getting started drag racing

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getting started drag racing

Postby beakerztoyz » Sat Nov 29, 2014 1:14 am

I know it's an expensive sport, and i dont wanna get hardcore but i would like to try it.. right now i have a sunbird with a 350, and a monza w a 350.. both are auto's i just bought the monza. the sunbird isnt street legal at the moment and it might b too modified to pass an out of province safety ins.
the nearest dragstrip is 2 hours away and i really dont wanna haul the car there and not pass a tech inspection for some stupid bs..
the sunbird has all new brakes, shocks, ball joints, tie rods etc..
Is there any way of figuring out if i could even race it without taking it there? is there any basic rules i should know?

this might seem like a stupid post but i figure a guys gotta start somewhere thanks T.J
1980 notchback sunbird... 355
1980 monza spyder.... v8

If I woulda known then what I know now....I never woulda got an h body
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Re: getting started drag racing

Postby stage169 » Sat Nov 29, 2014 10:03 am

See if your track has a web site or call them. My track has this page http://lucasoilraceway.com/apcm/templat ... &zoneid=95

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Re: getting started drag racing

Postby spencerforhire » Sat Nov 29, 2014 10:22 am

Pretty well every track should have some basic tech inspection/safety rules on it's website, or state that they follow some sanctioning bodies'(NHRA or IHRA) rulebook. Most have only basic requirements for street cars; helmet, seat belts, battery hold down, neutral safety switch, carb return spring, no tires with cracks or belts showing. Once you start modifying the car, things get stricter; cars running slicks are usually required to have afternmarket axles and a driveshaft loop. Relocated battery must have an external safety shutoff switch, and be in a box or a trunk compartment separated from the passenger compartment.
Some tech inspections are lax and some are strict. I prefer tracks with picky inspectors; makes me feel better if I know the car in the other lane was built by the rulebook because mine sure was.
The "fleet"-
77 Vega Estate wagon- project(someday)will have TPI305/T-5, S-10 spindles/axles
72 Vega HB Drag Car -383/'Glide/9"(9.45@146.19)(6.01@117.28 1/8th)
76 Vega GT- 400/4spd/9" retired from active duty(rusty)
03 Silverado 2WD ex.cab (work truck/parts hauler)
04 Silverado 2WD ex.cab (retired)
06 Haulin' 20ft enclosed car transporter
93 Suburban- 350/4L60(retired)
00 Saturn SW2- wife's car
01 Saturn SC2- younger son's project
00 Saturn SL2- daughter's car
98 Saturn SW2- spare
and 3 more Saturn "parts cars"
Note- the very act of listing all of these has made me realize I have some kind of problem.....

Visit http://www.spencerforhire.ca
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Re: getting started drag racing

Postby beakerztoyz » Sat Nov 29, 2014 2:06 pm

thanks.. I sent the local track a message on thier facebook page asking about this months ago, and although they have added a ton of pics and stuff they have never sent me a reply.

spencer you just answered 2 things for me seeing as how the battery is in the trunk of my notchback i guess i will need a shutoff switch and a battery box instead of just the tray i got w my relocation kit.

would my car still be considered a street car if it isn't street legal and registered?
1980 notchback sunbird... 355
1980 monza spyder.... v8

If I woulda known then what I know now....I never woulda got an h body
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Location: southern alberta

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Re: getting started drag racing

Postby Monza Harry » Sat Nov 29, 2014 6:43 pm

TJ post some thing on their wall (? non-Facebook guy here) some one may/will come to your rescue I am sure. As Spencer pointed out, it may just need a separation ie; a thin sheet of steel/aluminum fastened behind the seat as a firewall with a little seam sealer and a vent to the outside might be enough. Just a couple of ideas to think about or check into. Harry
Last edited by Monza Harry on Sat Dec 06, 2014 11:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
I'm not a hoarder I'm a preservationist 78 Monza Spyder (Soon To Be 2+2 with Spoilers)
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Re: getting started drag racing

Postby beakerztoyz » Thu Dec 04, 2014 10:48 am

Thank's guys, I would like to mention, I might sound cheap but I don't mind doing some little things. I want the car to be safe and track ready. Putting a kill switch on and getting a box for the battery aren't really that big of a deal and now that I know I will have them both done before I go. I figured by asking now if i need to spend even some money before i go i could do it little by little before spring. I know the b&m shifter i have has a nuetral safety on it

most of the stuff i see about getting started describes street cars and even though I consider my car a street car it is NOT street legal so it makes me wonder weather to race in these races a guy needs a licence plate.

