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Technical Drag Racing Question

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Rex_A_Lott, Sep 20, 2016.

  1. Rex_A_Lott
    Joined: Feb 5, 2007
    Posts: 1,019

    Rex_A_Lott
    Member

    OK, I've been around dirt track racing all my life, so I'm gonna skin my ignorance here about Bracket racing and ask a dumb question.
    I heard a guy say today " That was the only round I had to run out the back door".
    What does that mean, exactly?
     
  2. Was the only round he ran full throttle all the way. He must have had the others covered and would let up before the finish so he would not break out. In brackets you dial the time you are going to run, to fast you break out, to slow you lose. May be more than you asked for.
     
  3. cj92345
    Joined: Jun 17, 2009
    Posts: 158

    cj92345
    Member
    from so-cal

    I'am usually "holding" 2-3 hundreth's, means if my car runs say 12.00 all out I would dial in 12.03
    in theory I don't want to cross the finish line under full power, if I spin or have a bad light I have something to work with at the finish line, rarely I'am under full power at the finish.
     
  4. Good explanation by racingonerobb - but I found that having a much faster car than you're dialing in is a two edged sword - easy to break out (run too fast). A couple hundredths cushion is all you need, unless you fall asleep at the tree.
     

  5. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 49,260

    squirrel
    Member

    the only time I didn't run it out the back door last week, was when second gear went away, and I wasn't sure what was going on. Next run I skipped over second and held it down all the way, went almost a second slow

    I haven't bracket raced for a long time
     
    stillrunners likes this.
  6. Rex_A_Lott
    Joined: Feb 5, 2007
    Posts: 1,019

    Rex_A_Lott
    Member

    Thanks. He said "I was looking over my shoulder for the rest". I guess I should have been able to figure that one out.
    When I first bought my house my next door neighbor was a drag racer, so I got exposed to a little of what went on, in the shop anyway, but I never "got" the bracket thing. It didnt really seem like racing to me, more like a game you played with fast cars, but if they all liked it then more power to them.
    I used to tell him" Real race cars turn left" and he'd come back with, " Real race cars go too fast to turn left." I really hated to see him move. The people who bought his place turned his 40 X 60 shop into an apartment.:mad:
    Still its interesting, and if there was a "Bracket Racing for Dummies" I'd probably read it.
     
  7. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 49,260

    squirrel
    Member

    better yet, go to the strip and give it a try. Sure beats sitting in an apartment on Saturday night
     
  8. saltflats
    Joined: Aug 14, 2007
    Posts: 10,824

    saltflats
    Member
    from Missouri

    Go try it for sure it was set up with the brackets so you could race anything.
    It does boil down to driver skill.
    I have had no luck playing the bracket race game every time I think I am out front and can let off to keep from braking out it bites me in the ass.
     
  9. Mike VV
    Joined: Sep 28, 2010
    Posts: 2,390

    Mike VV
    Member
    from SoCal

    Actually, the "original" meaning...
    Was to not shut off at the 1/4 mile lights...back when the MPH traps were 66ft. in front of the finish line to 66ft past the finish line.

    Out the "back door"...meant to run full throttle past the second 66ft section, or fully past the speed traps.

    Mike
     
  10. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 49,260

    squirrel
    Member

    ...hence you get the highest MPH recorded time that you can.
     
  11. old sparks
    Joined: Mar 12, 2012
    Posts: 414

    old sparks
    Member

    Bracket racing is all about the driver and how well he knows the car. nhra stock drivers rarely drive it flat out all the way, that`s why there are a lot of crashes at the top end to much brake. A good bracket racer will hand your butt to you almost every time. It also keeps a lot of tracks solvent
     
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  12. JOECOOL
    Joined: Jan 13, 2004
    Posts: 2,760

    JOECOOL
    Member

    Bracket Racing is not popular with people who don't understand it ,but it allows cheap hot rodders like me the opportunity to work on my car , drive my ass off and maybe win once in a while. Otherwise the guy with the $60,000 car would win every time.
     
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  13. GTS225
    Joined: Jul 2, 2006
    Posts: 1,191

    GTS225
    Member

    And you don't need a fast car to get somewhere in brackets. What you need is a car that will run the same E.T., each and every pass.
    Early 80's, had a '68 Dart, slant-six powered, 18-second car. Made it into the quarter and semi-finals quite often.
    Back then, there was also a guy that ran a 4-banger Pinto, too.

