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Drag racing tips?!

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by 53 hemi, Jan 3, 2020.

  1. 53 hemi
    Joined: Jan 8, 2009
    Posts: 464

    53 hemi

    I've been called out! Hahaha

    My friend, who drag races his car on and off amateur, has thrown down the gauntlet! He's pretty fast ('65 Dodge Dart wagon, built 360 w/ 4spd, time slips of 12.7) and I don't think I'll be as fast, but I want to put up a good showing!

    I just ordered some 9" cheater slicks from Towel City. I've never raced and know nothing. My car is also a standard.

    Basic advice??

    Sent from my SM-G950U using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  2. 53 hemi
    Joined: Jan 8, 2009
    Posts: 464

    53 hemi

    The two cars in question. 20191013_203624.jpeg 20180413_170940.jpeg

    Sent from my SM-G950U using The H.A.M.B. mobile app

    My car is a 354 Hemi, .30 over, dual quads, Isky 280 mega cam, TKO 600, and a 3.89 posi 9"

    The wagon is a 360, .60 over, single 4bbl, cam, heavily ported, A833 4spd, posi 8.75", I think 4.11
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2020
  3. Advise from nobody special. DON'T BREAK ANYTHING!!!
  4. 53 hemi
    Joined: Jan 8, 2009
    Posts: 464

    53 hemi

    Deuces likes this.
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  5. glrbird
    Joined: Dec 20, 2010
    Posts: 472


    Your not going to win heads up with the car in your profile. Ask for a spot, if your car will run 15.00 and he runs 12.70, you need a 2.3 head start to make it a fair race. Good luck and be careful not to catch the racing bug. It’s worse than CRACK!!
  6. Chappy444
    Joined: Jan 27, 2012
    Posts: 1,084

    1. Maryland HAMBers

    Find an out of the way place and practice your launch on those new tires... wheel spin is the enemy...

    Calling Dr. @squirrel

  7. gnichols
    Joined: Mar 6, 2008
    Posts: 10,715

    from Tampa, FL

    A LOT can be gained with a good reaction time. Practice practice practice. Mine is terrible, so I know!
    Deuces and 53 hemi like this.
  8. pitman
    Joined: May 14, 2006
    Posts: 4,918


    Watch closely, as cars launch.
    The last yellow, illumines, brightens,
    then lessens.
    Plan accordingly. :cool:
  9. saltflats
    Joined: Aug 14, 2007
    Posts: 10,069

    from Missouri

    Get to your local track for test and tune night and do that.
    mad mikey, verno30, Tooth and 9 others like this.
  10. bigmikes50chevy
    Joined: Mar 19, 2010
    Posts: 347


    take the money you were going to roof the house with, and buy parts! NOS is cheap. cheap locker for rear-end (lincoln if you have to). cheap traction bars, or home made caltrac type. Plenty of plans on the web.

    practice, practice, practice.

  11. AldeanFan
    Joined: Dec 12, 2014
    Posts: 549


    Practice until you get consistent.
    The launch is everything.
    Use whatever safety gear you can get.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Deuces and 53 hemi like this.
  12. catdad49
    Joined: Sep 25, 2005
    Posts: 4,158


    Leave.......... First!
  13. pwschuh
    Joined: Oct 27, 2008
    Posts: 2,270


    Leave when you see the last yellow come on. Don't anticipate it, but when you actually SEE it come on. It only lasts for one half of a second. You can't react faster than that, so you won't red-light and you will get a decent reaction time. If you wait until you see a green light, you've already lost.
  14. when I used to Race at the Track on the Yellow count to 3 seconds & GO..!
    and check the Air in the Slick's make them to Grab the Black Top.

    Just my 3.5 cents

    Live Learn & Die a Fool
    chryslerfan55, Deuces and 53 hemi like this.
  15. TA DAD
    Joined: Mar 2, 2014
    Posts: 183

    TA DAD
    from NC

    Keep this in mind, when you get it to stop spinning that is when stuff starts breaking !
    ConradK, alanp561, JUNK ROD and 3 others like this.
  16. 53 hemi
    Joined: Jan 8, 2009
    Posts: 464

    53 hemi

    Should I have low air pressure in the slicks? Do I leave at idle rpm and just mash it?

    Sent from my SM-G950U using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  17. CAHotRodBoy
    Joined: Apr 22, 2005
    Posts: 339


    Do you have a limited slip? What gears are you running?

