Close



Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. #1
    FEP Super Member mmb617's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Altoona, PA
    Posts
    4,059

    Default Some random bench racing thoughts from a retired drag racer.

    I used to race my car at Beaver Springs almost every Friday night for 7 years, 2008-2014. I had to give it up for reasons I don't want to go into, but I keep the memories alive by looking back at all the pictures, videos and records I kept. I'm kind of a compulsive record keeper. I have spreadsheets for everything.

    As a bracket racer I always appreciated how important it was to cut a good light. If you win at the tree the race should be yours unless you screw up at the stripe. At least that's the way I always looked at it. So I pulled up the sheet with all my round runs on it and did some ciphering.

    I disregarded the 25 bye runs I made as there is no winning at the tree on them. Always everyone's favorite opponent good ole Mr Byron. I have records for 163 rounds I ran against actual opponents. 85 times I had the better R/T and got the win. 41 times I was later at the tree and lost the race. So in my eyes 77% of the time the winner at the tree was the winner of the race.

    There were 23 times when I had the better light but managed to lose the race anyways. About a half dozen of these were due to some mechanical failure on my car during the pass. Usually it was the T5 complaining about running behind a 408. It made it's displeasure known by shredding gears and breaking inputs on occasion. A few of them were due to me not getting good traction and therefore not being able to cover my dial. Most however were races that were there for me to take but I gave them away by taking too much stripe and running out. That was always my biggest weakness.

    On the other side of the coin there were 14 times when I was beaten at the tree but still managed to get the win. That's a tough way to go as you need the opponent to make a mistake or there's really nothing you can do. Some of them were when he had mechanical failures as those things tend to even out. I distinctly remember running the class big dog once and he had the much faster car so I was watching him close on me near the end when he suddenly started to fall back, handing me the win. He told me later he thought he had enough nitrous for one more run but it turned out he only had enough for 3/4 of a run.

    If I were asked for advice for a beginning bracket racer I'd say two things. First get all the seat time you can and really concentrate on cutting good lights. As mentioned above it's the most important thing you can do to increase your win percentage. Secondly I say to over tire your car. You want to be able to hook consistently even when track conditions are less than perfect. If you can count on getting good hook every time you should run a consistent number which makes dialing in easy. Cut a good light and run your number and the win lights will be there. Even if you suck at driving the stripe like I did.

    OK, I'm done rambling for now. I just like reminisce about the good old days same as any other old fart.
    408/T5/3.73's

    We're not fast racers, we're more what's known as half fast racers.

  2. #2
    FEP Senior Member cb650's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Hudson CO
    Posts
    681

    Default

    I remember the closest race I ever lost was by .003 Both had the same lite. My .012 package lost to his .009

  3. #3

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mmb617 View Post
    If I were asked for advice for a beginning bracket racer I'd say two things. First get all the seat time you can and really concentrate on cutting good lights. As mentioned above it's the most important thing you can do to increase your win percentage. Secondly I say to over tire your car. You want to be able to hook consistently even when track conditions are less than perfect. If you can count on getting good hook every time you should run a consistent number which makes dialing in easy. Cut a good light and run your number and the win lights will be there. Even if you suck at driving the stripe like I did.
    I cant agree more about seat time.

    I used to be in the camp of over tire, now what I would add it to work on your suspension until it will hook on anything. Something that I've learned In the last years for sure ... I used to lean on the tires hard, was running at 10.5-11.5# of pressure, and hoping ... Got tired of that biting me in the ass, and went to work on suspension ... Now I can go 1.35 60's, typically race on a 1.40-1.41, and am running 16# of air in a 28-10 slick (or 28-11.50 DOT)

    My great weakness of variable 60' times are under control and I'm much better for it.

    This video was a 1.39 60, 10.23 at 136 mph pass last Saturday night in terrible conditions. You can see it was 100% humidity and just wet everywhere and the car still hooked and went (see dew on car and fog on top end).

    https://youtu.be/t7wFLfniVag
    Bob Myers

    84 Capri RS Turbo - Only a 4 banger - 1/8th 6.48 at 104.74 MPH, 1/4 10.20 at 133.95 MPH

  4. #4
    FEP Super Member mmb617's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Altoona, PA
    Posts
    4,059

    Default

    Hey Bob, I tried to send you a PM but your inbox is full.
    408/T5/3.73's

    We're not fast racers, we're more what's known as half fast racers.

  5. #5

    Default

    Cleared it out Mike, had no idea it was that limited
    Bob Myers

    84 Capri RS Turbo - Only a 4 banger - 1/8th 6.48 at 104.74 MPH, 1/4 10.20 at 133.95 MPH

  6. #6

    Default

    My brother and I were deep into 1/8th mile racing for about 6 years in the 90's. I am ready to get back at it now that the kids are getting grown. I couldn't agree more with your thoughts. If you win off the tree, you've got 75% of the race won. If you win the tree and hook consistently, that's 90%. I also found I didn't like being the much faster car. It's much easier mentally to leave first and watch the mirror than the watch the other guy leave a second before you and drive away!
    1985 GT, Sunroof, 5 Lug, Rear Discs, 01 Graphite Bullets, 88 forged piston shortblock, 2.02/1.60 Alum heads, Weiand Stealth, Holley C950 TBI, BBK Long tubes

  7. #7
    FEP Super Member mmb617's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Altoona, PA
    Posts
    4,059

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by droopie85gt View Post
    It's much easier mentally to leave first and watch the mirror than the watch the other guy leave a second before you and drive away!
    I always saw it the other way as I preferred to be the chaser. I was never as good as I needed to be at driving the stripe but it was easier to judge when I could see the other car in front of me the whole way down. Looking for the other car in the mirror and paying attention to exactly where I was in relation to the stripe gave me information overload.

    When I was the faster car there was also less chance of having him come around me if I passed him before the stripe then slowed. When the other guy had a much faster car I always found judging his closing speed by looking in the mirror to be nearly impossible.

    I will admit that I almost always cut a better light when I left first though. No matter how I tried to ignore the other car leaving it must have affected my concentration some when he went first.
    408/T5/3.73's

    We're not fast racers, we're more what's known as half fast racers.

  8. #8
    FEP Super Member gr79's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    SE Michigan
    Posts
    3,210

    Default

    Late 1990's, hot July day. Super Ford weekend at Milan Dragway, Milan MI.

    Me driving a stock 1993 2.3 Ranger vs 14 sec. something dialed 80's T-Bird.
    My dial in was, what else? 19.93 sec.

    Did have a game plan, which only amounted to: faking power, shallow stage, and leave when the yellows were bright.
    Could care less what the opponent was doing.
    All i had to do was concentrate on the lights, leave clean, no missed shifts, keep gas pedal thru the firewall.

    Pre-staged as quick as possible:
    Then eased up to stage slow, tapping the brakes several times, acting like i was up to something.
    Like John Force said...

    Tried to get the other driver's attention, and to get him to get nervous and err or something.
    He redlighted. Not watching his light, but my truck.
    Did not know i won until i got the time slip.


    Wish i could have seen my lane's 'win' light, and heard the announcer comment and the crowd laughing.
    Truck's record is 1 for 1 at the strip.
    Last edited by gr79; 09-24-2017 at 12:29 AM.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •