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Racing Tips and FAQ

By Sal & Peter Biondo
This page contains tips on how to effectively get the most out of some of the products we sell. Along with full instruction sheets, at times we insert tip sheets to help you better apply the products to your racing application. We feel that our best customers are informed customers. We want to share our years of championship racing experience in an effort to help our customers to understand our team and the unique product line that Biondo Racing Products has to offer.

  • The Big Picture = More Round Wins NEW! A MUST READ! 5/18/10

  • "Our Guide to Weather Stations and Predicting" Updated 1/28/09

  • Using a Throttle Stop Updated 10/17/08

  • PRACTICE TREE EFFECTIVENESS AND SETTING ROLLOUT Updated 10/17/08

  • Using the MEGA 100, and MEGA 200 Delay Boxes.

  • Using the MEGA 300, and MEGA 400 Delay Boxes.

  • Using the MEGA 450 Delay Box.

  • Tips for a struggling "Bottom Bulb" Racer

  • A Quick Tip to improve your "Finish Line Driving"

  • This is more like a travel tip - Grease Your Bearings!

     

    The Big Picture = More Round Wins

    Written by Peter Biondo
    So here you are in round 7 of the Spring Fling 20’s against one of the elite racers. Your reaction times in round one to six have been between .008 and .014. The big question; do you make any changes to the delay box?

    Conventional wisdom would say no. Conventional wisdom says to “race your own race”. Conventional wisdom says stick with the .011 reaction time average that got you this far. I am here to tell you that I agree with conventional wisdom in a lot of areas of life but racing is one area where I put “playing the odds” before conventional wisdom. By playing the odds I am not talking about overestimating or underestimating your opponent as that is one of the leading causes for people losing rounds. Playing the odds in racing means you put yourself in the best position to win a certain round based on the history and the current situation. If you are in round 7 of a big buck bracket race against one of the best in the business chances are he is going to have a very good reaction time. Taking .003 or .004 out of your delay box would be a smart move and could very easily make the difference in winning or losing that round (especially if it is an 1/8th mile race where reaction time plays a big role). If you are a non delay box racer you can bring your rpm up 100 rpm. You get the point here. You are now setting up “tighter” on the tree based on both what you know of this elite opponent, and the fact that you are deep into eliminations and both you and your opponent have had a lot of looks at the tree. So increase your odds on winning the round by taking some out of the box. In the following journal I am going to get specific and into detail about what I call “situational racing” and how to increase your chances of winning “that round” whether that round be round one at a $200 to win local race or the final of our Spring Fling 20’s. It all has to do with stepping back, looking at the big picture and taking calculated risks with the ultimate goal being turning on more win lights.

    A lot of times in drag racing we get in a zone. This is a good thing. But it is not good if we are so much in a zone where we lose sight of the big picture or the current situation at hand. There is a lot to be said to being a robot and zoned into the tree and being one with the car but if you are too extreme and not paying attention, it could cost you a bunch of rounds and can even cost you that one ‘big’ round. Let’s say Tiger Woods has 7 shots to get the ball in the hole to win the US Open. He knows he can most likely make the hole in 4 shots if he plays his normal game. His caddy is going to tell him to take the safe way to the hole and make it in 5 instead of trying for 4 and taking a risk of hitting it in the pond. The caddy is looking at the big picture here for Tiger. In racing, most of us do not have a caddy or coach. We have to “be observant” as Troy Williams once said and pay attention to the situation so that we can better figure out what gives us the best chances of winning “that round”.

    Now what if I told you that you can raise your chances of beating a guy who knowingly has more talent and more seat time than you? That’s right. The reality is… he has more seat time, is more talented and can drive both ends of the track better than you. Reality is you have less than a 50% of beating this racer when you line up against him. Let’s say you have a 40% chance of beating this racer when you line up against him/ her.

    Let’s put all this talk into a real life scenario:
    You are about to race against a heavy hitter (let’s refer to him as HH) who you know holds a bunch of numbers. The big question is “how do I race against HH”. Before I answer this question that is very commonplace throughout the pits, let’s talk about the reasons for “holding numbers” or “dialing up”. The answer on whether to hold a bunch of numbers in general (or dial “honest”) should be based on three things. The first and most important is how comfortable are you doing this and does it fit your driving style? If you aren’t comfortable doing this I would suggest not to do it until you get comfortable and I want you to get comfortable sooner than later because there are going to be rounds later in your career where you can dramatically raise your odds on winning if you have some in your pocket. On the other hand if you are not comfortable doing this you will only lessen your chances of winning the round by making a plan and then not executing properly. Secondly, how good is your car running on a particular day and how well are you hitting the tree? If your car is running within thousandths of a second (the track is tight and the air/ weather isn’t drastically changing) and you are killing the tree then that is less of a reason to hold some in your pocket. In most cases in this scenario, you can put down good enough numbers without doing much at the finish line and let’s face it, this is a numbers game and good numbers/ tight packages is what wins races above and beyond EVERYTHING else. On the other hand if the track is loose and the weather and wind are changing by the minute and your car isn’t stringing tight runs together, than that is a situation where you are better off to hold a few. The third (and probably most interesting factor to most of you) in whether to hold numbers or not would be; who is your opponent on that particular round? Is he/ she a heavy hitter that tends to hold a bunch of numbers and is going to size you up at the finish line? If this is the case and you feel comfortable about dialing where you are holding a few hundredths, you should do so. This is what I call situational racing and it can increase your odds of beating this racer quite a bit. In fact, your chances of beating HH just went from 40% to 60%. That’s right, if you make the right plan (hold some numbers) and execute it properly the odds of beating your bracket racing hero just swung in your favor. Let’s step back and look at the big picture here. The reality of the numbers looks like this. You are running well and your car just ran 7.422, 7.427, and 7.426 in the previous rounds at 180 mph. You are confident you can be between .006 and .014 on the tree. If you dial honest against heavy hitter chances are the race and odds of him winning will look like this:

