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Drag racing tips?!

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

  1. Mike VV
    Joined: Sep 28, 2010
    Posts: 1,811

    Mike VV
    from SoCal have this race with your friend, "practice".
    Put a fresh set of spark plugs in the engine. Is the ignition timing set for best performance ? Might raise it a little if you can without going into detonation.

    1. Learn your car like it's a new car, because it will be to you on the drag strip.

    2. Learn how to stage, (get to the starting line). If you've never done it, it can be more difficult than you think. Can't tell you how many times I've seen people mess this up. Not as easy as it looks sometimes.

    3. Learn how to leave the starting line. What RPM does the car react the best? You might leave on the last yellow (don't wait for the green) to get the best reaction time. Both you and probably your car will be slow to react in the beginning. This will take a lot of practice to be good.

    4. Learn to shift quickly. You aren't on the street, it's a different animal.

    5. You ask about the tires. Make sure the front tires are equal pressure, maybe a coupla pounds higher than normal.
    The rear a couple of launches. Spin the tires on the street/driveway. Look at the stripe. It should be even darkness, all the way across. If the center is light, add a couple of pounds of air. If the outsides are light, remove a couple of pounds. Repeat until the black strip is equally dark, all the way across. That put's the most rubber on the track.

    6. Don't slam on the brakes...ANYTIME... If you need to slow before the finish, apply slowly, evenly. When you cross the finish, same thing...NO PANIC stops.

    7. If the car does not go straight, slow and just cruise to the finish. You aren't going to win going crooked. Find out why the car doesn't go straight.
    If you can't fix the problem...DON'T race. Take the car home and try to fix the problem.

    Most of all...HAVE FUN.

  2. Very true, but you have a huge advantage with a Chevrolet.

    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  3. Dan Timberlake
    Joined: Apr 28, 2010
    Posts: 1,255

    Dan Timberlake

    "Short shift at the torque peak"

    This will make your 350 HP engine into a 280 HP engine.

    I think the lowest ET and highest trap speed will result from revving the engine a good bit higher than the torque peak before shifting.
  4. A friend back in the 70,s had a 55 wagon like mine. Had a 283 four bbl engine He claimed was a 327. three speed 318 Muncie. Bragged he has never been beat. had a trophy from George Rays to prove it. He was there on a slow Sunday and was the only car in his class. He never got beat because he never Raced anyone. His name was Ralph.
    53 hemi, JUNK ROD and swade41 like this.
  5. Deuces
    Joined: Nov 3, 2009
    Posts: 18,427

    from Michigan

    53 hemi likes this.
  6. Gman0046
    Joined: Jul 24, 2005
    Posts: 5,984


    Drag Racing is a lot of fun but its the only activity I know of where you spend lots of money to impress people you don't even know.
  7. Dan Timberlake
    Joined: Apr 28, 2010
    Posts: 1,255

    Dan Timberlake

    This chart is an example of rear wheel "thrust" at various speeds, in various gears for some motorcycle.

    Note that reasonable estimate for shift points is to keep the rear wheel thrust at a maximum.
    If the thrust would be greater in the next higher gear, upshift .
    Unless your ride is wheel spin limited in that gear. Even then, backing off the throttle a little bit (feathering) to regain traction might probably work better than blindly upshifting.

    Also note that in each gear the rear wheel thrust curve resembles the engine's torque curve.
    If the Ducati in the chart is stock, the max power was probably ~ 8000 rpm. In the lower gears the "best" shift point is several 100 rpm higher than peak HP.

    This is just what Ed Iskenderian said 60 years ago. in "Valve Timing for Max Output " .
    It is all about "area under the curve." In this case, the HP curve. Not the engine torque curve.

    If you can win and run consistently by short shifting then it will likely be easier on parts.
    chryslerfan55 and 53 hemi like this.
  8. My last pass in the Pusher was a 12.3 @ 128. I was spinning my 355 to 7K in the lights. 7K was way past my theoretic redline and peak torque.

    Drag racing is pushing your car to the limits (sometimes passed the limits if you are serious). You don't win races by playing namby pamby.
  9. error404
    Joined: Dec 11, 2012
    Posts: 238

    from CA

    I've also never been beat!

