Drag Racing Information
A Day at the Drags...
Monday, 09 October 2000 23:23

A Day at the Drags...

Come Early, Stay Late, and Be Prepared
in general. Unlike a typical three-hour football game or two-hour concert, drag racing is an all-day affair. The best advice for you as fans might well be the same advice given to the teams you're coming to watch: Come early, stay late, and be prepared.

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What to bring: a hat, sunglasses, earplugs, a blanket (to sit on or bundle up with during the awesome spectacle of night qualifying), and , most important if you're an NHRA member, your membership card. It's your ticket into the Membership Hospitality Center, where you can catch your breath and grab something to eat or drink. Like the TV commercials say, don't leave home without it.

Okay, you've got your tickets and your car is loaded with the essentials - now what? Race-day attendance totals often exceed 40,000, so it's a good idea not to plan your arrival to coincide with the firing of the first pair. Believe it or not, the parking lots are full of latecomers streaming toward the main gate even as the first round gets under way. The first round of Top Fuel, Funny Car, and Pro Stock comprises 24 heats: the balance of eliminations consists of 21. Miss the first round, and you've missed half the show.

At the end of the day, don't make a headlong rush for the gates the instant the last nitro car runs. When the rest of the herd heads for parking lot, it's a great chance to hit the pits, where the teams are relaxing after a long day and likely to be more than accommodating.

In the Stands
Sunday, 01 October 2000 23:23

In the Stands

Qualifying is your chance to see all of the cars run, not just the quickest 16. You'll get to see some of the local cars that run only once or twice a year and are rarely quick enough to make the show. Saturday, you'll witness the high drama of final qualifying, where drivers have a last chance to fight their way into or are bumped from the field.

Track and weather conditions can change from session to session and affect performance, so to get a better idea of how the players rate, compare runs made within a single session, not across sessions.

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When eliminations begin, try for a little diversity. Watch the Sportsman competition, where the racing is often close and wins and losses are not always decided by horsepower but by driver reflexes and downtrack strategy. If you're new to breakout racing, listen to the announcers. They often go into great detail to explain how and why a driver won or lost a race.

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