    You go .011 on the tree and run a 7.428 on a 7.42 dial (wide open/ no brakes). Chances you win the round against “heavy hitter” is 40%. Heavy hitter is .007 RT and is beside you for the last 300 feet putting a wheel on you and snugs the stripe up to .009 and runs a 7.323 on a 7.32 dial. You get back to the pits shaking your head and telling your friends, “man he made that look easy”. Now let’s step back and look at the big picture here and try to increase your odds on beating HH. Why did he just make that look so easy? The answer is because you gave him a stationary target (and enough room) to size you up making it easy for HH. From HH’s eyes the race and his decision was easy (despite you putting down a good run), in his brain he says this during the race “I am catching him early enough to kill the amount I need to kill and still take the stripe”. And because HH is such a good driver he can do just that without blinking and eye. How can you help your cause here? By first making the race appear different to him, and secondly and more importantly, giving him a moving target to work with. Take it from me, the combination of these two things will make heavy hitters job much harder. Hold 2 or 3 numbers and pick your spot on the track that you (have learned) to kill that amount where let’s say you go mid to high dead on your dial but this time on the brakes. In this case let’s dial up to a 7.45 and hit the brakes (safely of course) 20 feet before the first cone and run a 7.458 on a 7.45 at 166 mph. You have the same .011 tree and he has the same .007 tree BUT you have just dramatically increased your odds on beating HH. Now your chances of winning that round are 60% instead of 40%. That’s right, you are now a favorite to beat your “hero”. Why are you a favorite? Because you made the race look totally different to HH. HH catches you much later in the run, he knows he is dialed to break out and either A) decides to snug the finish line up and does a good job until you dump and give him a “(backwards) moving target” forcing him to take too much at the stripe and break out by .01 or .02, or B) he decides to dump and give you the finish line hoping you break out and in this case he is .01 over the dial and you are dead on. Either way, you have greatly increased your chances on beating the HH. Sure you still have to execute and be disciplined to pick your spot on the track that you have learned to get rid of .03 but taking this calculated risk in this scenario will turn the percentages in your favor and lead to many more win lights against this style and caliber of driver in the long run. On the flip side to this scenario let’s assume you are dialed a 7.30 and you are running against a 10 second car. In this situation, chances are, he is not going to be able to judge you (size you up) because of the mph difference and how fast you are coming on him. Therefore there is much less of a reason to hold numbers and to give him the “moving target” because it’s hard for him really to judge you, “the target” anyway. You are still the target in his eyes as he sizes you up but because you are closing in at such a rapid pace, you are already a moving target. In this situation you can actually decrease your odds on winning the round by throwing the extra variable of you holding numbers/ having to get rid of numbers into the mix. Luke Bogacki wrote some columns on “Spot Dropping”. There, he made a point to harp on safety, and I’d like to do the same. Being able to safely “kill” some ET and “Drop” at a given point on the race track takes a little practice and getting used to. We’re certainly not advocating any method that causes you to lose control of your vehicle. Your particular “spot drop” or method of killing ET can be very personalized. First and foremost, you need to develop a method that you feel comfortable with that does not endanger you or your opponent.

    Above I discussed starting line and finish line techniques along with ways of approaching different rounds and different situations. A big question should be “wait a second, what happened to simply playing my own game and sticking to what I do best?” Don’t get me wrong as my philosophy in racing relies heavily on doing what you do best and playing to your strengths. If a pitchers best pitch is a fastball then in most key situations, he should throw a fastball. Above and beyond every starting line and finish situation that I mentioned previous should be that you play to your strengths. BUT, if the same pitcher goes up against a batter that normally can see the fastball so well he normally knocks it out of the park, then the coach signals him to throw a curveball. This is why it is so important to grow as a racer and not get stuck in just one routine. Sure you should try and get the basics of bracket racing down pat before you try these more advanced techniques. If you don’t know how to effectively and safely get rid of a few at the stripe then don’t do it until you practice it enough in time runs where you can do it. Until then, focus on other strengths (in numbers) in your program like your reaction times and getting your car to run more consistent. Either way, good packages have a tendency to light the win light but if you are able to look at the big picture, you will, at times, see different round situations where you can greatly increase your chances of winning by mixing up your game and getting to those good packages in different ways. My suggestion? Challenge yourself. Don’t let fear get in the way of your growth and advancement as a racer. Take chances (at the right times) and you will take your driving to the next level. It’s a lot easier to stay in a comfortable place where you want to take the safe way out but believe me, by doing this you will never advance. If you do lose, don’t make excuses. Look defeat in the eye and learn from it. Look at the “WHY”. WHY did your car just fall off 2 numbers? Why did you take too much stripe and breakout (what was going through your mind and what were you seeing going down the track)? WHY were you late? WHY did you just pick up .015 in your 60’ time? Always look into the why. Most people would rather place blame rather than look into the why because it’s the easier way out and requires less effort (thought). You should be learning something every pass down the track. If you look into the why and honestly answer it, the chances are you will not make the same mistake multiple times. This leads me to my next section- the mental side of racing.

    All forms of sports require a mix of mental and physical talent to be successful. I can’t think of a sport that is more lopsided on the mental side than drag racing. There is so much that can be said about the psychology of racing but because of space limitation, I will stick to the single, most important one. The single and biggest barrier that stands between you and the win light… Fear.

    I can remember being 22 years old and very new at national event racing when a well known and very successful racer was paired up with me. Hell yes I was scared. On top of that he did everything he could to intimidate me and try to get in my head. He was smart, a good driver and very experienced. He knew well enough the havoc fear would play in opponents minds. Here I was a newbie to the national event scene and I was about to face the best. Yup, David vs Goliath. Fortunately I was aware enough to step back and look at the big picture and that’s when it hit me; “this is a numbers game and I can put up numbers just like he can.” As Jeg Couglin once said “preparation is king” and my car and entire racing program was prepared to do the job. That triggered confidence in me, eliminated the fear, and helped me to win the round. I also took a chance and held some numbers in my pocket, executed the plan perfectly and forced him to breakout. Say those words “this is a numbers game and I can put up numbers just like he can.” to yourself whenever you feel like you are at a disadvantage in a certain round and it puts everything in perspective and will wipe away any fear you may have had to race your opponent. Remember, this is not a wrestling match where you are 90lbs and he is 300lbs. Most of the time the cars are equal or close in the consistency department.

    Really, when I speak of fear in racing I am talking about fear of losing. Worried about who you are racing against (that you will lose), scared you may redlight (and lose), worried that you may be late (and lose), scared that you may not have the car dialed in right (and lose). All in all, just the simple fear of losing. Again, when fear enters your mind, step back for a second and look at the big picture. This is a numbers game! Do your homework before the race and before the round and by the time you make it to the staging lanes you should be prepared to lay down good numbers and good numbers can beat ANYBODY! When racing without fear you WILL get MUCH better results, period. Have you ever watched someone during a test and tune go .00 something on the tree all day long? I know I have. It’s because there is zero fear on a test and tune session. The racer is not worried about red lighting and not worried about losing. The key is to adopt this mindset when the chips ARE on the table. Only thoughts of executing your game plan (regardless of who is in other lane) and what your last run was like. The biggest link I see with fear and losing a race is overestimating your opponent. Overestimating your opponent causes your inner confidence to go down and your subconscious tells yourself that you are an underdog which in turn leads to fear. This fear leads you to do things you normally wouldn’t do like perhaps try too hard which takes you out of your zone. Now your chance of winning the round just went down significantly.