! had a guy a while ago tell me that my fuel regulator couldn't be where i have it because its kinda between the firewall and the motor, he said it needs to be on the fender well, is this true? it would mean running a bunch of extra line to go to the passenger wheel well but i will do it if i have to. Also I have mag wheels on the car with tpical acorn style lug nuts, will i have to get some open ended ones i swear i remember hearing something about this.

Sorry I have so many stupid questions, I will try calling the track at some point but it's just a little track so i dunno if they even have any full time staff, and the only other track i could think of thats sorta ( 5 hours away) near here is an ihra track, so it might have diffrent rules than the closer track which is nhra. Thanks again for the responses
1980 notchback sunbird... 355
1980 monza spyder.... v8

If I woulda known then what I know now....I never woulda got an h body
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Location: southern alberta

1980 Pontiac Sunbird

Re: getting started drag racing

Postby spencerforhire » Thu Dec 04, 2014 5:28 pm

I thought I had posted another reply in this thread, but it "disappeared". Having your vehicle classified as a "Street car" at the drag strip is actually more about the ET it runs than if it actually has current license plates, registration, safety inspection and insurance. My brother races a 17-sec. Saturn that has no lights, wipers, or license plates and arrives at the track on a trailer wearing slicks. It's still in "Street" because it's slower than 13.50. I'm sure the tracks where you are have similar ET breaks for their classes.
I'm glad you know about the fuel pressure regulator(it does state in the rulebook that it cannot be mounted to the firewall) and wheel nut thing, where the open ended lug nuts are required so the tech inspector can see if the studs are long enough. They must protrude through the wheel(not the nut itself) at least the diameter of the stud. Funny you should mention the studs; I had a newby tech guy try to tell me my nuts were not legal- on my Vega; the "Weld" brand nuts that are recommended for my Pro Star wheels have a hex area about 1" long and by coincidence, the studs come up exactly flush with the end of the nut. He thought they were closed ended!
The "fleet"-
77 Vega Estate wagon- project(someday)will have TPI305/T-5, S-10 spindles/axles
72 Vega HB Drag Car -383/'Glide/9"(9.45@146.19)(6.01@117.28 1/8th)
76 Vega GT- 400/4spd/9" retired from active duty(rusty)
03 Silverado 2WD ex.cab (work truck/parts hauler)
04 Silverado 2WD ex.cab (retired)
06 Haulin' 20ft enclosed car transporter
93 Suburban- 350/4L60(retired)
00 Saturn SW2- wife's car
01 Saturn SC2- younger son's project
00 Saturn SL2- daughter's car
98 Saturn SW2- spare
and 3 more Saturn "parts cars"
Note- the very act of listing all of these has made me realize I have some kind of problem.....

Visit http://www.spencerforhire.ca
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Re: getting started drag racing

Postby beakerztoyz » Thu Dec 04, 2014 7:27 pm

Perfect, Thanks Spencer thats exactly wnat I wanted to hear I will put my parts guy on the hunt for some new lugnuts and make sure to redo the fuel line before i go.

Like I've said this might seem like stupid stuff but then again when i went for the out of prov inspection a few yrs back and they said basically the car couldn't be modified in any way and still pass that seemed like stupid stuff too only it's kept me from driving it.

it would have really sucked to trailer the car 2 hours to find out i needed a battery box, a shutoff switch a rerouted fuel line and some lugnuts before i could race it I mighta got discouraged and never went back. With the mild smallblock thats in it I have no grand aspirations of running anywhere near as fast as you, I'm hoping to run in the 14's and if i like racing it then I might just order up some headers and bolt on some better heads i have here and try and go a little faster. thanks again

and thats too funny what that tech inspector told you, i can tell just from looking at the picture of your car that you or whoever would have built it woulda darn well known the rules well before they got it anywhere near a racetrack and made no attempt to bypass them
1980 notchback sunbird... 355
1980 monza spyder.... v8

