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Old 03-27-2014, 10:04 AM   #1
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First time at drag strip ever. SMH

So last Friday I decided to step up and let the ponies do some talking. What better place to do it safely and legally than a drag strip. Fast Fridays at Commerce drag strip. What an experience. First event this year. Dang if everyone didn't show up tonight.
I watched a few runs first to get the idea of the process. Went in line and waited. Had to keep starting car to move a length then shut off and wait. After an hour (at least), finally started to go through the building that gets you to the tree. My heart was POUNDING. Holy crap was I nervous. Went around the box and sat for a seconding thinking weather or not I should even do a burnout. Do I even know how to do one. I've only done one with front wheel drives. Uh oh. Oh... A guy next to me has a CTS-V with drag radials. Great. Yup. Trying a burnout. I backed up into the box. Dumped the clutch in 2nd and with myself being so nervous I forgot to hit the brakes. Just peeled out of the box in 2nd... Great.
OK the CTS-V is already lined up. Hurry! Lined up and again being nervous. Held it at 4k rpm and when that light turned green. DUMP... GO GO GO GO... No traction.... shifted to 2nd and hooked halfway through.
Made it to the trap before I knew it. Time slip. 13.7 at 111.... Whatever. For my first time ever going down a strip, I'll take it. Leave room for improvement. Lets go babe. Calling it a night.
Going again tomorrow. Hope for some improvements.
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Old 03-27-2014, 10:16 AM   #2
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Nice write up, my first trip was somewhat intimidating as well.

I need to run the 5.0 for the first time and see what I can do. 13.7 isn't bad and will only get better with practice.
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Old 03-27-2014, 10:26 AM   #3
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It gets addicting once you get the hang of it. I started last year with my 2013 V6 and I didn't even know how to do a burn out so I bypassed the box. For some reason I would get in line next to a suitable competitor, but when I got to the front of the line I always got stuck racing Corvettes, CTS-V's, Grand Nationals and 5.0's. I was so frustrated when this CTS-V gave me a two second head start and still walked me. By the end of the summer, I beat both a 2013 SS Camaro and a 2013 Challenger R/T, they needed driver mods, but hey, nothing gets under someone's skin more than losing to a car that they should have beaten. Going to the track made me decide to upgrade to a GT, so good luck out there, it's a great way to meet a lot of new friends.
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Old 03-27-2014, 10:27 AM   #4
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These are decently quick cars with real tires on them. Street radials are an agony at the track but, hey, run wutcha brung. Good for you. I hope you are inspired to go some more. It's truly a great hobby and relatively inexpensive, if you don't get greedy.
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Old 03-27-2014, 12:10 PM   #5
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Well written! I hope to visit Atlanta drag way sometime soon.. Do we need a helmet for this class?
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Old 03-27-2014, 12:37 PM   #6
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Well written! I hope to visit Atlanta drag way sometime soon.. Do we need a helmet for this class?
Yes. Anything with an ETA of 13.99 or under requires a helmet. I already have a motorcycle helmet though and thought about it so I brought that with.
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Old 03-27-2014, 12:43 PM   #7
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My first pass in the car I missed a gear and hit 14.1. Nest time up though, I had my shyt together and banged off a low 13. I've been drag racing for decades and still get the willies first run up on a new car or a new season.

Now the cars an 11 second machine on basically slick tires and mild tune....and practice.
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Old 03-27-2014, 12:50 PM   #8
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The place I go to, if your running 13's you need a Snell rated helmet. Like one used on bikes. And anything in the 11's you need a fire jacket. I'm not sure if that's NHRA rules, or just a local thing though.
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Old 03-27-2014, 01:09 PM   #9
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My first pass in the car I missed a gear and hit 14.1. Nest time up though, I had my shyt together and banged off a low 13. I've been drag racing for decades and still get the willies first run up on a new car or a new season.

