There are many things that can go wrong on a run and the more we talk about it the better (I feel) we are prepared to handle any situation while going down track.
I've been racing for many years and have had all of these things below happen at some point. Thankfully, they never turned into a crash or me wadding up someone else's racecar.
Some scenarios to think about:
Feel free to pick one above and discuss it.
72 Nova "Hooptie"
I've had five of those happen to me over the years, but was able to handle the situations without any damage.
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IMO - there needs to be more qualifications or requirements before you can race. Especially since its getting easier everyday to go fast.
Anyone can make a lap when everything works the way it is supposed to. You find out who can drive when things go off script.
Coming from a guy that has wadded up his own stuff...
Not sure of the exact cause, I would suspect possibly the caliper bolts were loose but that is just speculation, but this past weekend at the D4 Race in Oklahoma Holden Laris had a caliper break off the mount on the burnout on his Top Dragster, it jammed into the wheel and rolled around and broke off the secondary hand brake caliper. Obviously he had no brakes and luckily just rolled to a stop next to the wall.
If this would of been at the end of the run at 220 mph plus, it could have been seriously ugly.
Lesson learned, Check those caliper bolts and mounts on a regular bases!!
I have always used red locktite on the caliper bolts and the mounting flange, makes it harder to get apart but gives me some piece of mind
Steve, do you know who’s brakes he uses?
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It is a Moser floater rear end so I assume Moser. They had everything to fix it except the mounting plate, JR Baxter had one at his house and someone drove down to Texas to get it
I Switched from a carb to a Terminator and was making runs...
Engine was down a hole but running consistently so I ran it anyway.
Was down about 10mph and a few tenths but running the number
I was into about the 3rd round of Super Et going low 8's at 160+
I think I went red and made the run and throttle stuck pretty much wide open at 160+ at Etown
I did not panic but was hesitant for a coule seconds.....pulled fuel shutoff for Ron's system and engine shut down
The scoop tray mount on my car was custom made by the original owner. It has cutouts for needle and seats on a carb and can't turn sideways on a carb but could and did on a Terminator
Scoop tray turned and prevented throttle from returning
I fixed it with some holes and bolts to lock the tray to the Terminator
One injector nozzle was plugged from debris after making some news lines....James Monroe tipped me off on that one and pointed me right to that issue
Car went 7.70s 170 plus next time out.....big difference running on all 8! LOL
Had Aerospace brakes on my old car....brake rotor to hat bolts liked to loosen up and one run they did and sawed into the caliper mounting bracket.....Luckily I got stopped but wrecked the dogbone mount....and that was at Island dragway with a very short shutoff.....Cost me the day.....Back when every week something broke and I was having way to many issues...was ready to quit !! Talk about things going wrong....I got stories enough to fill a book.....
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I have lost brakes twice once pin fell out of pedal to brake rod maybe 50 years ago and 2 years ago a brake line failed. First one I was stageing so no big deal, 2nd brakes went to the floor at the finish line at Piedmont. They have a long shut down and I figured to ride it as far as I could and then turn right hard and if it rolled so be it as I have a real good cage, belts and helmet. It did not roll but I was prepared. I always raced a lot and thats it in 60+ years. Check your stuff often
I have has the caliper mounting plates get loose. Strip both sides clean/new bolts/red.. I have made a habit every two years or so. Pull the calipers and re kit them. Little things do a lot of work
You ever boil the brakes even one time, put a kit in them. I don't care if it is DOT 100.
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Td3550. Amkes a point I know all too well.Once something bites you it gets checked quite often. I have had throotle set screw on Enderle hat loosen and keep idle up around 3500,want to guess how often it got checked after that? If every weekend for past 20 years you are dead on. Had brake system run low and get air in system and did not find till finish line at about 230 mph,will get your attention. try having helmet rotate over your eyes at half track in TA/D so around 195 mph and lights out.
Shyt happens was made for drag racing. Hey it just adds to the adventure.LOL
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I’ve lost the brakes at the stripe, had throttle hang open down track car not shift and tread come off a front tire. Only damage ever was from the flapping tread on the tire.