    There is a lot more that could be said about starting line, finish line, dial in, race strategies, and the part psychology plays in racing. For now, regardless of how new or seasoned you are to the sport of drag racing, my hope is that you will be able to tie this column together to your racing program. When you are about to line up for your next round, remember to step back and look at the big picture, run a game plan through your mind on how you are going to turn the win light on, race smart, and race with zero fear. And above all, play to your strengths. You will be surprised how many more times the win light shines in your lane.

     

    "Our Guide to Weather Stations and Predicting"

    Written by Peter Biondo
    I put together a weather station guide to help you get the most out of your weather station. Regardless of which weather station you purchased from us, these tips will help get you going and hopefully lead to more round wins!

    Taking Weather Readings
    Trailer Based Weather Stations- The first and most important step in predicting your ET or throttle stop settings is taking weather readings properly. If you are using a trailer mounted weather station such as the Altacom 2 or Performaire Weather Center there is not much you have to worry about as the fan aspirated sensors utilized by these 2 systems will accurately and automatically take weather readings for you all day long. These stationary weather stations use high end sensors and incorporate a continuous fan blowing through the sensors which makes it the most fail safe way to get accurate readings with minimal effort. Add a pager to the mix and you have combined the ultimate in accuracy and convenience.

    Hand Held Weather Stations- With a hand held / portable style weather station, it is much more important to take care in where and how you take your weather readings. To obtain the most accurate readings you should follow these guidelines:
    - Allow 10 seconds after turned on for barometer to settle
    - Take readings in the open air, out of direct sunlight, and away from hot vehicles. (if there is no shade around- use your body shade)
    - Take readings in the same place every time. (whether in the lanes or the pits)
    - Use common sense when taking weather (don't leave it in your hot racecar for all day and hold it out the window to take the weather, it may take up to 10 minutes for the heat to dissipate from the unit.)
    - A hand held weather station that has a built in fan to blow over the sensors will be more forgiving in where and how you take your readings.
    The bottom line with hand held weather stations is that you can achieve the same accurate results as you would with a trailer based weather station, but it does take a little bit more effort on the user’s part.

    Weather and Predictions
    After gathering accurate weather readings from your weather station, the next step is making predictions to your vehicles performance. The most common question I am asked is “should I do manual predictions or should I use a program to do the predictions for me?” My best answer to that is to thoroughly learn how to do the predictions on your own regardless of whether you decide to use a program to predict. Like anything else in life, if you really want to master something you should not only look at results but you should look into the “why” and “how” you get to that result. Later on, I will talk about some prediction programs, but before that I want to share some of the “why’s” and “how’s” on weather and how it effects your vehicles performance so that you will not only get a good understanding of this but you will also be able to effectively predict your vehicles performance on your own.

    Predicting on your own- As we would all love to be able to push a “magic button” and automatically be able to predict to the thousandth of a second, we also have to realize that there is a lot more to it than that. With all the variables out there on each pass, it is important to look at these variables and see how they effect your vehicles performance and by how much. This all starts with taking efficient notes- logging all of the weather variables in your logbook. Take the logbook home with you and study it. Pretty soon you will see a pattern developing and you will learn how much of an effect each weather variable has on your vehicle. The main weather variables you want to look at are

    1) Density Altitude.
    2) Barometer.
    3) Humidity.
    4) Water grains.

    You can also look at temperature but the reason I didn’t put that in here is because temp is heavily taken into consideration in the density altitude number, therefore there is little reason to look at both temp and density altitude. Gasoline burning vehicles tend to be mostly effected by the density altitude change and less effected by moisture (humidity and water grains) where as if you run an alcohol burning vehicle, you would want to keep a very close eye on humidity and water grains and put more weight on any moisture change, and put less weight on the density altitude change. After studying your logbook, you will soon learn how much of a weight to put on each weather variable.

    Here are some tips and generalizations I have learned with my vehicles;

    Gas vehicle (¼ mile)- a change of 150 feet in density altitude will change your vehicle .01. A change of 18-20% of humidity will change your vehicle .01. A .10 (ex 29.90 to 29.80) change in barometer will change you vehicle .01.

    Alcohol vehicle (¼ mile)- a change of 300 feet of density altitude will change your vehicle .01. A change of 10-13% in humidity will change your vehicle .01. A .10 (ex 29.90 to 29.80) change in barometer will change you vehicle .01.

    Water Grains- If you see water grains go up at the same time humidity goes up, you are generally going to see a significantly more slow down than if humidity goes up and water grains stays the same. The same is true when humidity and water grains go down.

    Track Conditions- Track temperatures and track prep will also affect your vehicles performance. The ideal track temperature is in the 70 to 90 degree range. Here the rubber on the track is the tightest. The further the track temperature gets from this ideal temperature, the more negative (slowdown) effect on your ET. Too cold of a track and there may not be enough adhesion. Too hot of a track and the surface tends to be greasy and is susceptible to bald spots. As with any other variable, pay attention and share information with your buddies. Have 500 cars been down each lane since the track was prepped last? Is the sun beating down on it on a hot day? How far the track temp from the “ideal temp” is and which direction is it heading? What were the characteristics of this track the last time I ran on it at this time of the day? On very hot surfaces it has also been thought (but not proven) that the actual heat from the track surface will slow down your vehicles performance (the entire length of the ¼ mile), not because of traction, but because the heat off the track actually heats up the temperature of the air a few feet above the track, which is the air the carburetor “sees”.

    Wind- Wind is often an underplayed factor especially when predicting ¼ mile performance. It is also the hardest variable to pinpoint because it’s always changing and swirling. The best thing to do is pick a reference point for how and where you will determine the wind at each track and come up with an average wind reading over a period of 20 seconds. It could be a flag or your hand held windmeter at the 1000’ mark, your stationary wind meter on top of your trailer, burnout smoke, or a combination of these. It is not only important to pay attention to the level of the track, but to the obstacles surrounding the track. A generalized chart (average) for wind would be a 4 mph tail wind = .01, a 7 mph tail wind = .02 and a 10 mph tail wind = .04. The same applies for headwinds except the value for headwinds will tend to be slightly higher because you are going “against the grain” so to speak.

    An advanced tip (looking deeper into it)- Whether you are talking about density altitude, barometer, humidity, track temperature, or wind, the further you get from the ideal point, the more of an affect that same change will have on your vehicles performance. This is assuming you don’t make any “set-up” changes (gear, converter etc) to the car to compensate for significantly worse or significantly better conditions. For instance, let’s say my stocker runs a 10.45 at 1000 feet of DA and 40% of humidity. If the DA goes to 1600 feet and the humidity goes to 55%, I would then run an ET of 10.50. But if the next day we have totally different conditions and the DA goes to 4000 and the humidity goes to 85%, I would probably slow up more than what I would have figured using my original formula. My original formula would tell me I should dial a 10.68 but because the conditions veered “so far off center”, it is likely the ET would be slower. The same concept applies when all the weather variables move together. Same concept goes for track temperature and wind. For instance, if the temp, humidity, and vapor pressure all move significantly down and the barometer moves significantly up it is more likely your car will speed up more than you would anticipate using your original formula.