Now the cars an 11 second machine on basically slick tires and mild tune....and practice.
How are you guys getting mid to low 13 seconds with your 5.0's .I thought these were running 12's from factory. There are guys running low 13's with 3.7's and tune with factory tires. Not trying too be a Richard but just trying to understand how manual 5.0's are running 13.7's and low 13's 1/4 mile when 3.7's are running this with minimal mods and 100 less HP and torque.

Are you sure there is not an issue with your cars. There is a forum member running 13.1 with his manual 2008 Gt from factory which is 100 less HP than the 5.0's
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Old 03-27-2014, 01:18 PM   #10
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12s stock is possible, it's just not an easy gig. There's a lot of power and not a lot of traction. Just because there are some reports of great times from the 3.7 certainly doesn't mean that's the norm and suggests perhaps you don't do this too much, or you'd realize the challenge it is to get this right on an MT, no matter what engine you have.

It's the same reason a 662 hp Shelby almost never does the 10 second pass its power indicates it's capable of, on its factory butter tires.

I said to myself I was going to maximize everything the car could deliver before modding for power. I did put a very mild tune on but, that was more for day to day enjoyment. Slicks, better control arms, shifter tweaks, practice and it's 11 seconds, baby.
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Old 03-27-2014, 01:45 PM   #11
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How are you guys getting mid to low 13 seconds with your 5.0's .I thought these were running 12's from factory. There are guys running low 13's with 3.7's and tune with factory tires. Not trying too be a Richard but just trying to understand how manual 5.0's are running 13.7's and low 13's 1/4 mile when 3.7's are running this with minimal mods and 100 less HP and torque.

Are you sure there is not an issue with your cars. There is a forum member running 13.1 with his manual 2008 Gt from factory which is 100 less HP than the 5.0's
After quite a few more runs the following day and fine tuning the shift points and burnouts, launches my best time ended up being a 12.6 at 114. It also depends on the track. How well they maintain it. Experience is everything. Yeah a shelby is awesome, but without experience it's likely they'd get a better time with a 5.0 just because the shelby has such cojones that its hard to find the hooking point and not break traction. at least that's what I gather. Your 3.7 guys that are getting those low 13's have some time under their belt. Most of them aren't getting those times.
Another point to bring up about the tracks. Weather, conditions, everything. A stock CTS-V is supposed to run 12 flat. The guy next to me. Stock with drag radials. Auto trans. Kinda hard to mess a shift up. Still only ran a 12.7. It is a lot more difficult than it looks. I used to bash drag racing and say it takes no skill and road racing is better blah blah blah. I stand corrected now after doing a few runs. It is very technical and challenging. It's amazing.
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Old 03-27-2014, 01:55 PM   #12
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oorah, brother. Just because it's over quickly doesn't mean it's easy by any means. I goof around at street legal nights because it's fun and run wutcha brung. The challenge increases when you bracket race or run competitively in any way.
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Old 03-27-2014, 02:00 PM   #13
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12s stock is possible, it's just not an easy gig. There's a lot of power and not a lot of traction. Just because there are some reports of great times from the 3.7 certainly doesn't mean that's the norm and suggests perhaps you don't do this too much, or you'd realize the challenge it is to get this right on an MT, no matter what engine you have.

It's the same reason a 662 hp Shelby almost never does the 10 second pass its power indicates it's capable of, on its factory butter tires.

I said to myself I was going to maximize everything the car could deliver before modding for power. I did put a very mild tune on but, that was more for day to day enjoyment. Slicks, better control arms, shifter tweaks, practice and it's 11 seconds, baby.
So, you are in the 11's with a mild tune only and suspension mods? That's probably close to a record isn't it? I know on you tube at one time the record was 12.2 with a tune and new control armed car.
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Old 03-27-2014, 02:15 PM   #14
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I'm doing well for the mild 91 octane tune I have, others have done better, I'm sure.

I have the mildest rear suspension mods, too, because I DD the car and can't stand NVH.

