How to Drag Race
If you are tired of just sitting in the stands at local drag meets, watching everyone else race, then this tutorial will help better explain the ins and outs of going to a drag strip.
1. If you don’t know, ask! Everyone at the track knows what it is like to be a first timer.
2. If you can find someone who has been to a drag meet, go with him or her. If not, then go to watch your first time. Pay the extra money, and get on the pit side, you aren’t going to learn much otherwise! When you are ready to try your luck, most tracks have “test & tune” nights, or “street nights” where it is open for anyone to make as many passes as they want. This is a great time for newbies to get out and try it without being under pressure.
Front Gate to Finish Line
1. At the pit gate, pay your entry fee, and get your “tech card”. The tech card shows track personnel that you have successfully completed the technical inspection/registration process.
2. Find a pit spot. The pits get full later, so don’t hog up a ton of spaces. Remove any loose items in your car, such as spare tires, jacks, and any personal items that are not needed for the race. Also fill out your tech card.
3. When the announcer calls for tech inspection to be open, listen, and go where you are told. If you don’t understand, ask someone. If you get there after tech has started, the attendant at the entrance can tell you where to go.
4. Usually, even a relatively highly modified late model car can pass tech easily. The tech inspector will write your car’s number on your side and front windows where it will be visible to the tower. If by some chance you do not pass tech, you will not be able to race your car on the track.
5. When the announcer calls for staging lanes to be open, pull into your designated lane. Smaller tracks only have two. Bigger tracks have different classes split to different lanes. Again, ask, or refer to any documentation that you were given when you paid your entry fee, if you are unsure of which lane to pull into.
6. Once you are in the lanes, stay in your car.
7. When it’s time for the cars in your staging lane to pull forward and be positioned to race, a track official at the front of the lanes will direct you. It is very, very important to pay attention! Watch the track officials at all times for proper direction.
8. After you have been paired up out of the staging lanes and pull up next to the timing tower, be ready to go. The track official at the water box will check to make sure your windows are rolled up, seatbelts are on, and if it is after dark, your parking lights are on. Even on a well-lit track, it is hard to see your car at the other end and whether or not you have turned off the track.
9. Go around the water box. You don’t want to get near the water. It will run in your tread, be thrown into your wheel well, and drip on your tires and the track the whole run. This is very dangerous for the “Big Boys” running slicks behind you, and could get you removed from the track. Also, don’t do your burnout in the water, as it tends to throw water all over everyone and everything within 50 yards of the starting line! Do a short burnout to get the dirt off of your tires and heat them up a bit.
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