Bryan Hawker’s Top 10 Drag Racing Facts

  1. The Current Top Fuel Dragster Record Is 3.667 Seconds For The Quarter Mile: Tony Schumacher holds the current record for the quickest quarter-mile run ever recorded which is 3.667 seconds. Most other purpose-built cars that were built for drag racing would be even lucky to just reach the 8-second mark for the quarter mile.
  2. Dragsters Can Reach Over 300 Mph In Only A Few Seconds: It took under 4 seconds for Tony Schumacher to complete the quarter mile and when he crossed the line, he was traveling 336.57 miles per hour. So every other Top Fuel Dragster must have been going at least 300 mph!
  3. The Preferred Method For Forced Induction is Supercharging: There are naturally aspirated engines and then there are engines with forced induction. In the forced induction category, you have turbochargers and superchargers. Supercharging an engine is by far the fastest, most efficient, and the best way to force air into the engine.
  4. Cars Have Gotten Airborne: According to Bryan Hawker, it is vital that the race cars stay as close to the road as possible or else it can get quite dangerous for both the driver and the crowd. If too much space is left between the bottom of the car and the road, wind can literally lift the dragster off the ground.
  5. Top Fuel Dragsters Are Powered By Nitro Methane: These top dragsters need a special kind of fuel to run. You definitely won’t find this kind of fuel at your local gas station. Nitro Methane burns way hotter than normal gasoline, and under full throttle, a dragster burns about 11.2 gallons of this fuel per second!
  6. Dragsters Have External Starters: All Top Fuel Dragsters have an external starter to start up their engines. Unlike regular cars they don’t have a key ignition system. The batteries for these starters are even mountain on retrofitted golf carts. In addition to that they also have spare starters as a back-up just in case the primary starter fails.
  7. Top Fuel Dragsters Have 2-Speed Pneumatic Transmissions: In general most car have have 5 or 6-speed transmissions. This is not necessary with a dragster though, because the race is over before you can even finish this sentence. These cars go so fast they wouldn’t be able to get into 3rd gear before reaching the finish line! It’s all about acceleration. The first two gears have the most torque and engineers don’t give a damn about the amount of Nitro Methane they burn.
  8. Top Fuel Dragsters’ Engines Redline At 9500 Rpm: The average diesel engine has a redline of just around 5,000 rpm; the average gasoline engine has a redline of between 6,000 to 7,000 rpm. Top Fuel Dragsters on the other hand max out at a whopping 9,500 rpm! Tuning this powerhouse may be near impossible and the power band is extremely hard to control.
  9. Everything Eventually Blows Up: The dragster’s engine component get warped over a very short period of time due to the immense forces at play. It’s pretty common for blocks to get busted, transmissions to blow, cylinder heads to get propelled right out of the engine. Everything has a tendency to go up in flames eventually, says Bryan Hawker.
  10. Drag Racing Has Been Around For A Long Time: From the moment the first cars were sold to the public, people wanted them to go faster. This desire for more speed is what triggered a few ambitious groups of people to upgrade their automobiles to make them go faster and faster. This fad took off and even now we still see the same burning desire for speed and the thrill of competition. (Source: Hotcars)

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