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Bracket Racing vrs Heads Up Racing

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by The Shocker, Jan 18, 2010.

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  1. The Shocker
    Joined: Dec 30, 2004
    Posts: 3,538

    The Shocker

    I posted this thread yesterday ,but it got deleted by accident in the issues they were having with the HAMB , so i am reposting it.This subject has came up many times on other threads in the past ,but i didnt want to put it to a vote then and take away from someone elses topic .I for one hate Bracket racing ,but i know there are a few that are pushing for it at the Nostalgia Drag events we all attend through the year.I would like to know where everyone stands on this and hear any ideas that you may have about it .I think that we can come up with a way to make these events more fair and fun for everybody and still not be Bracket Racing like the Bozos racing imports at the local track.I think maybe a cubic inch / weight thing would be a good way to even are cars up ,along with more specific classes.Only constructive ideas please .If we start having personal insults and drama on this thread ,it will be closed for sure.I would like to know which side of the fence everyone is on about this matter.If you have an opinion about this topic ,lets hear it ,and get this out in the open .Again ,im sorry that this thread got deleted by accident ,but it was no ones fault ,so lets try again ...:)
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2010
  2. I spent 25 years around Stock and Super Stock either helping or racing my own car. The two classes use both heads up and bracket style racing.
    You race against a car in the same class it was heads up, a car in a slower or faster class it was bracket racing.
    I spent a lot of money on different, cams, convertors, heads, etc., only to see the allowed replacement parts or rules get changed, or not enforced.
    No fun being in debt all the time.

    It would seem to me most spectators want heads up and most racers would rather have brackets or index.

    Heads up is fine if the playing field is leveled with classes based on CI or HP per Lb. You would also need to think of what modifications would be allowed in each class. This is basically how most heads up races around here are run. Not something most people want to spend time doing at a nostalgia event.

    Bracket racing gives the guy, who may not be able to spend every dime he makes on his car to make it faster, a chance to win as it puts the emphasis on the driver's side of racing.
    Before people start in on the whole electronics thing, there are bracket classes at your local tracks that don't allow them.
    I think most people are only familiar with the Super classes IHRA and NHRA offer that use the delay boxes and timers.

  3. Shifty Shifterton
    Joined: Oct 1, 2006
    Posts: 4,964

    Shifty Shifterton

    Heads up is greatly preferred by spectators.

    But as a racer, heads-up rulebook revisions may cost you thousands.....every season. In addition to the normal cost of running a car. All those cubic inch and weight regulations are constantly being revised & negotiated. Hero to zero with the stroke of a pen.
  4. I prefer "run what ya brung"...sandbagging not withstanding. Brackets boil down to reaction time...

  5. I think it would be cool if there were mandatory clutch assisted manual gear box classes. Watching the drivers DRIVE and listening to the sounds the cars made during the shifts would then be great for spectators. Bracket racing would be OK then mixed in with the heads up stuff like Tim said.
  6. tooslow54
    Joined: May 6, 2005
    Posts: 929


    Coming from the "inside", typically rule book revisions are not made on "a whim". Racers are Hot Rodders, i.e they are always looking at ways to get more out of what the have (or, are allowed). The rule writers see what one racer is doing in the "grey area" and must apply it to all. It's not a slam against the grey area racer, it's just a way to try and keep the class within the spirit of the class and the ET/MPH the class was designed for.
  7. tooslow54
    Joined: May 6, 2005
    Posts: 929


    BTW: Heads up gets my vote.
  8. Little Wing
    Joined: Nov 25, 2005
    Posts: 7,501

    Little Wing
    from Northeast

    Well I see it kinda 2 ways

    I mean as it started ,,it started with ,,"who was faster" and folks raced ,,and thre was always "the car to beat"

    but now remember this was street racing

    I have seen tons of people line up to watch street racing


    It was racing on a track ,,so I guess they needed to make some kinda rulse for the track..Cause there was $$$ involved.. Otherwise whoever had teh most $$ to build faster car would always win

    So I would guess when it became a Business / Job, thats where it all changed.

