Do you want to experience the thrill of street racing – without breaking the law? Consider entering a drag race. Drag racing is a sport where two cars race side-by-side on a designated track. The one who crosses the finish line first wins the race. Sounds pretty basic, doesn’t it? It’s not. The cars usually have a lot of modifications and the drivers are usually very skilled at driving. To win a drag race, you need both a fast vehicle AND a good driver.
The Basic Rules for Drag Racing
All of the racers participating in a drag racing competition leave the starting line upon the green signal. The driver who reaches the finish line first is declared the winner. Each lane has a series of infrared beams that measure the incremental times as well as the top speed of the cars during the race.
The total time of the drag race per vehicle is termed as the elapsed time. The elapsed time is usually displayed with up to 3 digits after the decimal point for close calls on the scoreboard. The top speed of the vehicle is displayed on the board as well with a similar accuracy. The accuracy of the board is based on the technology implemented to record the data.
The top speed of each car and the elapsed time are taken into consideration when deciding the winner. The clock starts when the competing vehicles leave the start line upon a green signal. The recorded reaction time shows how long it took a car to leave the start line while the elapsed time shows the total time taken by the vehicle to complete the race. The total sum of these numbers shows the mathematical winner. Note that the time taken for giving the green signal is not taken into consideration (i.e. during red and yellow lights).
At the End of the Race
After the driver crosses the finish line, he applies the brakes in the deceleration area while letting off the accelerator. The drivers need to stay in their own lane at all times. To eliminate the possibility of a collision, the left lane driver takes a left turn exit, and the right lane driver takes a right turn exit. This ensures a safe exit for the duo.
The return road is for letting the vehicles return to their pit area after they exit from the track. Racers can stop at the time slips station along the return road. There, a track official gives the driver a printed slip with speed and time highlights of the run.
All Drivers Must Drive Approved Vehicles
Each drag racing event has its own requirements which ranges from power levels to vehicle types. First, the driver’s vehicle must meet the basic requirements of the drag race. Drivers must use a street legal vehicle or a racing legal vehicle, depending on what is allowed. If your car is not street legal but racing legal, you will need to transport the vehicle to the strip by tow.
All Drivers Must Hold a Valid Driver’s License
The participants must have an approved Competition License or a valid driver’s license. Also, the drivers are usually required to sign a Waiver and Release form before participating in the competition. Licensed minors must have a signed Waiver and Release of Indemnity and Liability Agreement form before the competition. If you are under 18, you will need parental approval to gain access to the drag racing grounds. Tracks may also have an age restriction for drivers.
Tips on How to Win a Drag Race
If drag racing appeals to you, consider these tips on how to get the best possible times at the race track.
Tip #1 – Choose the Right Car
The “win” in a drag race depends on both the vehicle and the driver. First, let’s take a look at the right kind of vehicle.
Obviously, the best vehicle is a fast one. However, your setup is just as important as the car’s stock speed and performance. Make sure that your vehicle has a good balance between the horsepower, grip, and weight.
Top Priority Modifications:
- Exhaust & Intake Systems
- Nitrous Upgrades
- Racing Tires
- Supercharges & Turbochargers
- Weight Reduction Kits
These are just some of the top ways you can modify your car to make it faster. These mods are typically used in drag racing vehicles where legal. To be competitive, consider the options on this list as well as any other performance parts available for your specific vehicle.
Drag Racing as an Alternative to Illegal Street Racing
To help combat illegal street racing, organizers usually form an alliance with local public officials, civic leaders, and law enforcement agencies. Typically, the track may charge an entry fee for the drag racing event. Sometimes, the track may allow for free entry. This is done to encourage more and more people to participate in this “safe alternative” to illegal street racing. A drag race serves as an opportunity for racers to compete in an organized and safe environment.