    (mainly because I've never raced... :D )
  10. Deuces
    Joined: Nov 3, 2009
    Posts: 18,427

    from Michigan

    It helps to keep a log book in the car also... Write down timing adjusts you made, air pressure in the tires, etc, etc.....
  11. Deuced Up!
    Joined: Feb 8, 2008
    Posts: 3,650

    Deuced Up!

    Run chase is race rules and leave on the first stage bulb! LMAO

    Sent from my SM-G970U using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
    53 hemi and saltflats like this.
  12. RmK57
    Joined: Dec 31, 2008
    Posts: 1,380


    Your about 2 seconds slower in e.t. than what your mph indicates. At 128 mph a car should be mid to low ten's.
    D-Russ, chryslerfan55 and swade41 like this.
  13. Bandit Billy
    Joined: Sep 16, 2014
    Posts: 6,329

    Bandit Billy

    and hope they aren't using LED's in the tree :cool:
    Practice here

    Locally, even in sportsman's class our local track (PIR) tech requires dual return springs on the carb, SNELL helmet, lap belts, battery hold down, windows, lights and if the battery is in the trunk a shut off switch accessible from outside the car that will kill a running motor. Go prepared.

    Favorite Racing Quote "drag racing will make you moderately wealthy...if you start out a millionaire"
  14. Tickety Boo
    Joined: Feb 2, 2015
    Posts: 1,091

    Tickety Boo
    from Wisconsin

    What honest H.P do feel your engine makes? What do you estimate the weight of your car with you in is?

    Go to a drag strip before the race, early before the racing starts walk the track and learn where the beams are and how they work.
    chryslerfan55 and 53 hemi like this.
  15. Traction challenged. But it really don't matter I can prove that I did can you prove that I did not?
  16. Out of all the advice offered in this thread, this is the best!!
  17. RmK57
    Joined: Dec 31, 2008
    Posts: 1,380


    Of coarse not. Only an e.t. slip would prove that.:D
    chryslerfan55 and 53 hemi like this.
  18. Well there ya go.
    Ryan has the numbers he keeps em every year and has since the first HAMB drags.

    The @raven turns in the neighborhood of 135 in the upper 10s. he is skating on the big end.
    chryslerfan55, raven and 53 hemi like this.
  19. catdad49
    Joined: Sep 25, 2005
    Posts: 4,017


    Hey, at least you can say, "I was beatin' him..........for awhile!
    chryslerfan55, 53 hemi and JUNK ROD like this.
  20. oldolds
    Joined: Oct 18, 2010
    Posts: 2,939


    The best advice was to take your car to the track and have the tech guy check it out first. There may be quite a few little things that he will not like. With slicks you may need a blow proof bell and/or a trans blanket. The tech guy should also have a good idea as to how fast your car will be after he talks to you. That may involve extra safety items.
  21. Is this for pride of the cars power. ,,or,,,,driver bragging rights ?
    Because you stated you have never raced before,,,,so it will not be a remotely close comparison.
    I think your car is the best in my eyes,,,and should stand an excellent chance of winning.
    But,,,since his is set up for racing,,,,and he has many passes under his belt,,,,you have a pretty good handicap.

    Your best bet is,,,,,practice,,practice,,,practice !
    Use different launch rpm,s,,,,different shift rpm,s,,,,,different tire pressure.
    Fresh tune up on engine,,,,best fuel,,,,lots of things to try.
    Good luck man !

  22. Weedburner
    Joined: Nov 16, 2010
    Posts: 181

    from Wa State

    Install a $20 "Hillbilly Clutch Slipper". The car will be far easier to launch, far less likely to break parts, and far more consistent. Here's a link to the DIY Hillbilly Clutch Slipper page...

    Here's a page that better explains how it works...

    Here's a link to the modern version...

    The modern version works so well that the $2200 Black Magic clutch guys got it banned from NMRA's sealed engine Coyote Stock class, they were getting beat by off-the-shelf clutches controlled by it. The ban was quickly reversed the next day, after an emergency rules meeting was called because half the field threatened to quit. Turns out the the ability to compete with an off-the-shelf clutch was a good thing for the class overall. Today there are 5 different clutch brands that are competitive in the class thanks to the 'tamer, and I'm proud to say every single event this year was won using it.