I had my throttle stuck wide open at Norwalk running T/S. I reached up and clicked it off, left it in gear and pulled the chute.
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Everyone needs to have a plan and go over it when something goes wrong.
Like for instance if throttle sticks, hit brakes, kill switch, fuel switch, parachute and if that does not stop it push transmission up into neutral and hope rev limiter stops it or let motor blow. But do not count on brakes to stop a car wide open not going to happen so you better have a plan.
Similar plan for a fire, get that car and fuel shut down and get car stopped so you can get away from it if you have to.
Know what to do, have a plan so you do not have to hesitate or think about it for a few minutes when seconds matter.
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I just f@rted, that is a close to me giving a shyt about Ediot as it is going to get.
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Does anyone remember when they first got their NHRA license? When I was 16 I had to have an NHRA official blindfold me and go through a procedure of where everything is on the car. This included main shut off, fuel pump, etc.... The idea was to know where things are in a bad situation.
I think its another one of the things NHRA got rid of, which IMO is ridiculous. I'm definitely not Mr. Safety Enforcement, but This is a MUST DO requirement in my book.
Back when I drove a dragster, it was common practice for our team to pop the chute first run each weekend. This kept up in good practice, "just in case" and made sure everything functioned correctly on a weekly basis.
I was at the NHRA Div 1 bracket finals back in 2002. The track had just repaved the shut down (1/4 mile) and it rained all week. I was one of the first to down the track. My cars owner told me to pull the chute, our track manager told me to pull the chute, the guy in the water box and starter too, "pull the chute." I was driving a dragster that ran 7.70's @ 180mph. Well, I make the run and pull the chute and I fell just a little nudge but nothing. I jump on the brakes and instantly slide the tires. Got off the brakes and then began to feather them as best I could without sliding them in the ice like surface. Fk me, it was a sketchy slip n slide. I got it slowed enough to take the turn off and stopped at the ET booth where I was told the chute blossomed, ripped off and floated to the ground at the finish line. Evidently, I had trailer door open and the back of the car sitting in the rain, the chute was water logged and super heavy. It just ripped all the tethers when it opened.
72 Nova "Hooptie"
I have had the throttle hang on a couple street cars, a 10 sec Chevelle at the track and a dragster. I simply just turned the ignition and fuel pump off.
I have been in a bad bounce driving a hard tail at Atco raceway. I was about 4ft of the ground at 180mph. I had to time the bounce and whack the throttle on touch down to settle the car.
I have had a couple dragsters with the front tire bounce in the shut down where you have to snap the steering wheel with a quick jerk to settle the front end.
I have lost brakes in a dragster, in a 10 sec Monza, in my Nova. That is not a fun situation to be in. The dragster, I had a chute I could deploy. The Monza, I felt an issue in the burnout but staged anyway using the transbrake when all 4 bulbs lit. For some reason, when the tree flashed, I hit the gas and released the TB launching the car. I immediately lifted and took the whole track to stop it. The Nova was a Wilwood master cylinder problem. Just mush pedal that came and went. Put 3 different m/c on it before I put a Strange m/c on it to fix it.
I got more but this word wall is enough for now, lol.
72 Nova "Hooptie"
I borrowed a friends dragster and the front tire went flat at the finishline. That one, I almost crashed as the front end went into a violent shake / bounce at 170+ in the quarter. I was fortunate to be able to stop it without crashing or damaging anything.
72 Nova "Hooptie"
I'm surprised to hear that guys don't safety wire their caliper and hat bolts. That is something that I have always done.
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Things can go wrong really quick. The faster the car (300’/sec) the harder it becomes to react to issues.
Doug’s right foot top was black , yellow and blue from trying to pull the throttle back. Because of the safety requirements put in place by NHRA, Doug is going to be ok. In a dragster your controls are in very close proximity to the driver with arm restraints.??? Maybe it’s time to do the same in T/S? I am sure some cars are already set up that way. Doug was knocked out on the first hit in front of Jeff. From that point on he was a rubber doll being tossed around in the cage. Just my opinion and Something to think about.
Raceless in California!
Agreed. Should be mandatory! Period.
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