Drag Car Racing - Ever Thought of Trying It?
By Charles Hopkins
Published 04/24/2006 | Sports
Do you find yourself obsessively watching car racing on TV or driving to the local racetrack? Do you love tinkering with cars out in the garage, getting oil on your hands? Does the sound of a super-charged engine get your blood pumping?
Well, maybe youre the kind of person who would love to get into the hobby sport of Drag Racing. Heres some insight.
Drag car racer, Lorne Walters, worked on his drag car for over two years, making it one of the fastest cars on the strip. He even competes against cars that have a higher rated horsepower than his 1984 drag racing street car that he picked up for next-to-nothing. He collected inexpensive, used parts for it for over a year, until he finally bolted it all together and cranked the ignition.
Since then, he has put a couple of seasons of driving and fine-tuning under his belt. He explained that it is not major changes that produce big leaps in performance but many little changes over time that makes the difference between winning and losing a race.
Removing the muffler increased his engines horsepower. Removing over three hundred pounds of non-essentials made the car lighter. Removing the belt-driven fan and replacing it with a battery-powered fan reduced the load on the engine. Changing from street tires to tires that get sticky when you lay rubber and heat them up increased his cars traction. All of these changes increased his cars speed.
When youre counting your racing time in tenths of a second, every little change brings you closer to winning.
One of Lornes motto's to live by is, You cant learn it if you dont do it. If you want to become a better and more successful Drag Race driver, you cant just read about it or watch it, you must do it! The more you do it, and apply what you learn from the experience, the better you become.
Before he ever thought of driving his own car though, Lorne joined a pit crew for a stock car driver, which allowed him to network with other enthusiasts and also get into the thick of it. Once he got bitten by the race car fever, getting behind the wheel became a driving obsession.
Consistency is also one of the major keys to winning. In Drag Racing, it isnt always the fastest car that wins, but also the one who stays consistent in doing the little things right. Good race timing scores must be repeated often.
Lorne also learned quickly that when youre on the strip, ready to go, you dont hang around waiting to be told to go. Waiting for the tree of lights to reach green-for-go cost him 1.2 seconds. Which meant that his competitor, who exploded his engines horsepower into forward motion just prior to green, left the gate just as the tree hit green and was way out ahead of him. There is always a lag time before the car will actually burst forward.
When Lorne started out with his own car, tagging along with a successful racer who knew the circuit and all the ropes placed him car lengths beyond his competition. He also gained much of his knowledge by asking lots of questions, searching the Internet for free information, and by hands-on experience.
Drag Racing is no longer a hobby to Lorne, its a passion a passion that pushes him from race to race throughout the season.
Maybe this could be your passion, and like Lorne, you may get some or even your entire car sponsored by local businesses.
Not sure if you would like it? Some drivers are allowed to take passengers during certain parts of the day. Why not get to know one and go for a trial spin?