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Drag Racing Story of the Day!

Nitro Reality

By Jim Burke

It is my humble opinion that as much as we all love blown Nitro, it will always be for a limited group of people. Yea we all dream of it and some of us have fond memories of running it BUT for the masses it is simply not practical to even consider running it.

Ok so what is practical? Running an injected car is the only answer. This car would have to accomplish the following things:

Be reasonably affordable
Be easy to run
Be low maintenance
Be one hell of a lot of fun
Be simple without a lot of gadgets and electronics
Easy to transport without a huge trailer and towing vehicle
Very limited rules to allow creativity in some areas so the class
doesn't get stale or "cookie-cutter".
Did I mention be a hell of a lot of fun????

So what does this car look like?

CHASSIS - Rolling Spec chassis - w/Tires

After talking with several builders you could have a spec chassis so there is no incentive to spend extra dollars on some exotic chassis. My preference would be an FED but reality would say you would also need to allow RED. At this power level I don't think it would make any difference anyway. The max wheelbase would be 160 inches. I have run a stretched funny car chassis @ 155" and at 200mph it was dead stable. It would come with a standard 9" ford rear which is the cheapest and strong enough to hold up. Also this size would fit in any trailer, even a 20 foot box trailer or a open trailer. For a rear tire why not use the a standard 12 inch slick as a spec? Easily affordable on readily available and plenty of tire for the power. One small point, there would be NO canards or wings. The only exception to this would be a small front over the axle wing if desired. Something like 6" x 12" or so.


As I said above a standard 9" rear with spool and after market axles that will hold about 800 hp are cheap and reliable. A set of disc brakes and the rear is ready to go. As for a gear ratio I would allow either a 3.60 or a 3.90. This is very easy to check by turning the tire one revolution and counting the number of time the yoke turns over. As long as it is between 3 1/2 turns and 4 turns it is legal.


As much as a lot of us know clutches, the practical solution to this would be a 2 speed glide. One of these built to hold about 800 hp is not all that expensive and would last a whole season. NO trans brake and it would be shifted manually.

Up till this point it has all been basic and generic for everybody but now the fun begins.


ANY motor with a max of 310 cu in. Must us Factory block and heads, NO aftermarket components. Why 310? Easy, even a 302 motor .030 over is 306 cubic inches. Why use a small motor? This is to allow everybody to join in the fun. Remember I said ANY motor. This would allow any 4 cyl, 6 cyl or 8 cyl motor that would fit within the rules. You can use old style motors or later style motors. It doesn't matter as the key is using FACTORY block and cyl heads. An aftermarket crankshaft would be acceptable for safety reasons and help everybody fit the cu in limit. For the base motor that is all the rules you need. This motor rule would bring in old and new alike to try "their" combination. They could range from flatties to the latest import 4 cylinders to basic old fashion V8s. One other thing, it MUST have an on board starter. It can be a "plug-in" power supply from outside or carry a battery on board.


Simple rules here, must be stacks and no more than 90%. I have used 90% and it is very easy on parts and readily available. Besides you don't have to use that much, it is just the maximum. It is very easy to check in staging with those new hand held devices that just sets the probe in the fuel and tells the percentage.


MUST be individual pipe exhaust, no collectors. That's it, no other rules.


Whatever the current safety rules for this ET & Speed.


I am not to sure about this but I was thinking about 1400 lbs. WITH driver. This will allow some of use larger sized drivers to play without a weight penalty.

That's it! Basic and simple and easy enough for anybody to play and still have fun on a reasonable budget. I ran a computer simulation using this set of rules and this is what I can up with .310 cu in motor @ 800 hp @ 7000 rpm.

Shifted at 7500 rpm with following results: 1.06 60' times and a 7.10 @188 mph. That would be a ride!

Yeah I know this is long but you see what happens when I am locked up in the house? LOL Just some food for thought BUT I tell you what, if I wasn't building my modified roadster I would definitely loved to have one of these.

OK these are my thoughts, what are yours?

Take care...



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