JEGS Racing Education
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Anatomy of a Dragrace
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The driver spins the rear tires before each race in what
is known as a burnout. The effect of the 1300 horsepower
spinning tires on a stationary car is more than a lot
of smoke. It actually heats the tires making them sticky;
therefore a better grip for the track.
The Starting Lights
as the "Christmas Tree", the starting lights
sit near the starting line between two drivers. The Pre-Stage
and Stage lights help the car line up for a fair start.
Once both cars are Staged, three amber lights flash simultaneously
in four-tenths of a second to alert the driver that the
green light is coming. Drivers go when the green light
shines. If a driver heads out too early a red light signals
and the driver is disqualified.
moment a car's potential energy turns to kinetic, a force
so great occurs that the car's front end leaves the ground.
To limit and control this undesirable action, the wheelie
bar is there to steady the launch. The goal is to keep
the car from going too high. It is also important to transfer
the weight forward so the front wheels can properly steer
races occur on a quarter-mile drag strip (1,320 ft - 400
m). Two cars race at a time with the winner advancing
and the loser eliminated from the competition. A typical
race lasts 6.6 seconds and cars top out at over 200 MPH.
At this speed drivers do everything they can to keep the
car straight ("in the groove"). The winner is
the first to cross the finish line. The cars then slow
down with the help of two parachutes and carbon brakes.
the Official NHRA glossary for more drag racing terms:.