This is a “tutorial” for those of you that want to join the awesome world of drag racing but don’t know exactly what it entails. So, hold on to your helmets and read on!
Be a spectator your first time. Look, listen and learn! If possible go with someone that has gone before. Look at the track officials and see how they direct the racers by hand gestures. This is very important.
When you’re ready to give it a go, check our schedule for Dr Pepper Friday Night Drags. These nights are open for anyone to make as many passes as they want. Some seasoned racers use these nights to test and tune their cars.
Everyone racing knows what it is like to be a first timer. If you have a question, ask! (just don’t pick the racer first in line in the staging lanes that is ready to go) Any one wearing our blue track shirts can answer your questions, if they don’t know they will ask. Either way your questions will be answered.
Photos courtesy of Bad Rooster Images
- Enter the track through Gate 2, pay the fee and get your “tech card”.
- It’s time to find a spot to pit. Once you find your lucky spot, fill out your tech card. Make your car lighter if possible by removing any loose items. Don’t get crazy with it, if you want to strip your car, do that at home.
- Suit Up! Check the “Dr Pepper Friday Night Drags” section of our website for clothing and helmet requirements.
- Listen for the announcer, he will advise the racers when tech inspection is open. If you arrive after the call and don’t know where to go, just ask. The attendant at the entrance can tell you where to go.
- An inspector will write your car number on the driver side window and front window. Your car number must be visible to the tower.
- Again, listen for the announcer to open the staging lanes. When he does, pull into your proper lane. (try to control your heart rate; it’s only going to get better!) The lanes are numbered one through six from left to right at Wild Horse Pass.
- When you’re in the staging lanes it is very important for you to stay with your car.
- When it’s time for you to pull forward and be positioned to race, it is extremely important to watch the track officials at all times. It gets very loud and you will be directed by hand gestures for the most part.
- Once you have been paired up, be ready to go! The next track official to watch is the at the water box. At this point the officials will be checking to make sure your seat belts are on, your windows are rolled up and after dark, your parking lights are on. Make sure your AC is OFF; the guy behind you doesn’t want to make a pass with condensation on the track left due to your AC. Some tracks consider this reason for removal from the track.
- When signaled to do so, do a quick burn out. This will get rid of dirt on the tires and heat them up a little. You don’t need water from the water box for this; it is mainly for the racers running on slicks. Also you may not do a burn out past the starting line; you must have a NHRA license in order to do so.
- Now you are ready to stage! Slowly pull your car toward the beams. We have orange cones on both sides of the lanes to assist you with staging. That is where the staging beams are located. When you get close to your cone, slowly go forward until the top set of yellow lights come on (pre-stage). Now, inch forward until the second set of yellow lights come on (staged!). There is not a big rush for you to stage, take your time! Soon you will learn track etiquette on staging.
- Now it’s all you! Concentrate on the yellow light just above the green. Go when the last yellow comes on for the best reaction time. If you leave too soon, you will red light. (.000 is a perfect reaction time)
- DO NOT give it 100% your first time, feel the track out. If you get massive wheel spin or something just doesn’t “feel” right, by all means get off it! There will be other runs!
- Stay in your lane at all costs.
- THE LEFT LANE AT WILD HORSE PASS HAS THE RIGHT OF WAY WHEN EXITING THE TRACK. Do not exit the track before the left lane driver. If you smoked him, congratulations, now wait for him to catch up and exit first. With that being said, use common sense when you exit the track. Always keep safety in mind.
- Drive down the return road, stop and get your ET slip. Once you’re back at your pit, read your slip. Watch for pedestrians walking around go slowly. The speed limit off the strip is 10 MPH at Wild Horse Pass.
*Always check for Track Rules & Requirements when visiting other tracks. For the most part the rules will be similar, but always double check!
We hope you join us often for Dr Pepper Friday Night Drags!
Question: “Can Drag Racing make me a Millionaire?”
Answer: “Yes, only if you’re a Billionaire.”