If I woulda known then what I know now....I never woulda got an h body
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Re: getting started drag racing

Postby spencerforhire » Thu Dec 04, 2014 10:40 pm

I built my car to the IHRA rulebook; available free online, there is really no need for anyone to show up at the track with an un-prepared car. Yet I see it so often; at one track in particular, I pit directly across from the "tech shack", and every race I see guys trying to explain why their battery shut off or neutral safety doesn't work- "I tested it at home and I SWEAR it worked". Sure. lol. Loose suspension, bald tires, leaking fuel systems, etc.; stuff you shouldn't even attempt to use at or near the speed limit on public roads, but somehow they expect to be allowed to go double that(or more!) at the track.
After a two year long build, I was almost disappointed when at the car's "debut" race, it only got a quick once over for the basics at tech. They didn't look at any of my chassis or suspension work, no one wanted to see my list of SFI items(flywheel, Ultrabell, trans shield, balancer, roll bar padding, etc.). A couple of hours later I'm out there going 140MPH in a car I built myself; I won't even try to convince you a wasn't nervous. Everything was fine, the car went straight, stopped great and nothing fell off.
A couple of more basic tech inspection things to make sure are right before you go racing; dual carb return springs and a rad overflow catch can. If you know what to expect, there will be no surprises. You have to be really blatant in your disregard of the rules to actually get sent home; one or two little things not up to spec will most of the time get you a "fix it before the next race" and they will let you run anyway.
The "fleet"-
77 Vega Estate wagon- project(someday)will have TPI305/T-5, S-10 spindles/axles
72 Vega HB Drag Car -383/'Glide/9"(9.45@146.19)(6.01@117.28 1/8th)
76 Vega GT- 400/4spd/9" retired from active duty(rusty)
03 Silverado 2WD ex.cab (work truck/parts hauler)
04 Silverado 2WD ex.cab (retired)
06 Haulin' 20ft enclosed car transporter
93 Suburban- 350/4L60(retired)
00 Saturn SW2- wife's car
01 Saturn SC2- younger son's project
00 Saturn SL2- daughter's car
98 Saturn SW2- spare
and 3 more Saturn "parts cars"
Note- the very act of listing all of these has made me realize I have some kind of problem.....

Visit http://www.spencerforhire.ca
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Re: getting started drag racing

Postby Monza Harry » Fri Dec 05, 2014 1:07 am

Spencer can you add the part of the fuel line spec that eludes me at the moment, about the (rubber) fuel line needing to be steel braided if any piece of it is 6" (?) or longer in length or which length that requirement comes in at. TJ will likely need that fixed up before track time, I know a few that were warned about that at the track their first time out, and a couple of them, tried to sneak it through the second time to go home with out any track time. Harry
I'm not a hoarder I'm a preservationist 78 Monza Spyder (Soon To Be 2+2 with Spoilers)
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Re: getting started drag racing

Postby spencerforhire » Fri Dec 05, 2014 11:12 pm

The "fleet"-
77 Vega Estate wagon- project(someday)will have TPI305/T-5, S-10 spindles/axles
72 Vega HB Drag Car -383/'Glide/9"(9.45@146.19)(6.01@117.28 1/8th)
76 Vega GT- 400/4spd/9" retired from active duty(rusty)
03 Silverado 2WD ex.cab (work truck/parts hauler)
04 Silverado 2WD ex.cab (retired)
06 Haulin' 20ft enclosed car transporter
93 Suburban- 350/4L60(retired)
00 Saturn SW2- wife's car
01 Saturn SC2- younger son's project
00 Saturn SL2- daughter's car
98 Saturn SW2- spare
and 3 more Saturn "parts cars"
Note- the very act of listing all of these has made me realize I have some kind of problem.....

Visit http://www.spencerforhire.ca
User avatar
spencerforhire
 
Posts: 2371
Joined: Mon Jul 03, 2006 9:02 pm
Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia

1972 Chevrolet Vega Hatchback

Re: getting started drag racing

Postby beakerztoyz » Sat Dec 06, 2014 11:02 am

Wow... thats Crazy, I thought for sure cars as fast as yours would have to go for some special type of chassis inspection or something before going to the track, it's so awesome that it passed on your first time there with it.

