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      04-21-2019, 02:41 AM   #1
autoart
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facts about top fuel dragsters

This really blew my mine when I 1st saw it in 2004. The craziest thing to me is it takes 900hp just to turn the supercharger. https://www.motortrend.com/news/top-fuel-numbers
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      04-21-2019, 06:09 AM   #2
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its crazy engineering.. and crazy forces..
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      04-21-2019, 02:35 PM   #3
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Top Fuel Dragsters....

Quote:
Originally Posted by autoart View Post
This really blew my mine when I 1st saw it in 2004. The craziest thing to me is it takes 900hp just to turn the supercharger. https://www.motortrend.com/news/top-fuel-numbers
This info is no longer current:
-Maximum is now appx 12,000 HP
-0-100 MPH in 0.7 seconds
-6 G launch
-Negative 6 G deceleration with two parachutes open and carbon/carbon rear brakes engaged
-0-330 MPH in 1,000 ft
1,000 ft covered in 3.6+ seconds

I go to Pacific Raceways in the Seattle area once a yr when the NHRA circus comes to town.

A dear friend is on a pit crew of a Top Fuel Dragster and I was able to spend Fri, Sat and Sun intimately involved in the madness it takes to support a beast like this.

Additionally, I have grown to know Antron Brown, a two-time NHRA Top Fuel Chamption and have been invited into his pits before....it's simply amazing.
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      04-21-2019, 03:15 PM   #4
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      04-21-2019, 04:07 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by racerbruce View Post
...I go to Pacific Raceways in the Seattle area once a yr when the NHRA circus comes to town.
Alas, Raceway Park in Englishtown, New Jersey has closed the drag strip. Each year I loved packing up as many as my friend's kids I could get for the Night of Thrills. I brought plenty of headsets and earplugs. The first time someone sees a funny car or top fueler launch, is something to behold. You tell them it's gonna be LOUD (even with the protection) and the ground will shake. And when it happens, it's still a surprise. And if there was a jet car or Robosourus that was icing on the cake.

Nothing like a drag strip pit for kids to get close to the cars and we always went home full of food that was bad for us and t-shirts that the kids were never allowed to wear again. Sure, the World of Outlaws is good but there is nothing like the launch of a funny car except maybe a Shuttle or Falcon Heavy liftoff.

///Rich

PS-Even the Thunderbirds over the beach don't compare and that too is a great show. And Leo (RIP) at the Sussex Airshow gone too. Just composing this post makes me sad.
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      04-22-2019, 10:28 AM   #6
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Top Fuel Dragsters....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich.Wolfson View Post
Alas, Raceway Park in Englishtown, New Jersey has closed the drag strip. Each year I loved packing up as many as my friend's kids I could get for the Night of Thrills. I brought plenty of headsets and earplugs. The first time someone sees a funny car or top fueler launch, is something to behold. You tell them it's gonna be LOUD (even with the protection) and the ground will shake. And when it happens, it's still a surprise. And if there was a jet car or Robosourus that was icing on the cake.

Nothing like a drag strip pit for kids to get close to the cars and we always went home full of food that was bad for us and t-shirts that the kids were never allowed to wear again. Sure, the World of Outlaws is good but there is nothing like the launch of a funny car except maybe a Shuttle or Falcon Heavy liftoff.

///Rich

PS-Even the Thunderbirds over the beach don't compare and that too is a great show. And Leo (RIP) at the Sussex Airshow gone too. Just composing this post makes me sad.
Well said -
I've followed professional level drag racing for 50+ yrs; I've always dreamed of what it would be like to actually stand at the start line when the fastest accelerating vehicles on earth....LAUNCH; i was given this opportunity at the 2018 Pacific Northwest Nationals when the NHRA CRAZIES came to town....when I was allowed to be a guest on one of the Top Fuel Dragster teams for the entire weekend....as the dragster completed it's burnout to warm the tires and lay down a fresh patch of rubber (they back up and place the car in the tracks they just laid)....and the competitor's car did the same, my eyes were burning from the massive amounts of unburned nitromethane billowing out of the zoomie headers....I was wearing full-blown hearing protection...I was standing directly behind the beast and about 20 feet back....looking at the two packed parachutes and a rear wing that creates over 4,000 lbs of downforce when they achieve terminial velocity of appx 330 MPH....when the burnout to warm the tires occurred, i was hit by large amounts of micro-small rubber pellets that were being thrown off of the tires....and then, both beasts slowly rolled forward until the front bicycle-type wheels touched a light beam that brings on one blue light on the starting light "tree"....this is a pre-staged condition....and then the driver slowly rolls forward again (about 12 inches) until a second blue light is lit on the tree....at this point, the beast is perfectly staged....at this point, the NHRA Chief Starter pushes a button and the the appx 5 yellow lights on the tree turn on all at one time and it is exaclty 4/10's of a second until the green "go" light turns on....when the driver releases the hand brake lever and smashes the throttle and the beast moves, this breaks the light beam at the front wheels and the elapsed time count begins on how long it takes for the beast to break the light beam at the finish line, which provides the total Elapsed Time to cover the 1,000 ft; if the driver leaves before the green light turns on, a red light turns on on the tree which states you moved the car before the green light turned on and you are disqualified....back to my story of standing behind these beasts....I knew the sound and visceral excitement would be unbelievable, but I was not prepared for the massive NOISE and the massive CONCUSSION that occurred when both beasts launched....it was one of those nano-second moments in life when an explosion has occurred and your mlnd says you should run for your life in the opposite direction from where you are standing....the noise concussion and the massive amount of air concussion coming from the beast; it's impossible to explain how unreal it is to see a vehicle move that quickly from a starting line....it doesn't seem possible; the story gets more adrenalin-insane when the car I was with that weekend got to the finish line at appx 320 MPH AND BOTH PARACHUTES DID NOT OPEN....you really can't see the deceleration area and wasn't sure if the driver got the beast slowed down before running off into the last-chance sand trap....the carbon/carbon rear brakes (no brakes on the front wheels) got the beast stopped before disaster at the deceleration end of the track....I'll never forget this experience.
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Last edited by racerbruce; 04-22-2019 at 04:53 PM..
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      04-22-2019, 01:47 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich.Wolfson View Post
Alas, Raceway Park in Englishtown, New Jersey has closed the drag strip. Each year I loved packing up as many as my friend's kids I could get for the Night of Thrills. I brought plenty of headsets and earplugs. The first time someone sees a funny car or top fueler launch, is something to behold. You tell them it's gonna be LOUD (even with the protection) and the ground will shake. And when it happens, it's still a surprise. And if there was a jet car or Robosourus that was icing on the cake.

Nothing like a drag strip pit for kids to get close to the cars and we always went home full of food that was bad for us and t-shirts that the kids were never allowed to wear again. Sure, the World of Outlaws is good but there is nothing like the launch of a funny car except maybe a Shuttle or Falcon Heavy liftoff.

///Rich

PS-Even the Thunderbirds over the beach don't compare and that too is a great show. And Leo (RIP) at the Sussex Airshow gone too. Just composing this post makes me sad.
Back in the late 70's early 80's some friends and I would head to the Summer Nationals at Raceway Pk, did it about 5 years in a row. Would always pay a little extra for the pit passes and in those days thr drivers were glad to stop and chat with fans. Met most of them in Pro, TF,Funny including Glidden, Prudhome, Shirley, Big Daddy and a rookie Force.
Two years ago I took the wife for her first time at the drags. Glad she got to see it and glad I got my last time there. Sucks to see the nitro cars go, end of an era, hopefully they'll rethink this screwup one day and return to the great track.
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