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Interesting Facts about a Top Fuel dragster

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Interesting Facts about a Top Fuel dragster

Old 01-25-2005, 03:39 PM
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Default Interesting Facts about a Top Fuel dragster

I am not a drag racing fan but had someone email these stats because I have a car that I have had a little fun in increasing its performance and thought they were worthy of sharing. Next time its on TV I may definately be more inclined to watch after reading these......


Interesting Facts about a Top Fuel dragster

One Top Fuel dragster 500 cubic inch Hemi engine makes more horsepower than the first 4 rows at the Daytona 500.

* Under full throttle, a dragster engine consumes 1-1/2 gallons of nitromethane per second; a fully loaded 747 consumes jet fuel at the same rate with 25% less energy being produced.

* A stock Dodge Hemi V8 engine cannot produce enough power to drive the dragster supercharger.

* With 3000 CFM of air being rammed in by the supercharger on overdrive, the fuel mixture is compressed into a near-solid form before ignition.
Cylinders run on the verge of hydraulic lock at full throttle.

* At the stoichiometric (stoichiometry: methodology and technology by which quantities of reactants and products in chemical reactions are determined) 1.7:1 air/fuel mixture for nitromethane the flame front temperature measures 7050 degrees F.

* Nitromethane burns yellow. The spectacular white flame seen above the stacks at night is raw burning hydrogen, dissociated from atmospheric water vapor by the searing exhaust gases.

* Dual magnetos supply 44 amps to each spark plug. This is the output of an arc welder in each cylinder.

* Spark plug electrodes are totally consumed during a pass. After ½ way, the engine is dieseling from compression plus the glow of exhaust valves at 1400 degrees F. The engine can only be shut down by cutting the fuel flow.

* If spark momentarily fails early in the run, unburned nitro builds up in the affected cylinders and then explodes with sufficient force to blow cylinder heads off the block in pieces or split the block in half.

* In order to exceed 300 mph in 4.5 seconds dragsters must accelerate an average of over 4G's. In order to reach 200 mph well before half-track, the launch acceleration approaches 8G's.

* Dragsters reach over 300 miles per hour before you have completed reading this sentence.

* Top Fuel Engines turn approximately 540 revolutions from light to light!

* Including the burnout the engine must only survive 900 revolutions under load.

* The redline is actually quite high at 9500rpm.

* The Bottom Line; Assuming all the equipment is paid off, the crew worked for free, and for once NOTHING BLOWS UP, each run costs an estimated $1,000.00 per second.

The current Top Fuel dragster elapsed time record is 4.441 seconds for the quarter mile (10/05/03, Tony Schumacher). The top speed record is 333.00 mph. (533 km/h) as measured over the last 66' of the run (09/28/03 Doug Kalitta).

Putting all of this into perspective:

You are driving the average $140,000 Lingenfelter "twin-turbo" powered Corvette Z06. Over a mile up the road, a Top Fuel dragster is staged and ready to launch down a quarter mile strip as you pass. You have the advantage of a flying start. You run the 'Vette hard up through the gears and blast across the starting line and past the dragster at an honest 200
mph. The 'tree' goes green for both of you at that moment.

The dragster launches and starts after you. You keep your foot down hard, but you hear an incredibly brutal whine that sears your eardrums and within 3 seconds the dragster catches and passes you. He beats you to the finish line, a quarter mile away from where you just passed him. Think about it, from a standing start, the dragster had spotted you 200 mph and not only caught, but nearly blasted you off the road when he passed you within a mere 1320 foot long race course.

That folks, is acceleration
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Old 01-25-2005, 03:57 PM
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Yup, I was a big fan of NHRA for many many years. I made the switch over to NASCAR for the most part but still enjoy the drags. I've been known to switch channels several hundred times on a Sunday afternoon Drives the bride wild.... With anger

After watching top fuel funny cars and dragsters, everything else sooooo ssssllllllloooooowwwwww Everyone loves John Force. He is a nut.

If you like big horsepower and very high speed, you'll like the drags. The fire is intense when they blow up. Like NASCAR, the safety team has their act together
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Old 01-25-2005, 04:23 PM
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Wow, B, I never really paid attention to dragsters and those numbers are very impressive. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 01-25-2005, 06:59 PM
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Default RE: Interesting Facts about a Top Fuel dragster

Neat info, love watching them run at night.
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Old 01-25-2005, 07:55 PM
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Very nice B-faithful ! I will keep all this mind when the family and I go to Gatornationals next month.We go every year-I wouldn't miss it.It really is kinda neat to be able to actually carry on a conversation with Tony Shum.,Larry Dixon and John Force.Very nice guys.Try getting close enough to even say hi to Dale Jarrett,Rusty Wallace,etc. Here's another fact to add to the list-We can hear the funny cars and top fuelers from our house in Starke approximately 22 miles away (as the crow flys)! Awesome machines!
Mike
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Old 01-25-2005, 09:05 PM
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Speed record is a little out of date... Brandon Bernstein went 333.4 in Joliet last year... Another interesting fact is that the rear wing on a TF dragster generates enough down force at 300mph it would crush a normal car. The most common TopFuel injury.... detached retina
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Old 01-25-2005, 09:27 PM
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We sit about 300 ft from the starting line and about half way up in the stands. When the fuel cars go by, you can feel the pressure they create. Amazing sights and sounds. If you live close enogh to a national event track, try it. NHRA puts on a great show.
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Old 01-25-2005, 09:43 PM
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absolutely love nascar, and drag racing, the speed is enough to make your jaw drop. but my heart belongs to dirt track sprint car racing. 150 down the front straight and throwing it sideways into a turn, they arent as fast, but ladies and gentleman, if you dont have dirt in your beer, your not at a real race. once you see them you are hooked. drivers such as jeff gordon, tony stewart, kasey kahne, dave blaney, all came out of sprint cars, and tony stewart still races them, as well as dave blaney. the outdoor channel usually has them on every wednesday night at 9 or so during the summer. hope you take an interest, just my two cents
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Old 01-25-2005, 11:17 PM
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I have to say I'm a quarter miler right down to the bone.

