is generally viewed as “damn, I’m glad I got that one out of the way”. Even for the well-experienced racer, that first pass can have more anxiety attached to it than asking your first wife to marry you. For the new guy, or gal, that has never experienced this form of adrenalin rush, the biggest problems occur when they’re not prepared for the occasion. Whether this event is just for a few hours, the day, or a whole weekend of activity, how well you prepare can dictate the outcome of the experience as a whole.
If you have never taken your personal pride and joy to the track, there are some things that you will want to consider before leaving home. First timers generally drive their car to the track, make a few passes, and drive back home. Sounds pretty simple, right? Well, maybe not! Like most of us here at StangPro, we own space limited Mustangs so careful thought needs to be applied as to what and what not to carry along. I would like to share my experience with those who will be driving their car to the track.

“What if I break something?” seems to be the first thing on everyone’s mind when contemplating this first adventure. Well, most people don’t break anything on their first trip to the track. Let me explain. First experiences with a racetrack generally occur on street tires, which don’t offer the traction of race specific tires (slicks). The use of street tires generally result in tire spinning thus making the loads on rear ends, axles, drive shafts, and transmissions less than stressful. On occasion something will break regardless of preparation or condition of the parts. These things can’t be anticipated so, on the side of caution, be prepared to deal with such consequences should the need arise. Stuff happens! Best advice, go over your car thoroughly before leaving home, change the oil, check the water and brake fluid, and trany fluid if it’s equipped with an automatic transmission. Check for leaks from ANY fluid source. Anything leaking can prevent you from being allowed to get on the track surface.
You’ll want to take an ice chest and bring along plenty of beverages including water. Racetracks can get quite hot, especially in the summer down south. I live in Florida and am quite familiar with hot!
Food! Unless you want to pay some of the outrages prices they charge at the track, bring your own. Since you’re driving to the track, you probably won’t have room for the grill so take some finger foods to munch on. Sandwich materials are good too and don’t require a lot of space. Bring as much of this stuff as you can because you’ll be surprised at how often you will need to recharge your personal battery. This racetrack stuff can be quite exhausting before the end of the day. If you live in a particularly hot climate, bananas are a good source of potassium, which evaporates as you sweat. I usually take a bunch and eat one every time I think about it.
Another thing, quite often being left behind, is a bottle of white shoe polish. When you get to the track, some official looking person will assign you a number, which will have to be displayed on the car. You simply use the polish to write that number on the glass. Don’t worry, it comes off quite easily.
Quite often racers forget, or just don’t know, about clothing or other things to wear while racing. Our drag racing sport is, for the most part, a warm weather sport. Shorts and light clothes are meant for this kind of environment but some items are simply not allowed on the track. While on the track, most tracks require the operator to have on long pants. Shirts are also required but not long sleeves. What sense this makes, I don’t know! A lot of drivers carry a pair of long sweet pants to put on over other clothing while on the track. This will keep the Gestapo happy! Depending on how fast your car is, there may be other requirements also, such as a helmet or a fire jacket. Most newbies won’t need the jacket but it never hurts to have more safety equipment than you need. You should check with the track you plan to visit for safety requirements. I recommend that a helmet be worn ANYTIME you are in a car on the track, minimum. Remember, you are not on the track alone and the person in the other lane may not drive as well as you.
Something to write with, and on, can be quite useful also. If you plan on doing this racing thing very often, it’s a good idea to make notes about things such as the weather conditions, track preparation, time of day, the phone number for the girl friend of the guy next to you in the pits, and just about anything else you might think of. Just kidding about the phone number for the girl friend part, but you might want to contact the guy next to you sometime to buy that part he has for sale.
That should cover the essentials. Now, let’s go to the track.
Upon arriving at the track, the first thing you’ll have to do is give up some money, just to get in the gate. If this particular trip is just for test and tune (TNT), there will be another wad to give up for the privilege of actually taking your car out onto the track surface. If you intend to race in some particular class, there will likely be an entry fee associated with that class. Money is important, that is if you want to play, so bring some.

You’ll be instructed to park in the pit area somewhere, and it seems that it’s never where you would like to be. I find it beneficial to park as close to the rest rooms as possible, hint hint. You will also be given a “Tech” card, which you will have to fill out and present when you go to get “Teched in”. There’s a use for that writing utensil I mentioned earlier. While at the “Tech” area, some official will examine your car to determine if it is safe enough for you to take it onto the track. They look for things like fluid leaks, make sure the battery is secure, and all the lug nuts are in place. This is a good time to remind you that if your car is equipped with hubcaps, take them off before going to this area. This process is pretty mundane but depending on how many people were there before you, you could be there a while. I’ve set in this line for as long as an hour and a half. Some of that water could be handy right now. Somewhere along the line, before you can proceed to the track, you will probably be issued an armband. This tells everyone else that you have permission to be on or near the track surface, even if you are not in your car. Sometimes I walk out onto the track, especially the starting line area, to examine the surface of the track. For a first timer, you probably won’t need to concern yourself about this, but it never hurts to just go look at what you’ll be driving on.

