Drag Racing Class Questions

Lowend

Administrator. .a car, a man, a maraca.
Staff member
Lifetime Gold Member
Mar 25, 1999
16,759
San Jose, CA, USA
Folks, while I’m pretty knowledgeable about many things automotive, I know little of drag racing. Trying to help out a friend who wants to get into it.

Long story short, my friend has caught the bug. Not a lot of mechanical skill, but has a good amount of cash (6 figures) to spend on a car. She wants to buy a basically turn key 1/4 mile car and be competitive. The desire here is to have a mostly trailered car, that can be Street driven on rare occasion.
Now before everyone starts with ‘pride of building’ etc… this isn’t me. It’s a friend and this is what she’s doing.

That said, I’ve advised her to be very careful about car/class selection. A civilian doesn’t want to be running with the Outlaws etc.
What classes do you guys see as being good for beginners, and why?
 

muscl car

Veteran Member
Lifetime Gold Member
Jul 8, 2001
23,773
Gallatin Tennessee
A good beginning class for her to start is just going to a local track on a weekday or weekend test n tune event for street cars . These races are open to street cars slower than 10 seconds and must be street legal

Also local tracks have bracket racing events which is very popular . This requires you to run no faster than what you dialed in . So if you think your car can run a 10.50 Et for example and you run quicker than that you lose . Bracket racing is very competitive but fun



Another class of racing or racing event is called Drag and Drive events . This is usually a a five day long event that races at five tracks and have a street legal car capable of driving a 1500 mile total distance during that five day event . These events have cars running 14 seconds or slower up to as fast as 5 seconds at 200 plus mph . At the track you have 3 attempts of running as close to your index class you're running in . So if you're running 10.50 index you try and run as close to that index without breaking out then turn your fastest time in ea night at the track . At ea track over the 5 days they average your passes and the winner has to complete the 1500 mile drive and have the lowest average time for their index


Some of those events are ....

Hot Rod drag week

Rocky mtn race week 1.0

Rocky mtn race week 2.0

Midwest race week


Sick week
 
Last edited:

Chevyforever

Veteran Member
Jan 4, 2011
1,391
Ontario, Canada
Bracket racing class for sure. ( I did that for close to 30yrs). A lowered powered car with automatic trans and and the biggest rear tires that will fit. As an example an 11:50 second et car is much easier to maintain and run consistently than a 10:00 second et car. The beauty of bracket racing's handicap start system is that it equalizes the competition. Focus on repeating the race day routine ( burnout, staging, engine temp, shift points, etc...) rather than making any changes on race day. A dual purpose car makes so much more sense than a strictly track only one, given all the closure of tracks taking place throughout the country. A lower compression that can use readily available and cheaper fuel should be considered also.


timsmonzaone.png
 

My73LT

Veteran Member
May 29, 2001
1,554
Orlando, Fla
I HIGHLY suggest she try bracket racing in a street car first. You can get plenty of fast street cars for cheap ( used and modified cars of any type SRTs/Camaros/Mustangs from 1960's to current ), or even some very nice ones new ( SRT anything, SS Camaros, Mustangs ). Bracket racing is the perfect way to start.

Jumping in with a trailered ( even if street capable ) car will be a HUGE learning curve. Tire pressures, launch routine which might vary by track, staging ( deep, shallow ? ), learning how to power steer, when to come off the gas, or when to stay on. .. There is a lot more to it than just punching the loud pedal as a driver. I can't imagine giving someone a 10.0 car and turning them loose. Who's going to work on the car if she's not inclined to do it herself ? Race cars break.. and need much more frequent maintenance. Tires, fuel, other breakable parts. Does she expect to get into it, drive to the track, and run heads up ? What happens WHEN it breaks ?


The FAST racing series is very competitive. Those guys are CRAZY about the lengths they'll go to.. and take the "Stock Appearing" with a grain of salt.. Yeah, it LOOKS like it did in 1968.. but damn sure it doesn't run that way. LOTS of tweaks and tunes on those things that are beyond the basic weekend racer. And if she's not mechanically inclined.. she'll get roasted first round every time.
 

1980RS

Veteran Member
Jun 17, 2006
6,122
MN
Folks, while I’m pretty knowledgeable about many things automotive, I know little of drag racing. Trying to help out a friend who wants to get into it.

Long story short, my friend has caught the bug. Not a lot of mechanical skill, but has a good amount of cash (6 figures) to spend on a car. She wants to buy a basically turn key 1/4 mile car and be competitive. The desire here is to have a mostly trailered car, that can be Street driven on rare occasion.
Now before everyone starts with ‘pride of building’ etc… this isn’t me. It’s a friend and this is what she’s doing.

That said, I’ve advised her to be very careful about car/class selection. A civilian doesn’t want to be running with the Outlaws etc.
What classes do you guys see as being good for beginners, and why?
Is she talking about an NHRA legal class car? if so get one that down in the letters like a J K L class car that runs slower to start out with but those cars are expensive to race and compete in. Have a buddy that runs an A/Stocker and another guy I've know since high school that also run 2 legal car on in the 8's. If she has never raced before, have start out in a 13 sec. car then when she's mastered that move up to a faster car. Stuff happens real quick in a 9 of 10 sec car if it gets out of hand.
 

ls777z

Veteran Member
Feb 19, 2000
2,280
Clay,NY
Have to agree with what others have said. Bracket racing is the easiest and probably safest way to get her feet wet and whatever car she currently drives is more than adequate for now. Who’s to say that she might decide down the road it’s not her thing?
 

Jimmac

Veteran Member
Dec 24, 2013
774
tucson az
I know nothing about different class racing, but if your friend is asking what car to get into, she probably isn't a mechanic either. So, to make it easy on her wallet and you who might become her mechanic why not steer her to a newer camaro or a hellcat? those things are fast, pretty reliable, swap a set of slicks, go race, put the street tires back on and drive home.
jim
 




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