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Drag Racing's Basic Strip Strategy - Five By Five
Five Basic Tips And Hardware To Shorten A Quarter-Mile
Drag racing is a precise game where the difference between victory and an early trip to the trailer can often be measured in fractions of inches and thousandths of seconds. While any type of race can be won by a close margin, in how many other forms of motorsport can your car successfully contest a whole weekend's race program by participating in less than a single minute of actual timed competition?
In this intensely time-compressed pressure cooker, we have to make those brief seconds count. With this as a handy excuse, most of us will happily rush out and invest in the latest and greatest go-fast add-ons for the car-even if only to make it a few hundredths quicker. And we at this magazine certainly fill a lot of pages talking about all this e.t.-shortening hardware. But some of the stuff that can improve your dragstrip timeslips doesn't bolt to the car at all, and that's what we're here to look at this time around with the help and advice of modular shoe and chief gearhead of Paul's High Performance, Paul Svinicki.
At first glance, the concept of a drag race is deceptively simple: beat the other guy to a finish line that is only one, straight, quarter of a mile away. Simple as the concept may be, the execution is anything but, and as with any form of racing, it rewards a thinking-man's approach. Naturally, power and traction will play major roles in achieving victory, but driving technique and consistency are at least as important, as is the mental game. Some of the steps to more frequent success can be taken before you even reach the starting line.
No matter whether your contest is a heads-up or bracket class, one of the primary keys to success is consistency-or repeatability-in both car and driver. If your back-to-back e.t.'s are all over the map, the only person you're likely to beat is yourself.
We sat down with Paul Svinicki for some basic strip strategy and a quick look at some of the products he uses to help his own consistency. (By the way, Paul doesn't sell any of the following products but says they're available from Summit Racing and other vendors.)