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Old 11-01-2010, 01:01 AM
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Since the forum has a newfound intrest in drag racing I thought i would post these up for good knowledge and etiquette.
All write ups came from a fellwo named skidmarkracing over on the lightning forums. I only changed some of it to make it aplicable to us.

The water box:
In this write up I will explain the purpose of the water box, proper trailing through the water box and finally the burn out.

The water box is used to get your tires wet. This is for two reasons.
One - it make the burn out process much easier so that you do not burn up your trans or clutch trying smoke those massive meats.
Two - it helps remove any dirt from the tire prior to burnout.

Entering the water box:
How you enter the water box is important. If you have "pizza cutters" then you can drive straight through the box. If you have any version of a street tire then you need to drive around the box and back in.
When you drive straight through the box it gets your front tires wet. This leaves a trail of water to the starting line. This not only F's things up for you but for those behind you as well.
One - Back into the box far enough to get your back tires wet, but not getting any water on your fronts.
two - pull forward until your back tire is at the outside edge of the water box. not the inside edge.
Do not do your burn out in the box. This only splashes water up in your fender wells and while you sit on the starting line the water drips on the track and your tires. You may also see people enter the box and do a quick spin of the tires to get them wet then pull forward to do the burn out. This also splashes water and should be avoided.
Beginning the burnout:
The burnout does several things for you. First it cleans the tires of any debris they may have picked up (rocks etc.). Second it puts heat in the tires so that they will better stick to the track. Third it puts heat in the motor and drive train.
One – put the trans in first gear, foot on the brake, gas it to get the tires spinning. Once the tires are spinning bump it up into second gear and let your foot off the brake. Let the vehicle move forward a few feet then let off the gas. You do not need to do a John Force burnout. If you are on street tires, you want to get a nice puff off of the tires. If you are on et's or slicks then you want to get to a nice white color smoke.
The main thing you want to do is develop a pattern. You want to do the same thing every time.
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Old 11-01-2010, 01:06 AM
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Now that you have done your burnout it is time to line up and stage. One of the most important parts is lining up in the “Groove”.

If you look at the starting line you will see shiny black everywhere, this is the VHT. You will also notice some dull black stripes extending out from the starting line. This is known as the groove. You do not want to line up in the VHT (shiny) as it will actually cause you to spin. You want to line up in the good rubber (the dull area).

Some may argue about not lining up in the VHT, but sitting on top of the rubber makes it a tad slick, even though it will pull your shoe off if you walk on it. The reason you want the dull area is the VHT has been “burned” into the track and as you line up you are rubber on rubber. Watch the pro cars. They do their burnout across the line to establish a fresh groove, this also puts rubber down in any bald spot that may be present.

Once you see the groove; that is where you will want to head. You will creep forward until you turn on the first staging bulb. You then wait for your opponent to turn on his top bulb.You will want to establish a pattern just like your burnout. Stagging , checking gauges , purging lines for nitrous users , revving motor to clear it and your mind out or whatever you feel you must to get your mind right.

When on a standard tree, you will see the bulbs come down. As soon as you see the third bulb flicker, gas it. It takes 5 tenths of a second for your body to react (normally). Now how your reaction time is depends on how you stage.

Shallow stage - You pull up just enough to turn on the second bulb. This usually results in a slower reaction time, but a faster et and mph since you are getting a jump before you trip the lights.

Deep stage – You pull in until the second bulb is on and the top bulb is off. This usually results in a faster reaction time, but slower et and mph. (note, you need to make sure the starter knows your going to deep stage). If at a test and tune it is not needed, but if you are at an event then you need to display a DS on your windshield.

Play around with the different staging methods to see which works best for you. If your reaction time is super fast then shallow is probably your best best. If your reaction times suck, then deep may be the way to go.


the lights drop and you "Mat It".
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Old 11-01-2010, 01:13 AM
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Ok, so now you are at the starting line with both of your bulbs on, you are waiting for the tree to drop so you can hammer down.

Launching from the line is very important. There is a good saying in that “I have never won a race in the first 60 feet, but damn sure have lost many there”.

I would assume those with street et’s and slicks already know what they are doing so I will focus on street tires. If anyone thinks we should go into how to launch on street et’s and or slicks, let me know and I will do an article. Yes there are various ways to launch depending on the tire you have.

So, you are at the line (street tires) and are ready to hammer it. First off, no matter how good the track is or how good you think your tires are, if you nail the throttle from the line you will spin and blow your 60ft.

With how light the cars are , you will shred the tires in an instant if you launch to hard.

Pull in and stage. Do said previous ritual.

Shallow roll turn on second bulb. Bring rpm’s up to 3000-4000rpm

The tree begins to drop…third bulb flickers…release clutch…push pedal to the floor while counting “one thousand one”. This does not mean count and then mash the gas. It means as you start the downward push; you start the count. When the pedal hits the floor you are finishing your count.

For the ones using two steps I guess just do whatever you have the best of luck with . I hate them myself and just dont see many good things happening in a car less than 600whp
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Old 11-01-2010, 01:14 AM
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Now we are getting into the fun portion of the run. We will discuss back pedaling and what to do if you break while going down the track.

Now that we are moving down the track. You have been over anxious and left the line to hard and are spinning. Don’t stay in it, you need to lift and do your count again. Once you get used to this you will learn you don’t have to completely let of the gas. You will learn the finesse of rolling out and back in. Once a tire is spinning it is very easy to keep spinning, which is why you want to roll out so that the spin stops and then get back into it. A rolling tire is hard to spin.

So you leave the line…spinning…roll out of throttle…tires hook…roll back into the throttle.
Sounds easy but takes practice. You just have to remember your counts. That is the most important part.


If you leave the line and something just doesn’t seem right
The tires wont hook up
Smoke coming from the back
Engine sounds funny
Basically anything that is not normal
If something seems wrong then it probably is. When this happens, pull out of the groove.
If you have just left the line and need to shut down. Pull out of the groove towards the wall, shut down and stop. Do not continue down the track, you may be pouring oil or coolant. There is no need to mark your spot all the way down the track. If you are already rolling pretty good and something breaks, then again you need to pull out of the groove and exit the track as soon as possible.

The idea is to use some common sense. If you are having issues then the pass is already lost, there is no need to keep at it. Don’t screw the track up for the next person.

Be aware of the finish line. The lights that show your time etc. are not the finish line. They are way past it. I see many people run past the lights before they start the shut down. Once you are nearing the end of the track, you will notice two orange cones. The first one is marking the 1000ft mark and the second one is marking the 1320 mark (or finish line).
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Old 11-01-2010, 09:37 AM
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Amazing write-up !!!

2 X =

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Old 11-01-2010, 07:01 PM
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wow... i think i learned something lol
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Old 12-28-2010, 09:50 AM
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Very nice, i learned a lot from this great job!
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Old 11-14-2013, 03:55 AM
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Does Houston have any drag s2000's yet? I know there are several being built, but wondering if anyone has made it to the track yet, word.
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Old 05-27-2016, 11:40 AM
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