Learning the basics of drag racing are important for both drivers and spectators so that everyone has fun and stays safe.

Reaction Times

Keep in mind that the tree counts down at five-tenths intervals. The reaction time stated is the time that the vehicle took to move off the starting line compared to when the last amber bulb lit up.  Reaction times are essential to the basics of drag racing. 

The Race

With every racer leaving the start line together, the finish line decides the winner. A series of infrared beams across each lane measure incremental times during the race as well as top speed.

The total time of the race for every lane is recorded and announced as the E.T. or elapsed time followed by the top speed for every vehicle. The clock begins when the car leaves the start line, not when the green goes on. The reaction time is recorded separately to tell how long a vehicle waited to leave while the E.T. shows how long the race was. Putting these numbers together as a “package” will tell the winner every time.

The Finish Line

After crossing the finish line, the driver eases off the accelerator and slowly applies the brakes in the shutdown area while remaining in his own lane. Drivers must try not to skid. The car in the left lane makes a left turn exit first followed by the right lane driver. This offers a safe exit for both vehicles. No driver must never, ever turn around on the track since there might be another pair of cars ready to begin the next race. A very important factor in the basics of drag racing. 

The Return Road

After the vehicles exit the track, they go back to their pit area using the return road. Racers can stop along the return road at a station called time slips where a track official will give the driver a printed slip that shows his times. The return road speed limit is just 5 m.p.h.