In the Pits
Thursday, 01 October 2009 23:21

In the Pits

Drag racing is unique among motorsports because fans have direct access to the teams, watching from as close as five or 10 feet as the highly skilled mechanics "twirl the iron."

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Hot tip: Some of the most frantic action takes place in the first 30 minutes after a car returns to the pits. If you want a front-row seat to watch the teams at their best, head for the pits a little early. If there's a major engine meltdown on the track and you don't mind missing the rest of the action and probably won't have to fight for elbow room. the lack of crowds also provides a good chance to snag some autographs at other pit areas.

If you want to get a real feel for the power of a fuel-burning engine, hang out until a team test-fires its engine, generally 45 minutes to an hour before it expects to run. (For run times, see your event schedule.) You'll get a snoot full of nitro fumes and a genuinebody-shaking thrill whenever the driver blips the throttle. Your shouldn't restrict your pit-area adventures to the Pro classes. Cruise the Sportsman pits. The drivers in those classes are more likely to have time to spend answering your questions. Often, you'll see the same kind of frantic pit-area thrashes that you witness in the Pro pits. Super Stock teams changing transmissions, Comp eliminator crews swapping engines, and alcohol drivers warming their machines.

Every dragstrip and every drag race is different. Take the time to scout the track layout, talk to other fans who have attended the race before, and listen to the buzz in the pits.