Encyclopedia of Sport: Every sport from around the world

Drag Racing

Drag racing is a kind of racing in which automobiles or motorcycles compete on who can reach the finish line first along a short straight course.

Drag racing has a short straight course from a standing start, and it has a specific distance. For Top Fuel dragsters, the distance is around ¼ mile. Since the 1960’s, drag racing has been using electronic timing and speed sensing systems.

Drag racing usually starts with a system called Christmas tree. This Christmas tree has a column of six lights for each lane, one blue, three ambers, one green, and one red. They are connected to light beams on the track. There are measurements which are measured in each race, the reaction time, elapsed time, and speed.

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The reaction time is the period between the green light and the vehicle leaving the starting line. The elapsed time is the time between the vehicle leaving the starting line and when the vehicle reaches the crossing line. The speed is measured through a device called the speed trap. It will cover the final 20 miles to the finish line. It will indicate the speed of the vehicle during those final miles.

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