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Drag Racing Story of the Day!

How Many Inches Did I Win By?

How to Figure Out Margin of Victory in Feet and Inches

By Bill Pratt

The other day on nitromater.com, we were discussing how to figure out the distance for a particular margin of victory. Since IHRA Richmond was rained out Sunday, I guess Iíll post my response to that discussion here as a makeshift story of the day.

Hereís the step by step method to figure out the margin of victory in feet and inches.

In the nitromater discussion, there was a Super Stock race that had an amazing .0003 second margin of victory. The newest versions of the Compulink timing system actually read out to four decimal places.

To figure out the approximate distance in a margin of victory, you need to start with two things: the margin of victory in seconds and the LOSERís trap speed. The winner's speed doesn't matter. You need to know the loser's trap speed because what we are really measuring is how many feet the LOSER has to travel for those .0003 seconds after the winner hits the finish line.

For the purposes of this demo, let's assume the loser was running exactly 120 mph.

You need to convert this to Feet Per Second. The way to do this is to take the MPH and multiply it by 1.4666666 (infinity). Using 1.466 is probably close enough for this purpose.

So, 120 mph equals 175.999 feet per second. Let's just say it's 176 Feet Per second.

Now you simply take the true margin of victory (in this case, .0003 seconds) and multiply it by the Feet Per Second. At 176 FPS, this turns out to be .0528 feet.

If you get something less than one foot, which we did here, you need to convert to inches, so take .0528 and multiply it by 12.

In this case, the margin of victory is less than an inch! In fact, it's .633 inches! For those of you who are better with fractions, take .633 times 16 (to convert to 16ths of an inch). You get 10/16s, or 5/8s.

SO... the front wheels of the losing car in this Super Stock match were FIVE EIGHTHs of an inch behind the front wheels of the winning car!

This formula works for any type of drag racing vehicle. You just need to get the true Margin of Victory by adding each racer's ET and RT and then subtracting the winning time from the losing time to get the MOV in seconds... It's a little more complicated for Dial Your Own bracket racing because you have to convert the ETs relative to each racer's dial in. We can talk about that later if you want.

Another thing, if you want to talk about car lengths of victory, just compare the result you get in feet and inches to the following rough measurements: Top Fuelers: 25 feet, Funny Cars: 18 feet, Pro Stock and other street cars: 15 feet. I have no idea how long a bike is <g>.

Bill Pratt


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