    Roger
     
  14. Great nutshell explanation MPO anyway. Not as much fun for the spectators but it kept the sport alive for the little guy when all the big money came rolling in.
     
  15. falcongeorge
    Joined: Aug 26, 2010
    Posts: 18,341

    falcongeorge
    Member
    from BC

    Or "you'll never get anywhere driving in circles":D
    There was a "Bracket racing 101" series, it was Brent Keppners "Mr Dirt" series published in SS/DI back in the nineties. Read that series and you will NEVER watch a single round of handicap drag racing the same way again.;):eek:
     
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  16. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 49,260

    squirrel
    Member

    I was at a Tucson points race not long ago, there was no one in the stands watching, except a few folks who's relatives were racing.

    No prep heads up racing is filling the stands these days.

    It'll be interesting to see where it goes.
     
  17. Pretty much the same at the tracks I go to. Even the nostalgia events that used to fill them are way down in attendance.
    Its hard to beat heads up racing but eventually the winners will be the ones with the biggest pockets or the most generous sponsors.
    I'm not a big fan of bracket racing, I would enjoy going back to the beginning and see guys with similar means battle it out.
     
  18. falcongeorge
    Joined: Aug 26, 2010
    Posts: 18,341

    falcongeorge
    Member
    from BC

    Oh, I totally get you, bracket racing is COMPLETELY beyond the grasp of the average mouth breather fan. When you understand whats going on, it takes on a whole nother level. I don't participate anymore, I used to be a third round duck, now with a family, I don't get enough seat time to move beyond first round duck status. Nowadays, my participation is restricted to a few hits at the Friday night heads up street racer nights.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2016
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  19. metalman
    Joined: Dec 30, 2006
    Posts: 3,284

    metalman
    Member

    I use to do some bracket racing (still do once in a great while) and enjoyed it, was pretty decent at it too. But, like you it's the same at our track, bracket racing is still the most popular with the racers, least popular with the fans. Face it, fans don't want to see one car at half track before the other even leaves the line. Track management wants fans, that's where they make money. What I see coming up in popularity lately with both fans and racers are the 8.5 and 10.5 heads up classes. Running a 8 1/2 tire really cuts down on the money thing, a 60k motor won't do you any good if it won't hook any better then a 5K motor. A good chassis tuner/ driver can be competitive without breaking the bank, skill level instead of $$$ seems to me to be a big part of it. Think I'd give it a try if I get back into racing. heads up was always more fun.
     
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  20. falcongeorge
    Joined: Aug 26, 2010
    Posts: 18,341

    falcongeorge
    Member
    from BC

    I used to race a 10 wide class, honestly, it seems to be dying off here. Bracket racing will never fill the stands, that's a fact, but personally, I LOVE watching the last three rounds of street, especially at the top-end with a couple of other guys that have done some bracket racing. It gets REAL interesting once the "ducks" are weeded out, if you know what you are seeing, theres a WHOLE LOT going on in the last 300'. Man, I used to LOVE watching Don "the worm" Elgin work the big end. Guy was a master...
     
  21. Rex_A_Lott
    Joined: Feb 5, 2007
    Posts: 1,019

    Rex_A_Lott
    Member

    This was back in the early '90's and they had a stutter box, a delay box, an air shifter and they even played with a little pneumatic cylinder to back off the throttle. The whole passenger side floor board was full of electronic gear and a small air cylinder. There was even talk of setting it up to" Leave off the other man's bulb" ...whatever that meant. No way all that could have been cheap, and it was designed to take the driver out of it, it just didnt seem like racing to me. They had dropped back to running an 1/8 mile too, so it was over real quick. I couldnt see how you would ever get good at it, since so many people went one round and back on the trailer.
    Two things I did envy them, though. My neighbor made his living building transmissions and setting up rearend gears, so a lot of different people were in and out of his shop. He also sold fuel and parts at the track, so he knew a lot of folks. When the race was over there would be a pile of people in the local restaurants, and it was a lot of friends/competitors. At the track the atmosphere was different, overall the drag racing crowd helped each other and were just a friendlier bunch of people than what you would normally see at a round track.
    The other one was, at the end of the season they still had a pretty car, and spent the winter trying to make it better. Hell, I was tickled if I even still HAD a car, and it damn sure wasnt pretty.
     
