Many people actively participate in drag racing and thoroughly love and enjoy doing so. However, a lot of peers wonder more times than not how one comes to be so competitive while they are drag racing. One crucial question to really think about and even ask would be, What are the most important things and topics to know about drag racing? Most of the time people will search years gathering intellect about drag racing and it could take longer to obtain all of the information they need. Below I have put together a list of the top 5 crucial pieces of information you need to know about drag racing in order to have a higher advantage over the person you are in competition with.
The first tip: Always remember Safety comes first!
A lot of people skip over safety completely, which may be caused because of the adrenaline rush of being there on the track at the drag strip or it could even be because a lot of people have the mindset of, “I know what I am doing so safety measures and precautions do not apply to me.” They are however forgetting that even if they think they know it all that they really need to apply safety precautions into their routine no matter how equipped they are to deal with anything that happens while drag racing. Many people need to be watched and thought about and these people are the actual driver, the crew out there, employees who keep the track going and run the track, spectators who are out there who could be in the way of being hurt by anything. I can’t stress enough for you to write down a list of sorts with everything for safety precautions and check them off as you go, and remember to enjoy your day at the strip! There are only a few hours between each pass and each pass usually lasts a few seconds before picking back up. Make sure you have made sure all of your safety gear is in check. Make sure you have legal seat belts and they are being worn. Is your helmet you are wearing approved and allowed? Are all lug nuts secured? Make sure you have nothing dripping from the car you are driving. Be aware of your surroundings and also make sure any cars who make a pass around you aren’t dripping anything either because this could potentially cause you to spin out of control and not be able to control the movements of your car as it is spinning and could cause an accident. Are the grooves line up with where they should be? Check the cap to your fuel cell and make sure it is secured as tightly as it should be.
Keith Seymore which has competed in drag racing for as long as I can remember also said: To be respectable for having safety measures it seems as if others forgotten to make sure everything under their hoods have been and continue to be secured as well as they should be because if not then problems start to come up. Coolant caps or forward mounted fuel cells caps should be secured tight so the fluid isn’t able to escape out and land on the track which could be dangerous. Keith said this is something that should definitely be mention and it well worth being mentioned and brought up.
Tip number 2: You wouldn’t think so but more pressure on your tires is actually better, to an extent.
There is a lot of work behind having and launching a drag racing car. You have suspension parts, making sure the weight is distributed evenly, the geometry of your car, making sure the power control is working, all of that. All of these things I mentioned play a huge role in getting the car moving and out of the hole. Tire pressure is among one of the easiest things to have control over. There is a huge misconception though when it comes to low tire pressure being better. The whole “low tire pressure is better” idea probably strings from street racers who try making the DOT tires they have more like slicks. When the tire pressure gets lower the tire will conform more to the pavement or road they are driving on. Which in the end will cause a lot more friction and adding more friction makes it quicker by 60 foot times but if you have a drag car that has slicks installed you will initially receive a side-wall wrinkle which happens because the car is placing such a huge amount fo torque on the tires which in turn means momentum while going forward is lost with the wrinkle and you drop your E.T. significantly. There will be a specific spot on every drag strip you come across that will be the “sweet spot” for your tire pressure, below are steps to remember when trying to target where to have the tire pressure at on your drag car. Make sure when you start out you take off and start low, and continue to increase until you reach that “spin.” You will have to test this theory out a few times and test it before you reach the right amount. Starting out your tire pressure should be pretty low, which means if you have slicks the pressure of your tires should be about 7 pounds. if the rest of your drag car is set up as it should be you need to make sure you plant your tires and have no spins occur and then continue onward. If you want to rapidly and greatly improve your 60-foot times, increase your pressure in your tires in.5 increments and then continue testing until you have a tire spin. A protip to take note of: If you place a go pro or some kind of recording device somewhere in slow motion you will be able to see when you accomplish having a tire spin. Whenever you find the place where your car likes to spin the tires drop your pressure back to .5-1 pounds of pressure., This is the optimal pressure of the tires and you have now set them accordingly.
Tip number 3: While selling shirts with wheelies you might lose E.T.
When you have a lot less wheel stand it is significantly better. But again who does not like to see a bumper scraping and dragging causing sparks to fly type of wheelie at the halfway mark of the track? This is one of the most awesome things a race car can do. Drag racing wheelies are a little different and when it comes to safety and the E.T. the front of the car has to and needs to remain down. Many times more than none a lot of accidents happen on the tower side of the track because a driver has lost control of their car while performing a wheelie. When you have rudders on a race car it can be very tough to steer. If you install wheelie bars this will help the car unload and prevent any wheelstands, they unleash all the energy the car was exerting and the rear tires start to spin. When you start to wheelie if the only thing you see is the sky and you want to reach fast E.T.s there should be some tuning alterations done to make sure the amount of power within the car is lowered and producing correctly during a launch.
Tip number 4: Having a good crew will help you win the race.
When someone normally has an interest in drag racing and is just newly starting out it is normally because of a common interest brought up by a buddy or a significant other or sometimes it could be just because you had a wild hair. Once you start you will notice you will make a huge move and start racing a lot more over time and once you see this happening you need to start trying to find a crew to join in with. Finding a good crew who will sacrifice some of their time for you to have a huge amount of gains can be difficult. Once you have that crew behind you that is right for you, you will realize that makes the biggest difference in the world for you and drag racing. The people on your crew will work on your car, make and prepare food, and other things. But I believe the most important job that is overlooked that a crew does is backing the driver they are helping. They help you as the driver have a clear mind and make sure you are in your right frame of mind when you get out there on the track, and that you are assured everything has been done and every job they have to do has been finished and you initially they help your mindset and be at ease so you don’t worry if your car will break down or if something isn’t right. Focusing on driving is the key for you and they will help you stay focused.
Tip number 5: Being consistent can help you bring home the championship
Drag racing trophy award.
Over and over drag racers are asked one question a million times, “What is the key to winning?” And while having a fast car, a lot of money and an amazing crew are all vital and important things to have, pull those all together and mix them and make sure it all remains consistent. The teams that usually take home the championship are those teams who always show up and are present, ready to go and compete with all they have. Just because your car was the fastest on the strip for this race doesn’t mean you will take that championship home in the years to come and it doesn’t even mean you will win the big race that is yet to come either. You have to be consistent with your speed and be great at what you do to reel that trophy in.
You’ll also need a good fuel system cleaner to help maintain the car you use for your races. (Keep this in mind!)