    Brackets could be ok but some of the rules of it need altering
  9. The Shocker
    Joined: Dec 30, 2004
    Posts: 3,538

    The Shocker

    Someone mentioned limiting rear tire width per class ,and i like the crap out of this idea.It keeps the little guy from having to go against backhalfed 4 link cars ,plus it also kinda dictates how much HP the car has to hook with the tires it has IMO ...
  10. Shifty Shifterton
    Joined: Oct 1, 2006
    Posts: 4,964

    Shifty Shifterton

    Stock suspension 10.5 tire classes have dipped into the 8s and moved out of the realm of cheap racing.

    Here's something to chew on.....

    Motor claims. They're the only thing that keeps $15K motors out of $1500 dirt track stock cars.
  11. The Shocker
    Joined: Dec 30, 2004
    Posts: 3,538

    The Shocker

    Your right as i know a few cars here local that are running low 6's in the 1/8 on 8.5 slicks ( the marvel of CalTracs and Mono leafs ),but in our realm of racing it seems to me that most people just cure their traction issues by going to a wider slick.I have seen some guys at these events ,having traction issues with 12 inch wide slicks and only running in the 12's.I think the tire width thing is a possabilty either way ...
  12. Back in the early 60's when I ran my A/D they hadn't invented bracket racing yet. All our races were "heads-up" against whatever they put into Competition Eliminator. When Donnybrooke (now known as B.I.R.) had its grand opening in '68 they asked us to "un-retire" so we dusted it off and brought it out. We ended up in the Comp final running against a '32 Ford coupe street rod and they gave him an 8.50 second head start. I red-lighted (barely) the only time in my career....and I beat him by 100 feet at the finish line. :(

    Not a fan of bracket racing. :D
  13. My .02c worth which is irrelivant-I like both,and see their points.
    First-Brackets...It gives everyone a chance to actually win.It really comes down to the driver in this case,and well,a consistant car. I've done it before-gone seven rounds with a six cylinder that ran 17's, and gone the same in a high nine/ten second car.Came out on top both times.Didn't say I didn't have to "spot" some people,or be "spotted" ,but It took me as the driver to make it happen. A lot of times I came up short.

    Heads up- I've done it also.I qualified in the middle of my field,and I was able to run against cars that were simmilar in ET to mine.It didn't last long as the car that was"sporting the biggest wallet" left me in the dust.
    Don't take me wrong as I see a need for "heads up",but the rules,the rules... It kinda takes the fun out of it,unless your totally dedicated,can build a "class car" and compete knowing that it might come down to thousandths of a second.You have to have a fat wallet for that.

    If I wanted that kinda action,I'de hit the nhra circuit.

    I always just went for fun,and to see what my rides would do(as far as ET) The bonus was ME being able to win with what I had.

    Both are fun either way,and there's supporters of both.
    It's just nice to go to a gunfight and kick some ass with a b.b.gun

    As long as I get to step down and make a perfect pass=I'm happy.
  14. The Shocker
    Joined: Dec 30, 2004
    Posts: 3,538

    The Shocker

    One part i always hated about it ,was having to watch someone with a slower car getting further away while i sit there and wait,and trying to get a good light at the same time.I never have been much for cutting great lights ,and that handicaped crap makes me worse.I dont care what anyone says ,the car that leaves first has an advantage at the tree.Then there was the "Sand Bagger" ,thats the other reason i hated it ...
  15. Fast55097
    Joined: Oct 16, 2007
    Posts: 114

    from S.A. TX

    I really like the approach the Kontinentals out of Austin, TX run their Day of the Drags. heads up on saturday, brackets on sunday.

    I would like to propose a similar approach to the heads up event that I have been thinking of for a while.