    Prediction Programs
    Some weather stations are equipped with built in prediction programs where you can enter your vehicles runs and the weather that corresponds with the runs. The prediction programs then use its own formula’s to figure out how the weather change will affect your vehicles performance. When using these prediction programs it is important to remember the following:

    - All runs in a database should correlate or make sense with each other. The runs that do not should not be entered or should be deleted. An example a database with 2 runs that don’t correlate with each other would be; the density altitude of RUN A is 1000 with an ET of 10.19 and the density altitude of RUN B is 1500 with an ET of 10.17. Run B had worse/ “slower” weather but netted a quicker ET. Possibly run A is not a good run and should not be entered in the database. Possibly run A had a significant head wind, tire spin, or a broken valve spring? It is not only important you keep this run out of your database (as it will confuse the program and lead to inaccurate future predictions) but it’s also important that you figure out why this run was slow for future reference.

    - A database should consist of runs that have a large range of density altitude. Having different density altitudes in your database (ex.200 feet - 2100 feet) shows the computer how your car responds to a big weather change. A throttle stop database should consist of runs with a large spread of throttle stop data as well. We cannot emphasize enough the importance of quality runs in your database. A database with four or five quality runs will predict better than a database with 15 runs where 5 of them are "bad". Predictions from one track to the next are usually accurate, However- due to variance in rollout, wind direction, track surface, and traction form track to track- predictions may be off. If after your first run at a new track, your prediction is way off, you should start a new database with that track.

    If you are looking for a stand alone prediction program for your computer or laptop, I would highly recommend Crew Chief Pro. This computer program is very comprehensive and detailed, more so than the more generic programs that come with weather stations. If you purchased a weather station from us we will give you 10% off the Crew Chief Program. Ask for Peter Biondo and mention this write-up.

    Jetting
    When it comes to jetting, the common question always is- “Is my car jetted properly?” If you are trying to predict your vehicles performance to the .001 of a second, it is important your jetting be right so that your vehicle responds to weather changes predictably and consistently. There are many ways to see if you are jetted properly. From more traditional ways like reading spark plugs to using modern technology like onboard computers, EGT gauges, and O2 sensors. A more common sense approach is to monitor how much your vehicles performance changes when the air changes. In other words, is your car reacting to weather changes like it is supposed to? If you make a run in the morning where the DA is 1000 feet and run a 10.10 and then make another run in the afternoon where the DA is 1800 feet and your car falls off to a 10.21, chances are you are jetted too rich. If you actually pick up in the afternoon when the air gets worse, chances are you are too lean. As a rule of thumb, talk to a few of your friends at the races that have reliable cars and compare notes. See if your vehicle is corresponding to what the weather and what the other reliable cars are doing. Another question is “How often should I change my jetting?” If you are trying to get the most out of every run (comp eliminator, pro stock etc), you would have to not only change your jetting every day, but you would have to change them from the morning air to the afternoon air. However in classes where you are trying to predict performance it is more beneficial to leave your jetting as a constant. I would say a gasoline burning vehicle should have 3 different jet settings over a period of a race season, one setting that works well for killer weather conditions, one for mediocre conditions, and one for poor weather conditions.

    Summing it up
    Hopefully this will help you get the most out of your weather station. As you will see and hear, there are a lot of ways to use weather stations in predicting vehicle performance. No matter the case, there are two things you always want to keep in mind. Make sure you have a weather station that is accurately gathering data for you and second, always use common sense, pay attention, and take notes on how the weather affects your vehicle.

     

    Tips on Using a Throttle Stop

    (Written by Peter Biondo) updated 10/17/08

    Through years of on track experience with throttle stop racing I have learned a few things about throttle stops that can serve as a guideline to help in your throttle stop racing.

    1/ FINDING THE RIGHT THROTTLE STOP "CLOSED POSITION" OR "BLADE ANGLE" -
    Finding how much to mechanically shut your throttle down is crucial. You want to find a setting that will work well and be consistent. I have found 3 blade angles that work well (find the settings below). The most accurate way to adjust your "blade angle" is by RPM- (the rpm your engine drops to while the throttle stop is engaged). Once you have the right throttle stop RPM, you are done with the mechanical part of it, and all ET adjustments should be done with a timer.

    As mentioned above, I have found 3 blade angles that work well:
    - A "throttle stop rpm" of 3900- this will work well if your car runs 1 second under the index.
    - A "throttle stop rpm" of 4300- this will work well if your car runs .3 to .9 under the index.
    - A "throttle stop rpm" of 4800- this will work well if your car runs less than .3 under the index.

    *** If shifting on time, please refer to that section below as the suggested t/s rpm is different.

    2/ FIGURING OUT YOUR THROTTLE STOP RATIO -
    Before figuring out your ratio you first must enter a number in timer 1 of your throttle stop timer. This number indicates when the throttle stop will come on after launch. Most people prefer to have this number set early for high mph. I recommend having the throttle stop come on between .1 and .3. Once you set this, you will never adjust it again. To adjust your ET you will change timer 2.

    Whether you are using a weather station to predict a throttle stop or not, I highly recommend you learning your throttle stop ratio. The Throttle Stop Ratio is the effect the throttle stop time has on your ET. Here's an example- if you add 2 tenths (.2) to your throttle stop timer and it changes your ET by 1 tenth (.1), then you have a 2 to 1 ratio. To learn your ratio do the following:

    Make one run with a small amount of time (duration) in the throttle stop timer (.5). Make a second run with a large amount of time (2.5). Let's say run # 1 was an 8.40 and run # 2 was an 9.40. You can figure out your throttle stop ratio by dividing the change in the throttle stop time by the change in ET. The change in throttle stop time divided by the Change in E.T = T/S Ratio. OR (2.00 divided by 1.00 = 2).

    This is called a 2 to 1 ratio. Learning your ratio will allow you to correct for changing track and air conditions. Your ratio depends on your "throttle stop rpm". For most applications a 3900 T/S rpm results in a 2 to 1 ratio, a 4300 T/S rpm results in a 3 to 1 ratio, and a 4800 T/S rpm results in a 5 to 1 ratio. These ratios are based on cars equipped with converters that stall in the 5600-6400 area. Extremely loose or tight converters will result in different ratios.