(continued)
__________________
I have no car-
BigWheelinBubba is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 03-10-2005, 11:26 PM   #2
BigWheelinBubba
Registered User
Moderator
 
BigWheelinBubba's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: East side!!!!!
Posts: 6,430
BigWheelinBubba major contributorBigWheelinBubba major contributorBigWheelinBubba major contributorBigWheelinBubba major contributorBigWheelinBubba major contributorBigWheelinBubba major contributorBigWheelinBubba major contributorBigWheelinBubba major contributorBigWheelinBubba major contributorBigWheelinBubba major contributorBigWheelinBubba major contributor
Default

The next step, in your quest for euphoria, is to make your way into the staging lanes. Here’s an interesting area! This is where you finally come to understand the term “hurry up and wait”. I find I spend at least 40% of my day in the staging lanes. More water anyone? This area can be more exasperating than any other aspect of going racing! However, you do have a great opportunity to hear and tell more lies, at this one location, than any other place in America. It’s also a great place to make new friends. Here, PROGRESS is just a four-letter word.
FINALLY, you have been signaled to proceed onto the racing surface. Since you’re on street tires, drive around the water box (that’s the area where the water is) so you don’t get your tires wet. Big slicks need to be wet to get them started turning and YOU don’t have slicks. The reason to dodge the water box is, the grooves in your tires will pickup water and carry the water out onto the track surface. A dry quick spin of the rear tires is all that’s necessary with street tires, just enough to clean them off. A street tire will not grip any better with them overheated. I know it looks cool but its counter productive in this case.
Here’s where you get to show your stuff! Proceed slowly toward the starting line while watching the “tree”. That’s the thingy between the lanes with the flood lamps on it. There will be two yellow lights at the top. When you see the first one come on you are pre-staged and you will only have a couple of inches left to go before you are completely staged and the second yellow light will come on. STOP!!
Now you’re staged and ready to launch. You’re waiting for the green light to come on. Three more yellow lights will precede it. Normally, these lights will come on, one at a time, and are timed to come on at half-second intervals including the green light. You should be prepared to launch your car when the green comes on. Here’s where the type of transmission you have will come into play.

If you have a stick car, rev the motor in anticipation of the green light. Some drivers simply sit at idle and take off as if they were at the corner red light. Either method will work. It will depend a lot on you, the driver. Revving the engine before dumping the clutch may mean that you’ll have to “ride the clutch”, or not allow full engagement right away, to help prevent time-consuming tire spin. There is a different method required for an automatic.
With an automatic, most drivers will firmly apply the brake and rev the engine right up to the point where the back tires are about to overcome the brakes and start to spin. Generally, this will provide the best start for an automatic. Sometimes a little less throttle will work best. Once again, this will be left to you, the driver. After you have made a few passes, you will begin to get an idea of what works best for your combination.
There is a lot more to the art of launching the car, as each car is a little different, and will require practice to get it right. I won’t go into that with this writing. You know already what works pretty good, don’t you! Your time slip will tell you how well you do with your technique. Try different methods to see what works best for you.
After you have crossed the finish line, there will be a place to exit the track surface. This path will lead you back to the pit area. But first, don’t forget to stop at the “ticket booth” to collect your ever important, ever valued time slip. This short little piece of paper tells the story of your pass. It doesn’t lie! At this point, you’ll probably want to do one of two things; sell this pile, or put another go fast part on it. Most will opt for the latter.

Now you’re hooked and it’s time for “I gotta’ go do it…… again!” You’ll find that after you have done this a few times, that little piece of paper will look better and better.
A successful day at the track can be measured in many ways. Only you will decide what that measurement will be and how the experience will be defined.
Now, what did I do with that phone number?

Written by Larry Felts of Gallop Racing
__________________
I have no car-
BigWheelinBubba is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 03-11-2005, 09:41 AM   #3
Strtracer
Retired
Senior Member
 
Strtracer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Roseville
Posts: 2,385
Strtracer will become famous soon enoughStrtracer will become famous soon enough
Default

Thanks Bubba, all the articles you posted today are much appreciated.
__________________
Ban low performance Drivers,
Not High Performance Cars
Strtracer is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 03-11-2005, 11:48 AM   #4
Lisa
This is my title!
Senior Member
 
Lisa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Detroit Area
Posts: 3,673
Lisa people like meLisa people like meLisa people like meLisa people like meLisa people like meLisa people like meLisa people like meLisa people like me
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Strtracer
Thanks Bubba, all the articles you posted today are much appreciated.
What he said!
__________________
Yeah, well my car has a heated steering wheel!
Lisa is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 03-11-2005, 02:09 PM   #5
1Quick88
Registered User
Supporting Member
 