I think there might be another tenth or two in it as is but, the mph is pretty much maxed out, I think
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Old 03-27-2014, 03:13 PM   #15
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This place is like an hour away from me and I did not even know it. I may have to go there sometime.
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Old 03-27-2014, 03:22 PM   #16
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After quite a few more runs the following day and fine tuning the shift points and burnouts, launches my best time ended up being a 12.6 at 114. It also depends on the track. How well they maintain it. Experience is everything. Yeah a shelby is awesome, but without experience it's likely they'd get a better time with a 5.0 just because the shelby has such cojones that its hard to find the hooking point and not break traction. at least that's what I gather. Your 3.7 guys that are getting those low 13's have some time under their belt. Most of them aren't getting those times.
Another point to bring up about the tracks. Weather, conditions, everything. A stock CTS-V is supposed to run 12 flat. The guy next to me. Stock with drag radials. Auto trans. Kinda hard to mess a shift up. Still only ran a 12.7. It is a lot more difficult than it looks. I used to bash drag racing and say it takes no skill and road racing is better blah blah blah. I stand corrected now after doing a few runs. It is very technical and challenging. It's amazing.
Now 12.6 in your stock 5.0 is more like it bro.
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Old 03-27-2014, 03:41 PM   #17
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I love when ppl lip off about drag times. There are a lot of factors involved. Including weather, altitude, gearing rubber and of course experience. Being a street race hero means dick all at the track.
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Old 03-27-2014, 03:54 PM   #18
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I love when ppl lip off about drag times. There are a lot of factors involved. Including weather, altitude, gearing rubber and of course experience. Being a street race hero means dick all at the track.
I'm sorry if you thought I was lipping off. I was just curious because thought even a rookie drag racer that knows how to drive manual well, would be able too pull better 1/4 mile times than high 13's with a 420 HP V8. Especially with a manual knowing the gear ratio is at least 3:31 or maybe higher.

I guess that's what makes automatics awesome. Little to no skill. Just nail it too the floor and go baby go. Can't screw that up unless the track is slippery.
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Old 03-27-2014, 04:23 PM   #19
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You should go try yourself and let us know how you fare, first time out.

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Old 03-27-2014, 04:45 PM   #20
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You should go try yourself and let us know how you fare, first time out.

Most definitely bro. I plan on it this season. I have an automatic so no skill there for me. Light turns green and I'm gonna slam my foot down to the floor on the go pedal and away we go. Hopefully traction won't be an issue on a track that is a little prepped being that traction is not an issue on the road for me. Then again big torque and HP is not an issue for my little 3.7. Ha ha ha
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Old 03-27-2014, 04:53 PM   #21
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We'll see how you do at matching the magazine times, hehe. Even with the easiest possible setup you got there, you might finds your tactics wanting in the results dept. Basically, it's still hero or zero, right out of the gate. Even with the auto, you have to time the flare just right, especially with a not-so-torquey engine to pull you out if you miss it slightly.
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Old 03-27-2014, 05:21 PM   #22
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I honestly think I'm going to stall the 1st time I go drag racing at the track.
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Old 03-27-2014, 05:46 PM   #23
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I honestly think I'm going to stall the 1st time I go drag racing at the track.
Just breath in and out. Wooooo saaaaaaaa
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Old 03-27-2014, 05:59 PM   #24
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Yeah everybody loves the 3 legged race in the burnout box, if you run stick. I find it pretty easy to just hold it with the ball of my right big toe on the brake and the ball of my pinky toe on the gas. Took a while to figure that out. I put a line lock in my last stang for this reason but, not on this car, no way.

Drag racing is a pretty massive ego buster, that's for sure.
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Old 03-27-2014, 06:21 PM   #25
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Yeah everybody loves the 3 legged race in the burnout box, if you run stick. I find it pretty easy to just hold it with the ball of my right big toe on the brake and the ball of my pinky toe on the gas. Took a while to figure that out. I put a line lock in my last stang for this reason but, not on this car, no way.

