Written by Jeff Tyler / Adapted by Rob Cheek


Race Day Checklist


Tire Gauge


1/2 tank (possibly less) of gas


Pen (to fill out your tech card)


White shoe polish, paper towels, and Windex (for changing your car's dial in)


Proper clothes. (NHRA rules do not allow shorts or tank tops)


Sunscreen / Coat


Helmet (required by NHRA rules if your car runs 13.99 or quicker)




Bug repellant


Fold up chairs


Ice chest (no glass containers)


Dragstrip Etiquette


If something is wrong with your car, STOP! Pull to the side of the track and wait for an official to come and get you. Too many people break something at the starting line or just after they start, then because they do not want to be embarrassed, try to make it to the finish line. Meanwhile the oil, radiator fluid, or other fluid is being sprayed all the way down the track. This can be dangerous, cause major track down time, and make everyone real unhappy waiting behind you.


The driver in the lane with the track turnouts has right of way. Too many people turn in front of cars and get hit. So, if the track's exits are on the left side, the car in left lane has right of way. Thus, the car in the right lane must wait until the left lane car has turned off the track before exiting. Yes, this means Stop and Wait! Do not worry, the track officials will not send another car down your lane until the track is clear. "It is a race from the starting line to the finish line, not a race to see who gets off the track first."


Don't start your burnout until directed by an official. He'll usually give you some sort of hand signal. Also make sure you are all the way on the track and facing directly forwards.



Don't do burnouts in the water with treaded street tires. Water gets into the treads and tracks all the way to the starting line. Drive around the water box, if possible. This makes the drivers with slicks very angry. It won't help you're 1/4 mile times either.


Don't do a "John Force" style burnout. (i.e. spinning the tires through and past the starting line, forcing you to back up) Exceptions are no front brakes and/or you are John Force.


I did this my very first time at Ennis. Please see the video to the right so you do not make the same mistake or endanger the track officials.



If you are bracket racing, don't lock up your brakes at the end of the track in an attempt to not "break out". Locking your brakes up at a high speed could be very dangerous. This is not an issue for test-n-tune nights, but be sure you leave plenty of room to brake at the end of the track without doing a massive ABS stop.


Observe the Staging Courtesy Rule. This means that the first car into the staging beams should light only the pre-stage light. When the second car is is pre-staged, then either of you can move up slightly into the staging lights.


Make sure your numbers and dial-in (if applicable) are visible from the tower. Most of the time your numbers will be shoe polished on to your side window. Rolling your window up and down will wipe the numbers off and make it very difficult for the spotters in the tower to read them.


Make sure you get in the right staging lane. Many times tracks have certain lanes for different classes. (i.e. junior dragsters, pro street, etc.) If you are unsure, just ask.



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