    What if we run heads up classes that are determined by qualifying. All cars make two time trials. then, order the cars by fastest e.t. only. stratify them into classes of the desired car count. Run the classes heads up. we could impose a percentage breakout rule to discourage sand baggers. cant run quicker than 5% (or some other aggreed upon number) quicker than your own fastest qualifying pass.

    I feel this would solve some of the cost to compete factor in putting on a good heads up race.

    What do you guys think?
  16. The Shocker
    Joined: Dec 30, 2004
    Posts: 3,538

    The Shocker

    Not Bad ...:)
  17. Shifty Shifterton
    Joined: Oct 1, 2006
    Posts: 4,964

    Shifty Shifterton

    Actually that's more like street racing than anything :D. Can't recall the last time I ran somebody on the street without giving them lengths or the move.
  18. 440shawn
    Joined: Sep 25, 2009
    Posts: 1,716


    I did the bracket racing thing years ago and I'm not much into that anymore. I still like the street racing mentality of a run what ya brung, but yes there needs to be some type of weight to power ration. But I still like the straight up race best car/man win.
  19. dragrcr50
    Joined: Jul 25, 2005
    Posts: 3,865


    i prefer brackets because it makes all thing equal.. we run our gassers on the regular monthly races on 1/8th mile, 4.0 pro tree and bracketed. the 6.0 and the 7.0 cars are actually closer together on the start than you might think it makes close racing on the 1/8th. and you go knowing you can win on any given night and or, the points series for the yr. on the other hand heads up say index or just flat whoever is fastest , there is always a winner and usually the same car. , agreed it is usually the most money or lightest car etc. 2 cents.... csga nostalgia nationals tvrp oct 31st 2010
  20. Having both drag raced and road raced (cars & bikes) perhaps we should look at road racing and the different spec. classes that they have. Engine and drive train combos could be specified with a minimum wheight and max tire. In road racing its generaly limits on engine and suspension mods. With bikes in stock classes its simple they'd put the bike on a dyno as part of tech inspection with a max hp as per class rules.
  21. 65COMET
    Joined: Apr 10, 2007
    Posts: 3,086


    The big problem with "spec" cars is that the guy with the most money wins.Look at junior fuel,spec engine[basically 18 degree 400" sbc],it always comes down to who ever spends the most!!! I have watched it happen,been racing for over 40 years!Look at what has happened in the socalled nostalgia classes,BIG MONEY WINS period!If you want to stop sand bagging you qualify and have to run within a certain percentage of your qualifying time.TOO quick,too slow,you go home! JMO,ROY.
  22. pdc
    Joined: Nov 25, 2008
    Posts: 346


    Here's my 2 cents. Get however many people that wanna race, divide them into classes as evenly as possible. Tire, weight, and horsepower, now after the season seeing how everyone runs. Probably more people will wanna join in, start moving cars in a faster class and the ones that don't have the money to go faster let them stay where their at. The faster the car goes he gets moved to where he is equal or has to tone it down and stay where he's at. Just because one class gets faster I don't think the little guys should have to suffer. Having to keep up takes all the fun out.
  23. The Shocker
    Joined: Dec 30, 2004
    Posts: 3,538

    The Shocker

    Why cant you race weight /cubic inch and still have fun at these vents.The main reason i like heads up is because it gives myself and others a reason to try and improve our cars performance regularly and challenge ourselves to go faster to compete.Not by just sitting back and throwing $$ at it ,but by using are heads to make the car quicker .Lets face it ,if we are just after consistancy why bother having a fast car ? No one said it had to be a money contest to race heads up in several different classes of cars.I really dont see John Force showing up at these events we attend .I think a reward for out tuning other simular cars is where lots of the fun is ,and bracket racing kind of eleminates that possibilty ...
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2010
  24. Gotta remember also that a lot of small tracks don't have scales.
  25. The Shocker
    Joined: Dec 30, 2004
    Posts: 3,538

    The Shocker

    Thats true ,but a good tech guy can usaually look at a car and hit the weight pretty close .Everybody probably knows that a stock W head 60 Impala should out weigh a gutted 283 Model A by 1200 - 1400 lbs...
  26. 340Fish
    Joined: Nov 10, 2008
    Posts: 101


    perhaps a different perspective here.

