Tips For The Drag Racer.

Old 12-10-2003, 08:07 PM
  #1  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Dover DE
Posts: 989
Default

The drag strip, and timing lights...



In the following posts I will do my best to explain a typical drag racing track and the lighting scheme for the new guys trying to learn how to drag race.



The folowing picture illustrates the drag racing light also known as the "Tree"

The tree is broken down into all the lights you see.
Attached Thumbnails Tips For The Drag Racer.-tree.jpg  
TheCamel is offline  
Old 12-10-2003, 08:10 PM
  #2  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Dover DE
Posts: 989
Default

The "Pre Stage" light



This light comes on as you drive forward to the starting line. when the prestage light is lit, you know your tires have crossed the first set of "beams" . The beams are light sensitve photocells that are placed approximately 12 inces apart. When you approach the starting line and the prestage light comes on, move slowly forward until you see the "Staged" light
Attached Thumbnails Tips For The Drag Racer.-1tree.gif  
TheCamel is offline  
Old 12-10-2003, 08:16 PM
  #3  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Dover DE
Posts: 989
Default

The "Staged" light



This light activates when your tires acctivate the second photocell. This is the time you need to get ready, when this light is activated you are telling the track official you are ready to race. You need to keep both the staging and pre stage lights lit as shown below. When your opponent and you both have the staged lights lit the track official will begin the tree countdown timer.



One thing you need to know is a term known as "Deep staging" this means you have driven far enough forward into the lights that the pre stage light goes off and only the Staged light is lit. Most tracks will not allow the lower classes to use this lanching method. Check with your track for the rules of the event you are attending for the class you are racing in (usually given to you when you register to race)
Attached Thumbnails Tips For The Drag Racer.-2tree.gif  
TheCamel is offline  
Old 12-10-2003, 08:23 PM
  #4  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Dover DE
Posts: 989
Default

Once the track official begins the countdown timer the track computer will begin counting down to light the countdown lights. These lights are designed to light at .500 seconds apart from each other. Your main focus is the last yellow light on the tree, the final countdown light. When you see this light come on, launch. If you wait until the green light you will already be at a loss in your launch. The reason for this is that the human body needs time to react to the things it is doing. By the time you see the light and start to release your clutch to launch the green light is already lighting and your reaction time is begining to count against you. Look at it this way, there is .500 seconds between the lights, by the time you see the yellow and begin reacting, the green will be lit. From the moment the green light is lit and your tires move away from the beams is what is called your reaction time. A perfect reaction time is .500 of a second, what this means is that from the time the third yellow lit, till the tim your tires start to cross the starting line was .500 of a second. You left the line exactly at the moment the green light came on. On your first attempts do not be surprised to see 1.04 or higher as you get used to launching this way.
Attached Thumbnails Tips For The Drag Racer.-amber2.gif  
TheCamel is offline  
Old 12-10-2003, 08:27 PM
  #5  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Dover DE
Posts: 989
Default

The dreaded Red light



This occours when you move accross the beams during the countdown timer phase prior to the green light being lit. This results in a disqualification, and you will lose the race you are running. One thing I have noticed on guys that are red lighting is that they are anticpating the yellow light coming on instead of waiting until it lights to react. Remember you launch on the third yellow, do not allow the car to roll at all during the staged or countdown phase.
TheCamel is offline  
Old 12-10-2003, 08:40 PM
  #6  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Dover DE
Posts: 989
Default

The track layout...



This is an overhead view of a typical 1/4 mile track. here you can see the layout of all the timing devices and their locations on the track.



The burnout box, usually located about 15 ft behind the lights, this is where you make the tires sticky if you are running a drag radial or slicks. If you are running regular street tires drive around the wet area in the burnout box and do not burnout your tires long, only a few revolutions are required to clean of any debris from the staging lanes. Over heating of a regular street tire will usually cause oils in the tires compund to come to the surface and create less traction.



The Rollout area, this is where the two staging photocells are located. They are the cells that light the pre stage and staged lights. just behind these cells on the burnout box side in the center of the track is the official.



The 60 foot mark, and timer. This is one of the first things you will look at on your time slip to get an idea of your traction, the higher the number the less traction you have, on a typical Street driven car with street tires expect a 2.0 - 2.5 second range, with drag radials such as Nitto or BFG Drags these numbers can be lowered.



The 660 foot timer. This is where you are at half track. Some dragstrips will give you this number, and speed at this point.



The MPH timer this cell is located 66 feet from the finish line, and takes the time traveled from this point to the finish line to calculate your final speed.



The finish line, this is where the final time is calculated from the time your tires rolled accros the rollout beams until the end of the track. The timing does not begin until you cross the beams at the beginning of the track.
Attached Thumbnails Tips For The Drag Racer.-track_diagram_blue_lg.gif  
TheCamel is offline  
Old 12-11-2003, 06:30 AM
  #7  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: NJ USA
Posts: 1,909
Default

very good information. newbies always get confused with the pre-stage and staging. sometimes they deep stage and sometimes they pre-stage but dont stage and creates a mess.
Judge Ito is offline  
Old 12-11-2003, 11:16 AM
  #8  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Bayou-self Louisiana
Posts: 947
Default

What's "deep staging"?

Also if you sit farther back in the box does that help your ET/60FT because you get a mill to go before triggering light?(At the cost of R/T of course.)
l8t apex is offline  
Old 12-11-2003, 11:40 AM
  #9  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Canberra Australia
Posts: 875
Default

That about sums it up. Well done. My worst launch was when i put it in third gear instead of first. The thing I most concentrate is trying not to wheel spin in second, sometimes I get too excited going from first to second and the wheels start to spin like crazy.
TyresmokinRx7 is offline  
Old 12-12-2003, 08:01 AM
  #10  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Dover DE
Posts: 989
Default

I posted general information, Some people that have never been to the dragstrip may not know these things. I wanted to give everyone the best information i could. One thing I think I could have added is the fact when you are in the pre stage area, this is where you want to do all the final checks. Make sure the car is in the correct gear, make sure all your gauges are reading, RPM's @ launch are what you want etc etc. I prefer to Stage first, Some tracks will ask you not to stage until both drivers have pre staged. This is to eliminate the games some driver will play on the line. Staging first gives you an extra second or two to get your setup right to launch. Understand you will not become the next John Force reading this, but you will also not look like Bozo the clown coming up to the light. Know your rules prior to competing, you may find you have a more enjoyable time at the track.
TheCamel is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Quick Reply: Tips For The Drag Racer.


Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

© 2019 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.