    3/ YOUR THROTTLE LINKAGE -
    An "In-linkage" throttle control is sensitive to the entire throttle linkage system. It is very important to have an absolutely solid and rigid pedal stop. Without this you can stretch your linkage causing inconsistency. Your cable attaching bracket must also be rigid. Any flexing or binding will ruin the consistency.

    4/ TIME SHIFTING WHILE ON THE STOP
    Is it beneficial to shift on time (have a timer shift the car during the stop duration) while on the stop? The answer really depends on how fast your car runs. Example: If your car runs well under the index (over 1 second under the index), you can gain consistency by shifting on a time. There are 2 major benefits for shifting on time.

  • The car will come off the stop in high gear, lessening the chances of spinning the tires at that point.
  • The rpm’s on the stop will be much more stable when in high gear. In other words, your stop rpm’s will climb at a much slower rate when in high gear compared to low gear. This will result in more consistency and a more predictable throttle stop ratio.

    *** Cars running less than 1 second under the index will most likely not benefit from shifting by time.
    *** When shifting on time, it is good have it shift a few tenths (.3 to .9) after the stop comes on.
    *** When shifting on time you should raise your throttle stop rpm 300 higher than the suggested rpm mentioned in the above #1 example. (Example: cars running one second or more under the index should have a throttle stop rpm of 4200 as opposed to the 3900 suggested rpm described above.)

    5/ SPEED CONTROLS- Necessary or not?
    Speed controls are a way to slow down how fast a (CO2 powered) throttle stop either comes on or comes off. This can be especially beneficial in higher powered cars and on greasy, hot tracks. If you have a high horsepower car, and the car comes off the stop in first gear (shifting on rpm), it is a good idea to slow down the throttle stop opening speed to 50% to 60% speed. The Co2 powered stops that we sell have the capability to slow down and regulate this speed. This will keep your vehicle hooked up when the stop comes off and it will also be a smoother transition from part to full throttle. On the other hand, it you are coming off the throttle stop in high gear (shifting on time), it is not necessary to slow the throttle opening speed down as the transition from part to full throttle is smoother in high gear. There are also arguments about whether or not the throttle stop closing speed is more consistent if left at full speed or a slowed down. I have found that having the throttle slowed down slightly (80% of full speed) or at full speed seems to work well for most vehicles.

     

    PRACTICE TREE EFFECTIVENESS AND SETTING ROLLOUT

    Using a Practice Tree Effectively and Setting Rollout

    Dollar for dollar, the practice tree is the best investment a racer can make towards his racing operation. A minimal investment in money and time can help you achieve consistently good reaction times which is arguably the single most important part of a race. It will also help you build your confidence level and that in itself will lead to more round wins.

    Setting Your Rollout

    Let’s start by answering the question “What is rollout”? Simply put, rollout on the track is the distance it takes from when your car is staged to when your car breaks the starting line beams and starts the clocks. Breaking this down into time, it takes most cars between .22 to .35 from the time the car begins its launch, to the time it breaks the starting line beams. When using a practice tree, you are not using moving vehicles and racetracks; you therefore have to break the rollout down into time.

    A very common question is, “What number do I use for rollout in my practice tree?” To simplify this, I broke this down into categories based on your tree type below. Ultimately, the most important part of this is you achieving consistently good reaction times on the practice tree and then hopping in your car at the races, hitting the SAME spot and hitting the same consistently good reaction times.

    Rollout for Pro Tree and Top Bulb Racers:
    I will break this down into 3 ‘tree types’. Top bulb racing, pro tree racing, and bottom bulb racing. The first 2 types allow racers to use a delay box and therefore are much easier to find your spot and to relate the practicing to you and your car. To do this set the delay box on the practice tree to the same delay box numbers you would use in your car. Now all you have to do is adjust the rollout until you get the reaction times you are looking for. It’s the easiest and most accurate way of matching your car’s rollout to the rollout you need in your practice tree. For instance, in my bracket dragster (top bulb/ .500 racing) I use 1.150 in my delay box at the track. I go to my Final Round 4 tree and set my delay box to the same 1.150. After a handful of practice runs I realize that I need to have .22 in the rollout to achieve .00 and .01 reaction times. If I use the same dragster to run super comp (pro tree/ .400 racing), I go about it the same way- set the delay for .050 (which is the delay I typically use for the four tenths pro tree), and after a handful of practice tree runs I see that I again need the same .22 in the rollout to achieve the .00 and .01 reaction times. The rollout for my dragster (the time it takes for my dragster to go from “staged” to “breaking the starting line beams” is .22, or 22 hundredths of a second). As a general guideline the “rollout” for a typical seven second dragster will usually be within the range of .22 to .28. A slower leaving 10 second door car will usually take longer to break the beams and typically have a rollout within the range of .28 to .35.

    Rollout & Pro Category Type Cars (Top Fuel to Top Alcohol) is tougher to figure out because of the many different and ever changing mechanical aspects of car that effect the vehicle reaction time. The most effective way to use a practice tree for a driver of one of these classes is to set the rollout for .27 for a pro stock car or bike and for .32 for Top Fuel, Funny cars and .29 for Top Alcohol cars. Set the tree type to 4 tenths pro tree and try to get your reaction times as quick and consistent as you can.

    Rollout & Bottom Bulb Racing:
    Now that we explained rollout and how to set the rollout on your practice tree for ‘top bulb’ and ‘pro tree type’ racing, lets now talk about setting the rollout for bottom bulb racers. Bottom bulb racers do not use delay boxes and therefore any adjustments they need to make to their reaction times need to be made by adjusting your vehicle reaction time. There are many ways to adjust vehicle reaction, among the easiest ways to do this are changing launch rpm, front (and rear) tire pressure, and front tire size. In transbrake equipped cars you can do also do this by adjusting the travel of your transbrake button. Getting back to the practice tree, the following is the best route to take to help you figure out your rollout on a practice tree for a bottom bulb racer. The first thing you should do is set the tree to 5 tenths PRO TREE. Although bottom bulb racing is done on a 5 tenths FULL TREE, by taking the time to take a few hits at the 5 tenths PRO TREE, you will quickly and accurately figure out YOUR correct rollout because the PRO TREE gives you the easiest opportunity to react off the flash and correctly react to the light rather than anticipate the light. On an LED equipped tree such as the Final Round 4, most racers will see that they need a rollout within the range of .30 to .37. The fastest reacting person may need a .37 whereas a slower reacting person may need a rollout number closer to .30. Once you have taken a few shots at the 5 tenths PRO TREE and have set your rollout accurately to where you are hitting consistently good reaction times, you can then switch the tree over to the 5 tenths FULL TREE and feel confident that the rollout setting you have is correct. This is very important for training because now if you have a late reaction time or a red light you know it is you that reacted early or late and you will have no questions on whether the rollout number is correct.