    We run heads up at all our events. The equalizer is all cars run through mufflers and on DOT tires... Yes, it's street legal cars only. Every racer picks there own race. It is some of the closest racing you will see. The marker at the finish is the marker that used to work the finish at the local street races and it's ArmDrop start (hense my website; After a couple summers of running this, we are seeing more people build cars than we have in 20 years. We've got incredible grudge matches with cars now running down in the low 10's. In our first season we gave out a pile of tickets... a couple of hardcore racers came out as real sceptics. At the end of the night one guy came back over to us, thanked us for the tickets and said, "maybe this is real racing". There is no shortage of tree/bracket events at the strip. The number of racers at our events is lower than the regular drags but we consistantly bring a better crowd to the stands. Take from this what you will.

    For anyone that used to be involved in the street scene back in the day, this will be familiar to you.

    Heads-up all the way here!
  27. Roy, I can and do appriciate what you're saying but when $ win in a spec class the spec wasn't good enough. And I agree with the junior fuel being a prime example Ijust figured we could look beyond that and learn from it. Roundy rounds have had to completely redo the amature classes to keep it competative and fair. Why do people get so serious when they're racing for what amounts to be a $10 piece of wood to screw to the garage wall?
  28. 972toolmaker
    Joined: Feb 28, 2008
    Posts: 216

    from Garland Tx

    Any choice would be better than what they had at the HAMB Drags. For all practical purposes it was time trials only,no realistic racing at all. My 1935 is set up for long hauls 2500 RPM equals 80 MPH. All wrong for drag racing but it was still fun to see what the old gal could do. Shocking was I could still cut a good light. Not great Good. My vote is bracket
  29. granny
    Joined: Apr 1, 2009
    Posts: 56

    from WA state

    I've been thinking of a possible rule structure for local street driven cars that allows for some of the diversity you get with street driven having 8 or so basic competition rules...

    ...Street driven cars only- no trailers, no support equipment
    ...Engine size maximum- small block 410cid / BB 500cid
    ...Minimum vehicle weight- small block 3000lbs / BB 3300lbs
    ...Common pump gas only- no race gas or additives
    ...DOT legal tires only- 275/60-15 maximum
    ...No power adders- no blowers, no turbos, no nitrous
    ...Stock chassis dimensions- stock framerails/wheelwells/suspension
    ...Basic ignition boxes only- no programmable controllers or digisets

    but the twist is that you only have to comply with 6.

    Eight rules, you pick the six you like. Cross two off that you don't like. You can basically have anything you want, just not everything.
  30. Casey
    Joined: Nov 8, 2005
    Posts: 3,293

    Member Emeritus

    glad to see this back up but we lost some great input yesterday

    again the only way to have a equal heads up race is to figure in power Cubic inches
    weight and engine set back and tires and maybe transmission ?

    that would put most of these cars in there own class to race them self
    no fun if you ask me cause I have no one to race now

    what I see at a heads up race is uneven cars driving down the track that are no where close really boring to watch
    hey I`m gonna bet on the faster car ?

    I would think people will grow tired of not having a chance to race a equal car
    after a few years and quit coming to the races after the old school yo heads up thing wheres thin

    now were talking street driven hot rods that maybe race a few times a year not pro racers ?

    It`s got be a dial in et of some sort to even up the cars. other wise it`s just silly racing un matched cars the faster ones going to win$$$$$$$$

    I like the thought of dialing in your fastest run of that day or faster that would get rid of sandbagging
    hell that`s the way I do it anyway.

    brackets we can all race let the tree even out the cars and it will make you a better driver and the finish line is exciting again
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