Greygoose,

Hey what's it cost to get into the Gator Nationals - pit pass?
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Old 01-26-2005, 06:58 AM
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Default RE: Interesting Facts about a Top Fuel dragster

Anyone who does not think THAT much speed and power is way cool,
probably grew up playing with dolls.
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Old 01-26-2005, 08:48 AM
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Garrett-
They really don't have a "pit" pass like Nascar.You buy an admission ticket and you can go anywhere you want-right up to the work trailers where you can actually talk to the crew and drivers-it's not anything like Nascar-that's why I like it so much.We talked to Tony Shumacher (Army top-fuel driver) last year for 10 minutes or so-my 11 year-old really liked that.I think if you go on Friday it costs us a little over a hundred dollars for the wife,son and me.The food is righteous too!Really a good time.If you decide to come down you can follow us down if you want.We are only 15 minutes away from the strip.
Mike
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Old 01-26-2005, 10:21 AM
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My uncle lives on Lake Gaston on the NC side and friend of his has a Top Fuel Dragster and on cool fall nights when they are testing in his shop we can hear them over 5 miles away as the crow flies, the only thing in my opinion that beats that is an air show. They are amazing.

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Old 01-26-2005, 11:16 AM
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B-Faithful...thanks for the post, great info.

Along the same line, how's 'bout a major "hats off" to GREG ANDERSON, SpeedChannel's "Driver Of The Year"! Greg, running a Pro Stock Pontiac out of the Charlotte area, beat out Dale Jr., Kinser, Jeff Gordon, and joins the ranks of Dale Earnhardt. Greg's mentor is none other than "The Doc" Warren Johnson. I watched a presentation on Speed to Greg Anderson, I have never seen such a humble victor.

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Old 01-26-2005, 12:30 PM
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I used to think my old sub 12 second Camaro was all that before I read your post
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Old 01-26-2005, 03:27 PM
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When I saw my first top fuel Drag in Rockingham N.C. it nearly blew me away. We were sitting right at the tree. When they did there burnouts I thought. "Hmmm thats not so tough". Then I noticed them pulling the pins that held the Butterflies shut. "Holy Crap" Thats some seriouse horse power. I never saw the first three races. My body had to get used to the force of these beasts. When they left the line my bodys natural reaction was to hold me breath and shut my eyes real tight. I think we sat alittle too close. But what a rush.
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Old 01-26-2005, 07:18 PM
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Default RE: Interesting Facts about a Top Fuel dragster

There is no experience like standing trackside at a top-fuel event. The Gator Nationals is awesome. I was there the year Darrel Gwynn won it in a final that was run at night. IN-CREDIBLE! The next time he ran his car, during an exhibition in England I believe, his racing days ended. Sad. I actually saw Darrel at the FLL Boat Show.

A Top Fuel Race is definitely something everyone should experience at least once in their lives. Trust me, you have never heard or felt anything like it, EVER. The only event I haven't witnessed is F1. Indy was cool and I would like to see and hear the F1's, but, NOTHING like the drags when the "Big Boys" are running!

Stripa, a 12 second car isn't slow by any means and I recently sold a daily driven 700 hp car that ran 11's on street tires. There are some very expensive cars on the road that barely reach the low 12's. The first time you see a Top Fueler launch and fly through the 1/4 mile in just over 4 seconds, it's hard to get the smile off your face. I love that stuff!
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Old 01-26-2005, 09:28 PM
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Big Fan
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Old 01-26-2005, 10:41 PM
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I always knew they were fast, but damn that really puts in to perspective!
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Old 01-27-2005, 12:19 AM
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Default RE: Interesting Facts about a Top Fuel dragster

GREAT info there!

I "remember" when dragsters were only running in the "160's"!

Now, to see a "funny" turning "330" or so in "the 4's or under" is just MIND-BOGGLING! Kinda' like having a 2-stroke Yama!

WHEN will they "top out"?????

GO "JOHN FORCE" - AND your DAUGHTER!

P.S. oWHY is it that ole' John NEVER has on a "clean" uniform!

Regards,
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Old 01-27-2005, 09:59 PM
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Not to put down NHRA, but NASCAR has grown significantly faster than the 1/4 milers. Used to be, you could go right up the garages and chat. Sure, a while ago, but NASCAR has been growing fatser than any other sport for a few years. If NHRA grew as fast, no way you could go right up to where the crew worked. Still, fun to watch them scream down 1/4 mile like that. As long as nobody wrecks their own garage to conceal cheating.
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