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  22. saltflats
    Joined: Aug 14, 2007
    Posts: 10,824

    saltflats
    Member
    from Missouri

    Yeah when you have a fast and winning dirt track car you may as well paint a target on it.
    We would spend late nights putting new parts and sheet metal and paint on the car to go out Saturday night and have it beat all to crap.
     
  23. falcongeorge
    Joined: Aug 26, 2010
    Posts: 18,341

    falcongeorge
    Member
    from BC

    the tracks in my area do not allow any electronics in the majority of bracket classes beyond a two-step. Delay boxes are only permitted in the pro-tree classes at most NHRA tracks I know.
     
  24. 56sedandelivery
    Joined: Nov 21, 2006
    Posts: 6,695

    56sedandelivery
    Member Emeritus

    That's how "The Worm" got the name; he managed to "worm" his way through everything, starting with his first race car, a 48 Cadillac if I remember right. I wish I had his tolerance for heat; it can be 100 degrees out, and he's wearing a jacket, zipped up, blue jeans and boots, and with a hat on, while everyone else is down to as little clothing as possible and sweating bullets. Bracket racing has saved drag racing, especially for the tracks and little guy. I know, little guy with more electronics than an FAA control tower. I am Butch/56sedandelivery.
     
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  25. falcongeorge
    Joined: Aug 26, 2010
    Posts: 18,341

    falcongeorge
    Member
    from BC

    Damn rights. If you missed "the Worm" at his peak, you missed out big time. When he was racing his black Le Mans in Stock, I saw him cut strings of 6-7 sub. 005 lights in a row, foot braking on a full tree. Guy was a MACHINE. And he would dial soft, and work the stripe like a MASTER. He wasn't always popular, but he sure won a lot. I used to LOVE watching Div 6 Stock Eliminator, MAN there were some TOUGH racers here. Jody Lang, Jim and Eric Waldo, Elgin, Rick Johnston, man, some GREAT footbrake drag racing.
    For those that don't know, other than a two-step, electronics are not legal in Stock, no delay boxes, no throttle stops, no cross-overs, nothing.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2016
  26. falcongeorge
    Joined: Aug 26, 2010
    Posts: 18,341

    falcongeorge
    Member
    from BC

    FWIW, I'd never lift off fully, just ease the throttle a little and use the brakes fairly aggressively to slow the car. If you close the throttle, the suspension settles, and the car wont react quickly enough when you need to get back on the gas. If you misjudge his closing rate even a little, and you are out of the gas, you are done.
     
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  27. RichFox
    Joined: Dec 3, 2006
    Posts: 10,020

    RichFox
    Member

    When I was a little kid drag racing was pretty rare. being kids we would brag "My dads car is faster than yours" We never said my dads car was quicker. And we sure didn't say " My dads car runs on his number better than yours." that's why speed trials are better. just go as fast as you can. Fast always was the idea. We knew that at 6.
     
  28. Fedman
    Joined: Dec 17, 2005
    Posts: 1,163

    Fedman
    Member

    Rick Johnston was "The Man" much talent, and a very nice person.
    Rick built our first Blown Alcohol Short Block, when we discussed the Ring package and the Ring end gaps, he laughed!
    He said that in a "Stocker" this would be a Turd! :p
    I guess they ran them loose with no Ring tension at all.
    We had Zero Gap Rings and the Polar opposite set up, still a Small Block Chev, just proves that there is more than one way to Skin the Cat.
    Rick was a Hell of a good Racer/Mechanic and His Brother (Ron?) have taken home a Ton of Division 6 Hardware and have left their positive mark on Drag Racing on the West Coast.
    We lost a great one when Rick passed. :(
     
  29. Chevy Gasser
    Joined: Jan 23, 2007
    Posts: 701

    Chevy Gasser
    Member

    I once beat a 16 car field and never crossed the finish line first.
     
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  30. saltflats
    Joined: Aug 14, 2007
    Posts: 10,824

    saltflats
    Member
    from Missouri

    You have to cut lights like this. 20160821_134910.jpg
     
    chevy57dude likes this.

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