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1st time at the drag strip ... ever ... disappointed (long)

1323 Views 6 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  reddeath
Well my first time racing a car in the 1/4 anyway.

On to the facts:

The car has been modified but the engine is still all stock with a Vortex only. Last dyno was 351hp and 347tq. The weather was rainy (all over the island not at the strip) and humid but actually kind of cool. I did not have the A/C on and did put the car in Competition Mode.

I made two runs the first ever run was a joke. I was up against some "Loud as Hell" Mustang prepped out with slicks and all the go fast stickers. I rolled forward too far and deep staged, (without knowing), in an attempt to get my second set of staging lights turned back on I started to back her up and re-stage when suddenly yellow ... yellow ... "Oh shyte" ... green, I panicked and just floored it and dumped the clutch. I was all over the damn lane, rear end was too far right then too far left. I just kept my foot on the gas and sqealed and spun halfway up the damn track, (it was fun though /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif), I don't think I even had any traction until 3d gear. The numbers do not lie!

1.181 r/t
2.59 60ft
9.259 1/8 @ 85.09
13.898 1/4 @ 106.39

When I saw my time slip I got pi$$ed and got right back in line did not shut my engine down and my next run was a solo, (wonder why /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif). I was not ready for the launch again, (that $hit happens fast), accidentaly deep staged again (with out knowing) and was suprised yellow ... yellow ... Oh SHYTE not again, dumped it and gunned it but not as much squeal and kept it fairly straight this time. When I got to the booth, wouldn't you know it, they had a paper jam and I got no time slip! 2 TYTE (fast a$$ Supra) was watching for me and told me that he heard the tower say, (no lights displaying your time at this track), I ran a 13.45 or 13.55 @ 109. A little better but not what I had hoped for. The track was vvveerrrryyyy slippery.

There ware a few other Vettes out there. They were actually getting 14s. A guy with a Lingenfelter C5 ran a 13.5 and another forum member (C5 pewter coupe) got his best ever time. Even a Calloway TT was running in the low 14s. Funny how there were modified C5s running slower than C5 pewter coupe and he is completely stock. I will not post his time as I am sure he wants that post. Good run REX!! This is a blast and even though I was dissappointed in my times it was a good lots of fun.

Now the help!!

I have now learned that launching a car at the track is much different than at the strip. I am new to this but have two runs under my belt and am sure those times will get more respectable. I have a few questions and would appreciate any help or advice you guys can give.

I am driving with 20in wheels on the rear. Looks great but does this hinder the car in the 1/4?

I had about a half tank of race gas in the car, I believe it was 100 octaine. I have heard that too high an octaine actually causes the car to lose hp in stock engines. Should I be putting race gas in a stock engine.

I am getting a Hennessey built 415 (600hp) engine built and if I can not get traction as she sits then I am really going to have problems with the new engine. I was told that the times on this track are as much as 1/2 second worse than tracks on the mainland. VHT only hits this track before big events. I am buying drag tires and wheels immediately. What tire and wheel would be best to get (sizes too please).

I understand that reving to just under 3000 rpm prior to launch is best. Is that your opinion as well?

Is there something I can do to protect the paint behind the rear wheels from debris getting tossed up during burnouts or should that not be a problem?

Are there any other tips that you guys can give I want to do this right and understand that over time I will get better but any help would be greatly appreciated.

THANKS!!! /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif
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Hey No Mercy,

Whereas I can't answer all of your questions, I think I have some insight on a couple of them...

1. 20" wheels WILL, in fact, hurt your performance at the strip. I believe this is because you're adding weight in the increased size of the wheels, and it's more difficult to turn that larger, heaver wheel at the axle. And, since you've undoubtedly decreased the height of the sidewall on your 20" tires, that sidewall is NOT going to flex and grip very well. Now, if you look at most drag cars, you'll see that they have large rear tires mounted on small rims. I believe the reasoning here is twofold: The small rim size keeps weight to a minimum, and the tall sidewall (on a slightly deflated tire) allows the sidewall to scrunch down (when the rear of the car squats), allowing more contact area and more grip. Sounds like you're going against these theories with your 20" rims.

2. More-than-enough octane CAN slow your car down. On a normally-aspirated engine (no blower), your car simply does need the extra octane. Octane is an additive that RESISTS DETONATION (premature burning of the gas in the cylinder). Too much octane in a stock engine makes the fuel more difficult to burn, and so you'll rob yourself of power. You WANT more octane in a supercharged car, since the supercharger crams air into the motor (which increases compression, making power) -- and the last thing you want is for the fuel mixture in the highly-compressed piston chamber to blow when it's not supposed to (this is how you blow a gasket, or a rod through the hood, etc.). So, there's a fine ballance. Too little octane in a performance car like a Vette and you could get some "pinging" (detonation). Too much octane and you make it more difficult for the fuel to do what it's supposed to do (mix with air, be burnt by the spark, explode, and push the piston down). High octance fuel lets SC'ed cars run "more timing" (more compression).

3. Not sure what size TIRES are best on a C5 drag car -- but the wheel should be a decent-width 15" (pretty standard) lightweight wheel. Someone else should verify what wheel/tire combo is the best.

4. That's what I heard. 2600 RPM's rings a bell. I think the Z's best times come from NOT spinning the tires much at all off the line.

5. Not sure!

6. Can't help here, either. I know the other stuff from my trials and tribulations of owning a blown '93 Cobra -- but I've never been to the track. Gonna have to get my Z there soon!

Good luck!!! /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif

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I've only ever timed my car using a G-Tech, and it's a stock Z06. I've been told the G-Tech registers a tenth slower than a drag strip. I consistently get mid to high 12's on public roads. With a bad start I'll get in the mid 13's.

Yes, you want very minimal spin on those tires. I launch at around 2500. I've tried higher RPMs, but then I have to use less gas and more clutch in order to prevent too much wheel spin. If I get a good launch, I just shift at red line and hang on.
Thanks guys. I appreciate the help and the input. I am going back next Friday to apply what I hope to learn here and on the CF.

BTW why have there only been two replies but this post has been viewed 47 times. How about some of that Z06 forum love. I am the only Z06 in Hawaii that is running at the track and I must represent the family! /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif:D:D
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Mr Mercy:

You have found out like I have that things happen fast on the starting line. I have not had the chance to run my Z on the strip, but have had my ZR1 and othr C5's on the strip. Yes, there is a fine line between a quick and proper stage, vs. an easy to do goof! I know, from experience, and hope that more practice will help improve my technique....good luck!

Zippy /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif
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Thanks Zippy!!! /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif:D:D
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no mercy,
Nice looking car, times aren't bad for a first time on the track. Just curious what your reaction time was? The tracks around me don't figure this into the final time not sure if yours does or not. Is the car lowered or is that just the way the 20's fill the fenders? If your car is lowered you have put more pressure on the rear springs. (Don't get me wrong here I'm just a "play" racer) I understand that the way you want to set the car up is to have more spring in the shocks to help weight transfer. I know someone will correctly say this to you now that I've suggested it, who knows though it might not even matter on the stock Z. Anyway that's my little bit of help, I would love to help with the rest but I don't own a vette just yet.
Good luck
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