I honestly don't wanna be the type of guy your talking about at a tech inspection, a long long time ago after i first got the car and put the engine in it i took it in for a safety inspection and found out it needed new suspension parts and brake drums rotors etc, so little by little i redid all of it. The reason the car wouldn't pass an out of prov insp when i took it in a few years ago was due to modifications I had made to the car ( like the aftermarket shifter ) and some stupid stuff like a tiny rust hole in the back inner wheel well. that guy was nice enough to give me a list and say if i fixed things like the rust hole then he could overlook things like the shifter. I have since completed that list. The car would pass a normal safety inspection no problem i am sure. I also have had a wheel alingment done to it after i put the new tie rods and centre link in it.

I havn't looked at the link yet but I had no idea the rulebook was online so I will look at it for sure, I do have an older copy of a nhra rulebook around here but when i first got it and read it all to a rookie like me not much made sense as it was all kind of based on class and i had no clue what class i would be in especially considering that smallblocks never came in 1980 sunbirds.. even though the factory parts from earlier years were used to bolt it in.

Thanks Harry for the tip on the fuel line. Someone at one time told me that the rule was you could have no more than 6 inches of rubber fuel line total in the whole car? so when i redid the fuel system and added the holley electric pump I made a HUGE effort to use normal steel fuel line, and just use little pieces of rubber where absolutely needed like between the pump and steel line and the filterand steel etc. without re -measuring I am unsure if i have more than 6 inches total. On the cars you saw were they measuring each individual piece of rubber or were these guys just using long pieces and thinking they could get away with it ?
1980 notchback sunbird... 355
1980 monza spyder.... v8

If I woulda known then what I know now....I never woulda got an h body
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Posts: 335
Joined: Sun Feb 18, 2007 1:02 pm
Location: southern alberta

1980 Pontiac Sunbird

Re: getting started drag racing

Postby Monza Harry » Sat Dec 06, 2014 11:25 pm

TJ it was so long ago that I had even a remote connection to any of this, I just don't remember. Sorry Harry
I'm not a hoarder I'm a preservationist 78 Monza Spyder (Soon To Be 2+2 with Spoilers)
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Re: getting started drag racing

Postby spencerforhire » Sun Dec 07, 2014 7:43 am

Chassis Certification is mandatory for cars running quicker that 9.00 (6.00 1/8th mile) or over 150 MPH. My Vega is getting close to those numbers, and I intend to have one done if I ever make a trip the trip stateside to race. There is a guy in Maine (Scott Gove) who can do an IHRA certification. My car was built to an pass an 8.50 spec and would only need a few more cage bars, a section of the driver's side floor changed from aluminum to steel and an on board fire system to pass for 7.50. Like I would ever be able to afford to go that quick. Lol.
I did happen upon the fuel line rule and it's 12 inches total of rubber line, which is about how much there is in a stock fuel system of an older car. The rule is there for safety; rubber line is too susceptible to abrasion, heat, chemicals and rot. This is why everyone uses metal (usually aluminum for weight) or steel braided hose.
The "fleet"-
77 Vega Estate wagon- project(someday)will have TPI305/T-5, S-10 spindles/axles
72 Vega HB Drag Car -383/'Glide/9"(9.45@146.19)(6.01@117.28 1/8th)
76 Vega GT- 400/4spd/9" retired from active duty(rusty)
03 Silverado 2WD ex.cab (work truck/parts hauler)
04 Silverado 2WD ex.cab (retired)
06 Haulin' 20ft enclosed car transporter
93 Suburban- 350/4L60(retired)
00 Saturn SW2- wife's car
01 Saturn SC2- younger son's project
00 Saturn SL2- daughter's car
98 Saturn SW2- spare
and 3 more Saturn "parts cars"
Note- the very act of listing all of these has made me realize I have some kind of problem.....

Visit http://www.spencerforhire.ca
User avatar
spencerforhire
 
Posts: 2371
Joined: Mon Jul 03, 2006 9:02 pm
Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia

1972 Chevrolet Vega Hatchback


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