First, what is “drag racing”? In the humblest terms, drag racing is a sport where two cars compete side-by-side in an acceleration contest. Both drivers go in a straight line from a standing start to a finish line. The first to cross the finish line wins the race. Competition is part machine and part driver.
You drag race on a dragstrip according to performance safety rules. The construction and design of the dragstrip allow racing to commence under the safest possible setting for the drivers and spectators.
The track safety walls, surface, fences, staging lanes and return road are set according to strict standards. Race procedures have to conform to long-established industry standards. Insurance carrier and sanctioning body guidelines must be closely followed to guarantee a fair, safe, and fun racing experience for all that attend or participate.
Drag racing is a sport
No special skills are necessary. In the sport of drag racing, any licensed driver can participate. Kids as young as 9 years old compete in Junior Drag League events and some as old as 80 race at local tracks nationwide. Driving skills develop with every race. The full performance abilities of a car are tested while a driver learns a vehicle’s characteristics.
A drag race is started using a device called a “Christmas Tree” that stands around 40 feet ahead of the start line. As the vehicles come to the starting line, the drivers are beckoned to stage their vehicles and begin the race by watching the colored bulbs light up in sequence.
While both vehicles might leave together on the green light, a driver’s reaction time from when the green comes on will be a factor in the race. If one vehicle stays on the starting line after the green comes on, the other car will gain an advantage making it possible for the slower car to win the race.