Drag racing is a pretty massive ego buster, that's for sure.
I would just go around the burn box for me because I'm on factory tires and they work better without the burn box. Its my understanding this only because I have factory tires and doing burnouts with them will not help. Only for factory tires!
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Old 03-27-2014, 07:42 PM   #26
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You should still spin em to clean em. A dry spin is fine for this. That'll be easier if you use a touch of brake to prevent shooting yourself through the beams John force style.
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Old 03-27-2014, 07:50 PM   #27
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You should still spin em to clean em. A dry spin is fine for this. That'll be easier if you use a touch of brake to prevent shooting yourself through the beams John force style.
Thanks bro. Good tip. I was supossed to go to Cecil County Dragway this Saturday for test and tune but 80% rain. Another time.
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Old 03-27-2014, 08:03 PM   #28
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Awesome, Cecil...It's pretty well known that track's a bit happy, maybe you'll set a record after all.
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Old 03-27-2014, 08:12 PM   #29
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Awesome, Cecil...It's pretty well known that track's a bit happy, maybe you'll set a record after all.
Cecil is a fast track and people do run strong up my way. I was there last Friday night just as a spectator and some new 5.0's were having a rough time running. The one 13 or 14 5.0 was running 13.6's , was a manual. The driver was sandbagging out from the light and couldn't work his manual transmission but he did get better on.
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Old 03-27-2014, 08:13 PM   #30
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Awesome, Cecil...It's pretty well known that track's a bit happy, maybe you'll set a record after all.
Cecil is a fast track and people do run strong up my way. I was there last Friday night just as a spectator and some new 5.0's were having a rough time running. The one 13 or 14 5.0 was running 13.6's , was a manual. The driver was sandbagging out from the light and couldn't work his manual transmission but he did get better as the night went on.

I would be happy if I could run a 13 to 13.2 1/4 mile but I'm a bigger guy at 6-4 260 pounds. I got a bit more weight than you thinner guys. Ha ha ha
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Old 03-27-2014, 08:36 PM   #31
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At least you have gone! I still havent taken my new 5.0 to the track yet. This will be my first track experience ever as Ive never had a car worth taking. Ive got the 275's on now though, so I am really itching to get out there and give it a shot. Atlanta dragway is about an hour from me.
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Old 03-27-2014, 08:46 PM   #32
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At least you have gone! I still havent taken my new 5.0 to the track yet. This will be my first track experience ever as Ive never had a car worth taking. Ive got the 275's on now though, so I am really itching to get out there and give it a shot. Atlanta dragway is about an hour from me.
I went but just as a spectator. Next time there I will run a few times.
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Old 03-27-2014, 08:53 PM   #33
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Nobody sandbags out of the hole, that's a guaranteed loss. People go nose down after half track to psych their opponents out when money's on the line.

Cecil's a little too fast. There's grip tracks and their fast tracks. Cecil's regularly a handful of mph faster than people can manage elsewhere. Ascribe to that whatever reason you want.

I'll bet you'll be happy doing a 13 flat on a stock V6 auto. That's a pretty big ask on street tires, even at Cecil.
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Old 03-27-2014, 08:57 PM   #34
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I guess the only time to go is fast fridays? Last time I looked on the schedule there werent really any test & tunes.

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Originally Posted by 2011 Kona Blue View Post
I went but just as a spectator. Next time there I will run a few times.
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Old 03-27-2014, 09:00 PM   #35
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I guess the only time to go is fast fridays? Last time I looked on the schedule there werent really any test & tunes.
If on not mistaken every Wednesday and Friday is test and tune at Cecil. As of now there is a car show and test and tune scheduled at 0800 hours for this Saturday. 35 dollars for test and tune. Run as many times. 15 dollars too enter car in car show.
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