    As others said, practice! You will need to learn how to do a proper burn out to heat up your tires and make then sticky. Get a line lock. Hard to do a good burnout in a stick shift car without one. The line lock will also allow you to stage without worrying about rolling through and tripping the lights. You will need to figure out what your best launch RPMs are. It is a balance between a hard launch or smoking your tires.
    You also need to practice shifting. Make sure your seatbelt is super tight so you don't move around in your seat. A lot of guys crank the steering wheel slightly when banging gears which is dangerous and can also scrub off a little speed so make sure you don't do that. You need to decide if you want to power shift or not. Power shifting will be faster but is hard on the driveline.
    I don't know your driving experience in general or how long you've had your car but I always recommend you go find a big empty dirt lot somewhere and practice getting your car sideways. Do some donuts and power slides. Get going at a decent clip and slam on the brakes. knowing how your car handles will help prevent you from wrecking when something goes bad on the track.
    Make sure your car is in tip top condition. Good tires, brakes are good and don't pull to one side or the other, U-joints are good, fluids are topped off (most tracks require water only in radiator), no leaks (you won't pass tech), shocks, etc. Check all fasteners and lines. I see you have slapper bars so hopefully you won't get axle wrap when launching.
    If your track is local go to as many test and tune days as you can without your buddy knowing it. You will need to do this not only for the practice but to also know what your car will run. Also, don't be afraid to talk to other experienced racers for tips. Most guys will be more than happy to help you out. You will have an advantage here because you have a cool hot rod so guys will want to check it out and will talk to you.
    Here is a site to practice your reaction time:
    Drag racing is a blast and can be addictive!
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2020
  18. Most importantly, make sure you get some videos to share here of this "Showdown'.

    You know . . . For educational, research and entertainment purposes. :rolleyes:
  19. saltflats
    Joined: Aug 14, 2007
    Posts: 10,069

    from Missouri

    No two cars will react the same, so what yellow light you leave on or what launch RPM you leave at will be determined on your car.
    From the picture of your car, your traction bars need to be extended so they contact the front of your spring mount.
    mad mikey, alanp561, Mark Yac and 2 others like this.
  20. Cree
    Joined: Jun 13, 2017
    Posts: 108

    from Montana

    Among many other things....this race will be won at the start. Mount your tach up where you can really see it. Go to the track where the surface is properly sticky and practice your launch, find best rpm. Break those unfamiliar tires in and find best tire pressure. Assuming your RT may be slow, even if it's a .5 tree practice leave on yellow, see how close you can cut the light accounting for eye-brain-leg-drivetrain slack. Stage last and be instantly ready. Short shift at the torque peak so it stays within the band. Good luck and let us know!.
  21. dreracecar
    Joined: Aug 27, 2009
    Posts: 3,000

    from so-cal

    Inexpensive and easy to install, buy a "Driveshaft" loop within 6" of the forward U-joint [​IMG]
  22. saltflats
    Joined: Aug 14, 2007
    Posts: 10,069

    from Missouri

    And please tell us you guys are doing this at a race track. You will want to go to the track and have your car teched in, this will tell you what you need for safety for the car and yourself.
  23. 53 hemi
    Joined: Jan 8, 2009
    Posts: 464

    53 hemi

    All good stuff so far! Thanks

    And yeah, we'll be doing this at Gulfport dragway.

    Sent from my SM-G950U using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
    chryslerfan55, Deuces and saltflats like this.
  24. Another tip from a very smart friend. If you start to go sideways, you lost, DO NOT try to correct and get back in the pedal. Professional races have years of experience of backpedaling and recovering. It is a skill You WILL NOT be able to learn quickly. A lot of novice racers end up putting their car in the wall or worse trying to recover. it is not worth your car or your safety. Again if you start to go sideways, You lost, be safe.

    I have a friend who had a very expensive experience with this. He put his very nice 34 Chevy Sedan 45 degrees into the wall at the 100 foot mark. Took him 3 years and 20K to put it back together. Not only that, when he hit the wall his right hand came off the wheel and punched the windshield, broke his hand in 4 places. He carried that cast for 3 months and had to explain what happened OVER and OVER again whenever someone asked about the cast. OF COURSE, his other friends and I gave him lots of grief since the wall incident.:D:D
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2020
    chryslerfan55, Deuces, egads and 2 others like this.
  25. I was running low 12s in a 4000 pound brick of a C-10 on street tires. 12 second cars are not fast.

    Best advice is practice leaving. if you are not a "racer" you are going to loose staging not on the big end.
  26. as much as I like to stage at high RPM and sidestep the clutch. I admit quite often a automatic trans is just as quick and more consistant and much easier on parts. My dad had a 428 galaxie. It turned the best times just leaving the line staged at idle and just flooring the pedal. would barely smoke the tires and would get the jump on tire burners and wheelie pullers. Manual shift the C6 trans. I used the speedometer rather than a tach to know when to shift. Ya gotta practice. Watch videos of guys like Butch Leal and Ronnie Sox they had it down pat.
  27. belair
    Joined: Jul 10, 2006
    Posts: 8,401


    1. Go to your friend's house.
    2. Help him work on his car.
    3. When he isn't looking, switch two of the plug wires.
    4. Have fun and be safe. Great looking little car.
  28. Yes indeed the race at Drag week Jims automatic nova a 10 second car. Ran a really close race against a high dollar 8 second 55 chevy.
    Boneyard51 likes this.
  29. Jim's car is roll cage challenged. he is a real racer in my book, his car is way faster than his roll cage allows him to run and he keeps it right up against his max speed.
  30. RmK57
    Joined: Dec 31, 2008
    Posts: 1,457


    Our Friday night street legals use a Pro-tree start, so it takes out the risk of red lighting. Stage as shallow as you can then anything that turns yellow hit the gas. Keep the car in the racing "groove" and most important is knowing which car has the right of way when exiting to the return road.
    Have fun and keep the shiny side up!
    chryslerfan55, JUNK ROD and 53 hemi like this.

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