    If you take the time to build your own DIY version you won't regret it. Midland Hardware is probably the cheapest place to source a new cylinder, around $12. The Delrin slide bushing isn't really required, it's just there to protect the theads on the adjustment rod. The detent features and fancy knob on the current ClutchTamer are not necessities either.

  23. You're going to need to practice, practice your launch, practice your shifts, you're going to be full of adrenalin, you're going to be excited, you're going to feel like your going 200mph, that's why you need to practice so you can tame that shit down.
    Have you ever driven your car at 90mph before, if not how stable is it at the fastest speed you have driven it ? What about your brakes, can they bring you down from 90mph before the return road, do the brakes pull to the left or right ?
    If you and your car are capable of making a pass down the track, put a new set of plugs in before the race, all that launch practicing might have loaded them up, take your air cleaner off, say a little prayer and let it eat !
    By the way, you wasted your money on those slicks, a regular set of slicks are many times better and at the speeds you're going you probably don't even need slicks.
  24. Deuces
    Joined: Nov 3, 2009
    Posts: 18,427

    from Michigan

    What's wrong with vintage BELL helmets????..... :rolleyes::(
    chryslerfan55 and 53 hemi like this.
  25. One more thing, usually the track officials will hold a drivers meeting, when they ask if there are any new drivers, raise your damn hand and don't be embarrassed about it. If they don't have a meeting you make sure and get an official and tell them you've never been down the track and you're not sure where the turn off road is. Most likely they'll ask you if you'd like to make a low speed checkout pass so you know where the finish line is (there's 2 sets of cones, one for et and one for mph) and where the turn off rd is, if they don't ask then you should, it's kinda important. Also ask the official if they can help line you up in the groove and to explain the starting line and staging the car. There's a lot to this, you want you and your car in one piece at the end of the night.
  26. dirt t
    Joined: Mar 20, 2007
    Posts: 4,571

    dirt t
    from Kingman,AZ
    1. HAMB Old Farts' Club

    Fron an OLD TAFC racer go on yellow.
    Good luck have fun and be safe.
  27. southcross2631
    Joined: Jan 20, 2013
    Posts: 3,543


    I see you have slapper bars on the car. I would extend them to hit the front spring eye.
    My nephew has a 34 Plymouth coupe that is full fendered with a Nova clip and a 355 Chevy with a turbo 350 and a 3.73 gear. It has flat top pistons and a decent hydraulic flat tappet cam and a single 750 Holley. It runs low 13's on the motor and mid 11's on nitrous. It's just an old street rod that was built in the 70's.
    The most important thing I will tell you is when you are racing that suicide door car is have a positive door latch . The bodies will flex and the door will come open. My nephew's did and bent the hell out of the door and door post when it went all the way back.
    With my Gasser ,I leave the line at 6500 and shift at 8,000. Doubt if that Hemi will do that . Figure out what your car likes. Come out hard enough not to bog the motor and not fry the tires. Then find your shift points. Most newbie stick shift racers bog the motor then overwind the motor trying to catch the other guy.
    Race your car in your lane , not your buddy in the other lane. He obviously has more experience so he will be more proficient that you. So go to several test and tune sessions before you race him so you can get comfortable with your car. Good luck.
  28. RmK57
    Joined: Dec 31, 2008
    Posts: 1,380


    Our local track would like new drivers to have an "N" on their windshield. They'll help you stage if you want and helps speed up the whole process until you get used to it.

    And also make damn sure who has the right of way when the races is over when your pulling off onto the return road.
  29. spanners
    Joined: Feb 24, 2009
    Posts: 878


    I tell newbies to pretend they are having a spirited run from the traffic lights until they get the hang of the car and track before getting overzealous.
    bchctybob, 53 hemi and JUNK ROD like this.
  30. JUNK ROD
    Joined: Jan 26, 2012
    Posts: 404


    this thread is awesome, all the advices are pure gold!!
    chryslerfan55 and 53 hemi like this.

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