    A very important and common question then would be “Now that I have practiced and can hit consistently good reaction times on a practice tree, how do I relate this information to ME, in MY CAR, at the races. The answer is simple; hit that same spot on at the track that you have ”learned” on the practice tree. Now if do this and your reaction times at the track are on target (.01 and .02) reaction times, you are all set. Your car conforms to your “spot” on the tree and your job now is to consistently hit that spot that you have trained yourself over and over again. BUT, if you confidently hit your spot on the track and you are coming a few hundreths red or late, you then have to make changes to your vehicle reaction time. Adjust your leave rpm, tire size, tire pressure, or transbrake button travel to get where you want to be. A common mistake bottom bulb racers make is that they get in their car, hit the correct spot on the tree, and when it comes up red or late they try to adjust themselves to leave early or late. They end up out in left field. There is only one spot on the tree a bottom bulb racer should leave on to achieve the highest level of success on the bottom bulb. That spot is leaving as soon as they see the bottom bulb or “leaving on the flash”. This is the spot you have learned on the practice tree and the most consistent way in the long run.

    The most effective way to use a practice tree

    PHASE 1: The Big Picture
    When you first get a practice tree, you should spend a considerable amount of time with it learning the “big picture”. Here I mean you should try to relate your car and your racing style (full tree/ pro tree/ bottom bulb/ top bulb) to it. Earlier, I covered setting rollout and different tree styles. Once you get your spot and figure out the roll out you are going to be using, spend a considerable amount of time training. Here you want to train your mind to ‘consistently react’ by repetition.

    PHASE 2: Short Interval Practicing
    After you get to a point where you are comfortable with ‘your spot’ you should go to the next phase of practicing which I will call ‘segment practicing’. The goal here is to train in segments or short intervals (I like to hit the tree 10x and then walk away). By keeping your sessions short, you have a greater chance of giving your brain 100% focus on the tree. The longer the sessions, the more like a game it will seem like and the more of a chance you give your mind to wander. The more your mind wanders, the more inconsistent your reaction times will be and the more inconsistent your reaction times are the less confident you will be in your abilities. Needless to say, an important goal here is to build your confidence, not to diminish it. So, don’t treat it like a game. Hit it 10x, document your results and look for consistency and improvement.

    PHASE 3: Create Real Race Situations
    The last phase of practicing is where I really want you to put yourself to the test. Here I want you to take a piece of paper and write on it ‘time trial 1’, ‘time trial 2’, ‘eliminations round 1’, ‘eliminations round 2’, all the way to the final round. The important thing here is to make one run and leave for a while then come back and make another run. Spacing the ‘rounds’ apart exactly like you do at the races will 1)- force you to out every ounce of focus you have into that round and 2)- create a real race feel. I even go as far as writing down who my opponent is (you can make up opponents based on who you typically race against) in that particular round and what reaction time I need to ‘win’ the round. This puts some pressure on you where if you lose, you are done and have to start all over another day. When you win the race you will realize that you can ‘do this’ and your confidence level will skyrocket. Bringing this confidence and ‘know how’ to the races will undoubtedly lead to more race wins.

    Another effective way to simulate real race situations is to sit in by sitting in your own car and practicing in front of a full size practice tree. While doing this, don't be afraid to throw your helmet and other safety equipment on. You can hook up the button in your car, (if you purchased a full tree package from us, we included the proper wire to connect the practice tree to the button in your car). When doing this, you should have the power off in your car and also disconnect your transbrake wires from your button. This is the best simulation you can get, if you can consistently achieve good reaction times here, you can confidently go to the races knowing you can do this and do it well.

     

    Using the MEGA 100, and MEGA 200 Delay Boxes

    TIPS ON THE MEGA 200/100

    * Before mounting the unit, put power to it and be sure you can easily view the information in both day and night conditions. If the unit is mounted far below or above "eye" level, it may have to be tilted for best viewing. Keep power to it, as this is the easiest way to go through and learn how the box works.

    * This box was designed to be very user friendly, please take a few moments to learn it's features.

    * When you are racing, most of the time you will want to look at either the dial ins or the delay times. Pressing the 1 key will bring up dial ins while pressing the 2 key will bring up delay times. You will notice that the words "your dial" etc. are also written and lit up on the screen for ease of use. If you want to change a dial in or delay time simply press the corresponding * or # key and then enter a new value. This is all you need to know to operate the crossover delay box portion of this box.

    * The numbers 3-9 will allow you to access all the other "extra" features in the box. If you intend on using any of these features, go through them and set them up to your racing application. It should be noted that they only need to be set up once.

    * If you are using the replay tach feature on the Mega 200, the instructions show that you need a pushbutton or switch wired to the linelock terminal to arm the unit for recording. It is recommended that you use your linelock/ 3-step button for this. (The unit doesn't actually start recording until the transbrake releases. It is also recommended that you wire a "bypass" toggle or pushbutton switch for backing up- if your trans requires you to apply the transbrake when backing up. This way the unit will not start recording after you back up. To wire this, simply run 2 wires off your bypass switch, one to 12 volts and the other to the transbrake terminal on the delay box).

    * If you have the unit programmed to shift, the signal will not go out to your shift solenoid unless the transbrake button is activated first. This will ensure that the unit will not shift in the burnout or pits. Note: After the transbrake button is released, the keypad will be "locked" until the shift point is reached or 15 seconds- whichever comes first. This is more of a reason to run a bypass button (as stated earlier) if you use your transbrake button to back up.

    * If you are a first time delay box user or a pro tree racer and do not intend on hitting the tree twice (their top yellow and your top yellow), set the pushbutton mode to 2. This will tell the box that your single pushbutton is used to activate delay 1 only. This way, delay 1 will recycle every time you hit your pushbutton. Only change this to pushbutton mode 1 if you intend on hitting the tree twice with 1 pushbutton.

    * When wiring the box, be sure to run a (15 amp) in-line fuse in the transbrake line (this will help protect the box if your tranbrake solenoid or wire shorts out). It is also a good idea to run a fuse in the 12v wire, t/stop wire, and the shift wire for additional protection. Also note that the shift wire should be run separately from the other wires (not in a wire loom with the others), this will prevent the shift wire from "spiking" other wires.

    If you have any further questions, you can contact us at 732-683-0404 or call Digital Delay direct at 563-324-1046. Or if you need to view the full instruction manual Click Here.
    GOOD LUCK RACING!!!

     

    Using the MEGA 300, and MEGA 400 Delay Boxes

    HERE IS A BRIEF OVERVIEW AND SOME TIPS TO GET YOU STARTED WITH THE MEGA 300/400: Before mounting the unit, put power to it and be sure you can easily view the information in both day and night conditions. If the unit is mounted far below "eye" level, it may have to be tilted up for best viewing. Keep power to it, as this is the easiest way to go through and learn how the box works.

