First of all, what is "drag racing"? In the simplest terms, drag racing is a sport where two vehicles compete side-by-side in an acceleration contest. Both drivers race in a straight line from a standing start to a finish line 1/8 mile away. The first to cross the finish line wins the race. Competition is part driver and part machine.
Drag races are conducted on a dragstrip according to a set of safety and performance based rules. The dragstrip is designed and constructed to allow racing to be done under the safest possible environment for both the drivers as well as spectators. The track surface, guardwalls, fences, staging lanes and return road are arranged according to strict standards. Race procedures must conform to long established industry standards. Insurance carrier and sanctioning body guidelines must also be closely followed to ensure a safe, fair and fun racing experience for all that attend or participate.
Drag racing is a sport
Each side of the "tree" has two small yellow bulbs at the top that signals a driver when the vehicle is on the start line. The first bulb lights when the vehicle is almost on the line, "pre-staged", followed by the next bulb lighting as the vehicle moves forward to "staged" position on the line.
The "tree" has three larger amber colored bulbs on each side followed by a green bulb and then a red bulb. Once both vehicles are staged, the "tree" is activated and the first amber colored bulbs on both sides of the tree light up. Then ½ second later the next amber bulb lights up while the first amber bulb goes out. Another ½ second later the last amber bulb lights up. And one-half second later the green bulb lights up signaling the drivers to start the race. If either vehicle leaves the start line before the green bulb lights up, the red bulb will light up instead. This indicates a foul start for that vehicle thereby giving the other driver an automatic win.
While both vehicles may leave together on the green light, a driver's reaction time from when the green comes on will become a factor in the race. If one vehicle remains on the starting line after the green comes on, the other vehicle will gain an advantage making it possible for the slower vehicle to win the race.
More About Reaction Times
The total time of the race for each lane is recorded and announced as the elapsed time, or E.T., followed by the top speed for each vehicle. The clock starts when the vehicle leaves the start line, not when the green comes on. The reaction time is recorded separately to show how long a vehicle waited to leave while the E.T. shows how long the race was. Adding these numbers together as a "package" will show the mathematical winner every time.
The E.T. is displayed on finish line scoreboards in seconds, tenths and hundredths. The top speed of the vehicle displayed in full numbers followed by tenths and hundredths. Example: E.T. = 9.43 (seconds) at 88.31 (miles per hour).
The Finish Line
The Return Road
The basis of competition is in the performance numbers. Drivers perform as consistently as possible while tuning their machines for optimum performance.
Street racing is not drag racing