1Quick88's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Warren
Posts: 3,517
1Quick88 I need rep points!
Default

ive never been to the track before..hell that story was makin me all excited and nervous at the same time... damn i wanna go sooooo bad now..
__________________
Jim

88 Camaro - 400sbc w/ TH350 Trans
1Quick88 is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 03-11-2005, 02:29 PM   #6
BigWheelinBubba
Registered User
Moderator
 
BigWheelinBubba's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: East side!!!!!
Posts: 6,430
BigWheelinBubba major contributorBigWheelinBubba major contributorBigWheelinBubba major contributorBigWheelinBubba major contributorBigWheelinBubba major contributorBigWheelinBubba major contributorBigWheelinBubba major contributorBigWheelinBubba major contributorBigWheelinBubba major contributorBigWheelinBubba major contributorBigWheelinBubba major contributor
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1Bad406RS
ive never been to the track before..hell that story was makin me all excited and nervous at the same time... damn i wanna go sooooo bad now..
You're gonna be too easy to beat at the track
__________________
I have no car-
BigWheelinBubba is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 03-11-2005, 03:33 PM   #7
Strtracer
Retired
Senior Member
 
Strtracer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Roseville
Posts: 2,385
Strtracer will become famous soon enoughStrtracer will become famous soon enough
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1Bad406RS
ive never been to the track before..hell that story was makin me all excited and nervous at the same time... damn i wanna go sooooo bad now..
Thats exactly how you should feel, it really is a rush just being there getting ready. I think that my first time every year is like that, it wont be my best, but the adreline will be maxed out.
__________________
Ban low performance Drivers,
Not High Performance Cars
Strtracer is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 03-11-2005, 04:06 PM   #8
BigWheelinBubba
Registered User
Moderator
 
BigWheelinBubba's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: East side!!!!!
Posts: 6,430
BigWheelinBubba major contributorBigWheelinBubba major contributorBigWheelinBubba major contributorBigWheelinBubba major contributorBigWheelinBubba major contributorBigWheelinBubba major contributorBigWheelinBubba major contributorBigWheelinBubba major contributorBigWheelinBubba major contributorBigWheelinBubba major contributorBigWheelinBubba major contributor
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Strtracer
Thats exactly how you should feel, it really is a rush just being there getting ready. I think that my first time every year is like that, it wont be my best, but the adreline will be maxed out.
It still never compares to the rush of street racing...not that I do any of that
__________________
I have no car-
BigWheelinBubba is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 03-11-2005, 04:58 PM   #9
1Quick88
Registered User
Supporting Member
 
1Quick88's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Warren
Posts: 3,517
1Quick88 I need rep points!
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigWheelinBubba
You're gonna be too easy to beat at the track
honestly im really good driver..ive driven pretty much every type of vehicle out there including a hover craft and a airplane..lol...had dirtbikes and 4 wheelers my whole life....i can handle my car no problem..its just gonna be the first few passes for me to really get the hang of the stagging and R/T and stuff..I cant wait..

but in no way am i saying that experience doesnt matter at all..thats most of it..but my car is faster so i have more room for error
__________________
Jim

88 Camaro - 400sbc w/ TH350 Trans
1Quick88 is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 03-11-2005, 05:19 PM   #10
BigWheelinBubba
Registered User
Moderator
 
BigWheelinBubba's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: East side!!!!!
Posts: 6,430
BigWheelinBubba major contributorBigWheelinBubba major contributorBigWheelinBubba major contributorBigWheelinBubba major contributorBigWheelinBubba major contributorBigWheelinBubba major contributorBigWheelinBubba major contributorBigWheelinBubba major contributorBigWheelinBubba major contributorBigWheelinBubba major contributorBigWheelinBubba major contributor
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1Bad406RS
honestly im really good driver..ive driven pretty much every type of vehicle out there including a hover craft and a airplane..lol...had dirtbikes and 4 wheelers my whole life....i can handle my car no problem..its just gonna be the first few passes for me to really get the hang of the stagging and R/T and stuff..I cant wait..

but in no way am i saying that experience doesnt matter at all..thats most of it..but my car is faster so i have more room for error
lol you've seen my r/t's and 60's
__________________
I have no car-
BigWheelinBubba is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 03-12-2005, 01:19 PM   #11
1Quick88
Registered User
Supporting Member
 
1Quick88's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Warren
Posts: 3,517
1Quick88 I need rep points!
Default

hey its all in good fun!!!!
__________________
Jim

88 Camaro - 400sbc w/ TH350 Trans
1Quick88 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.1

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:47 PM.

"Used Ford Mustangs for sale in Detroit"



All posts and images belong to DetroitRacing.net and its owners.