    "C" KEY- press this key to bring you to the "main" screen which displays your dial-ins and delay times. This is the screen you will be spending most of your time in. If you run a throttle stop you will be frequently using the 4 stage timer screen. You can access this screen by pressing the "E" KEY.

    "D" KEY- pressing this key brings up most of your "one time set up" information. Spend a few moments to set these features to your specific racing "style". These are items that only need to be set up once.

    "F" KEY- pressing the "F" key allows you to access the features related to the Tach, replay, shifting, and driver reaction tester.

    As you will notice, every screen that you bring up has the display information written (in plain English) and lit up on the screen, making it nearly impossible for you to screw up. After you have selected the information, you can change it by pressing the "A" or "B" KEY that corresponds to the information that you want to change and entering a new value.

    * If you are using the replay tach feature on the Mega 400, the instructions show that you need a pushbutton or switch wired to the linelock terminal to arm the unit for recording. It is recommended that you use your linelock/ 3-step button for this. (The unit doesn't actually start recording until the transbrake releases. It is also recommended that you wire a "bypass" toggle or pushbutton switch for backing up- if your trans requires you to apply the transbrake when backing up. This way the unit will not start recording after you back up. To wire this, simply run 2 wires off your bypass switch, one to 12 volts and the other to the transbrake terminal on the delay box).

    * If you have the unit programmed to shift, the signal will not go out to your shift solenoid unless the transbrake button is activated first. This will ensure that the unit will not shift in the burnout or pits. Note: After the transbrake button is released, the keypad will be "locked" until the shift point is reached or 15 seconds- whichever comes first. This is more of a reason to run a bypass button (as stated earlier) if you use your transbrake button to back up.

    * If you are using a single throttle control to function as both a starting line control and a downtrack throttle stop, you should hook your wire from your throttle stop terminal on the box and run a jumper wire from this terminal to the S.F.O. terminal.

    * If you are a first time delay box user or a pro tree racer and do not intend on hitting the tree twice (their top yellow and your top yellow), set the pushbutton mode to 2. This will tell the box that your single pushbutton is used to activate delay 1 only. This way, delay 1 will recycle every time you hit your pushbutton. Only change this to pushbutton mode 1 if you intend on hitting the tree twice with 1 pushbutton.

    * When wiring the box, be sure to run a (15 amp) in-line fuse in the transbrake line (this will help protect the box if your tranbrake solenoid or wire shorts out). It is also a good idea to run a fuse in the 12v wire, t/stop wire, and the shift wire for additional protection. Also note that the shift wire should be run separately from the other wires (not in a wire loom with the others), this will prevent the shift wire from "spiking" other wires.

    If you have any further questions, you can contact us at 732-683-0404 or call Digital Delay direct at 563-324-1046. Or if you need to view the full instruction manual Click Here.
    GOOD LUCK RACING!!!

     

    Using the MEGA 450 Delay Box

    The TIP SHEET was written by the racers at Biondo Racing to give you an overview of how the box works. Powering the box up and going through it with the tip sheet in hand is the fastest way to learn it. If you have any set up or function questions call Biondo Racing at 732-683-0404. For further questions or any problems call Digital Delay Direct at 563-324-1046.

    Before mounting the unit, put power to it and be sure you can easily view the information in both day and night conditions. If the unit is mounted far above or below “eye” level, it may have to be tilted for best viewing. Keep power to it, as this is the easiest way to go through and learn how the box works.

    PRO TREE MODE AND BRACKET MODE
    The concept of the Mega 450 was to make things simple for racers. To do this, the Mega 450 has a separate mode for pro tree racers. The settings in this PRO TREE MODE are independent and separate from the settings in the BRACKET MODE. This means that you can switch back and forth from Pro Tree racing to Bracket racing without having to change any of the settings. All settings in each mode are retained in the memory (even when you switch modes or shut the power off.) To get into PRO TREE MODE press the SETUP key followed by the PRO/ 9 key. At this point you will see the words ‘PRO SCREEN’ and all of your “PRO TREE” settings (pro tree delay, throttle stop timer, and shift point setting) will show up.

    BRACKET MODE
    To switch back to BRACKET MODE simply press the ‘BRKT’ key. Pressing the ‘BRKT’ KEY (‘BRKT’ stands for BRACKET race) brings you to the main bracket screen which shows dial ins and delay times. If you are a bracket racer, this is the screen you will be spending most, if not all, of your time in.

    ‘SET UP’ KEY- pressing this key allows you to view all of your setup information, along with the reaction tester and replay tachometer. You can access a total of 8 setup screens with the SETUP key. Each time you press the SETUP button you will scroll through the different setup screens. If you want to go directly to a specific setup screen, you can do so by pressing the SETUP key followed by a number key.
    EXAMPLE: The Shift Information screen is considered setup screen number 6. To access this screen you can either: repeatedly press the SETUP key until you get to that screen, or you can go directly to it by pressing the SETUP key followed by the number 6.
    Note: Whether you are on the main bracket (dial ins/ delays) screen or any of the setup screens, you are still in bracket mode.
    Note: Spend a few moments to set up the box to your racing style (shift point, pushbutton mode, etc). All these settings need only to be done once and are retained in the memory even when power is shut off.

    PRO MODE
    The ONLY way to get into Pro Mode is to press the ‘SETUP’ key followed by the PRO/ 9 key.
    As stated above, the Pro Mode has one main “PRO SCREEN” that shows all of your pro tree racing settings. There are only 2 other screens you can access while in Pro Mode. These screens are the driver reaction tester and replay tachometer. This allows racers to use the driver reaction tester or view the replay tachometer while in the pro mode. Pressing the SETUP button while on the PRO SCREEN will scroll through these other 2 screens.

    THE KEYPAD
    ‘NEXT’ KEY- pressing this key allows you to move the selection arrows from one line to the next. Ex: If the selection arrows are on “your dial” and you would like to go to “their dial”, you would hit the next key to move the selections arrows to “their dial”.

    ‘CLEAR’ KEY- after you have selected the line you would like to change, you can hit the clear key to erase that line. After that, you can enter a new value by using the number keys. Ex: If you want to enter a new value for “their dial” simply move the selection arrows next to “their dial” and press the clear key. Use the numeric keys to type in a new value.

    SCROLLING UP/ DOWN KEYS- these UP and Down arrow keys on the keypad allow you to make small changes to Dial ins, Delay Times, etc.
    Ex: If you want to add 2 thousandths to “delay 1” simply move the selection arrows next to “delay 1” and press the UP arrow key twice.

    THE DISPLAY
    The display is a large screen that has 4 lines of information on each screen. All the display information is written in plain English, making it very easy to use. The display also has selection arrows showing the line that is currently selected.

