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August 27, 2015 / kevinbrandes

The Two Types of Drag Races

Kevin Brandes is an avid fan of drag racing. A former drag racer himself, he started racing in Gainesville, Florida, and spent some time racing super street cars throughout the United States. When he decided to stop racing, Kevin Brandes was running quarter-mile stretches in about nine seconds and at 155 miles per hour.

A side-by-side contest between two vehicles, drag races take place on controlled racetracks and cover either a quarter-mile or eighth-mile stretch of drag strip. There are two general types of drag racing: handicap and heads-up. These two types cover all car classes, from top alcohol dragsters and pro stock motorcycles to super comp and super street cars.

Heads-up races are the simplest type of drag race. Used for top alcohol funny cars and pro stock motorcycles, this type simply involves two cars racing to the end of the track. Both cars start at the same time and the first racer across the finish line wins the race. Although foul starts still apply during heads-up races, they are not very common.

Handicap races are slightly more complicated. This type, often used for such classes as super gas and super street, involves both racers predicting how quickly they’ll finish the track. The winning racer still crosses the finish line first, but also has to be below or at his or her predicted time and not have a foul start. If one driver’s car takes longer to drive the same length, that driver starts the race first. While some handicap races have predetermined times, the basic rules still apply.

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