    OTHER TIPS

  • If you are using the replay tach feature on the Mega 450, the instructions show that you need a pushbutton or switch wired to the linelock terminal to pre-arm the unit for recording. It is recommended that you use your linelock/ 3-step button for this. The unit doesn’t actually start recording until the transbrake releases. It is also recommended that you wire a “bypass” toggle or pushbutton switch for backing up- if your trans requires that you to apply the transbrake when backing up. This way the unit will not start recording (and will not cycle your delay times and throttle stop times) after you back up. To wire this simply run 2 wires off your bypass switch, one to 12 volts and the other to the transbrake terminal on the delay box)

  • If you are using a single throttle control to function as both a starting line control and a downtrack throttle stop, you should hook your wire from your throttle stop solenoid to the throttle stop terminal on the box and run a jumper wire from this terminal to the S.F.O. terminal.

  • Set the pushbutton mode to your racing style. If you are going to hit the tree only once each run, then set it to pushbutton mode 1. This will tell the box that your single pushbutton is used to activate delay 1 only, and it will allow you to “recycle” delay 1and get back on the button if you flinch before the top light. If you are going to hit the tree twice with 2 separate pushbuttons, set it to pushbutton mode 2. If you are going to hit the tree twice with 1 pushbutton, set it to pushbutton mode 3. (this differs from the 400 box)

  • When wiring the box, be sure to run a (15-amp) in-line fuse in the transbrake line (this will help protect the box if your transbrake solenoid or wire shorts out). It is also a good idea to run a fuse in the 12v wire and the t/stop wire for additional protection.

  • If you are using the Mega 450 to shift the car, keep 2 things in mind:
    When testing the shifter in the pits be sure to press and release your transbrake pushbutton first as that is when the units starts looking for the shift point
    When wiring the shift solenoid wire to the box, try and isolate the shift wire and keep it as far away from the other wires as possible. This will prevent the shift wire from spiking other wires.

    If you have any further questions, you can contact us at 732-683-0404 or call Digital Delay direct at 563-324-1046. Or if you need to view the full instruction manual Click Here.
    GOOD LUCK RACING!!!

     

    Tips for a struggling "Bottom Bulb" Racer

    Sal and Peter would like to share with you a little something that may help a "bottom bulb" racer with his / her reaction times. There are times when we feel "lost" on the bottom bulb. Those are the worst days for any racer, you have a lack of confidence, and it may take you weeks to get back "on track". But, we tried something with a few racers who could not get their "bottom bulb" reaction times consistent. We have also used this method to prove to racers that they may or may not be using the correct rollout in the practice tree.

    The main idea is to leave as soon as you see the bottom bulb, react to the "flash", that is what makes you consistent. But due to the "distraction factor" of the top two ambers we can sometimes be inconsistent. So, what we suggest to do is the following : take the top two ambers out in each lane, you can do this with the table version "Final Round 2, or 3" by unscrewing the top 2 lenses, and pulling out the bulbs. The bulbs can not be pulled out of the versions with the LED bulbs, such as the Final Round 4 (FR4), but the FR4V2 model has an option to shut the bulbs off) Or, you can do this with the Full Size Tree by simply unscrewing the bulbs. This makes it easier to put your focus solely on the botton amber. (Of course you should make sure there is no handicap set in the unit, because we want your bottom amber to come on before, or simultaneously with the bottom amber in the other lane).

    React to that amber as fast as you can, (for those who are not used to this, it may take a few shots). This may take some more concentration now, since we don't have the top two ambers giving us the warning of the third coming on. But, those two top two ambers are there for no other reason but to distract you!!

    With this method we can now figure out the rollout to use in the practice tree by adjusting the rollout number until you are in the 5 - teens, or 5 - twenties. After you have established an average competitive reaction time, you are ready for the final step:

    Put all the bulbs back in, leaving the rollout number the same, and "hit" the tree just as you did before. Try to forget that the top two ambers are there. If your reaction times are about the same and as consistent as they were before, you are learning to master the full tree, which is the hardest "tree" to conquer. (it requires the most discipline). If you master that, set the tree up, so that you give the other lane a 1/2 second or full second handicap, because that will create more distraction, and if you can master that, then you are ready for anything.

     

    A Quick Tip to improve your "Finish Line Driving"

    (This section written by Sal Biondo)
    I never claimed to be the best finish line racer out there...But, on the same note I've seen people out there who are worse than me. But, for some reason or another, I've had dozens of people come up to me and ask me how they could become a better "Finish Line" racer.

    Well, the answer is simple, I think. Race as much as you can, and with the experience you gain, in time, your "Finish Line" driving will improve. I'm only kidding, I would not make you come to this section and just tell you to race more often.

    I really did think of a method to improve a racer's "Finish Line" driving. For the most part, it is best applicable for "Super" racers, who make time trials alongside racecars that run almost the same E.T. as each other. What I suggest is this: when making your run, always check out your opponent as you are headed down track. (Of course, don't do this if you are fighting the car, or there are some severe side winds present! I'm assuming that everyone who enters this section is an experienced drag racer, and I don't need to give out driving lessons!) When you approach the finish line.... that is where I suggest you pay the most attention. What you should do is take a look over, and see where you are in comparison to your competition. Keep a mental note of that distance, and try to decide who got to the finish line first, and by how much. Decide on a number before you pick up your time slip, and see how close you can get. If you do that all the time, you may get a better idea of what's going on at the finish line.

    I can't tell you how many runs I see from the finish line, even during time trials, and I see racers looking straight ahead. Maybe sometimes you need to keep your eyes on the guages, or other times you can see well out of your "peripheral vision", but when its real "tight" during a time run, I'll always use that time to try and learn something.

    This method of guessing who got to the "stripe" first, and by how much should be done during eliminations also. I know it's probably the furthest thing from your mind when you are at a big race, but think of the long term benefit it could have. For dial-in racers, eliminations are probably the only time you can practice this method. I know in all my past experience of making time runs in brackets and Super Stock, I've rarely made a run with someone who ran within a couple of hundredths of me.

     

    This is more like a travel tip - Grease Your Bearings!

    When you are driving down the road, and you look in the mirror, and there is smoke billowing from your trailer.....pull over, or get to the nearest exit and examine the problem.

    Biondo Racing

    When you do examine the trailer, and one of your wheels looks like the above photo, you or a mechanically inclined friend, (thanks Ken Miele) must examine things a little further.

    Biondo Racing

    When you need parts, and they are not readily available, you may have to wait around for a while. Moral of the story....Grease your wheel bearings often!! (Sorry Dan Fletcher - I don't want to sound like your National Dragster column, but they also call me "lucky".)

    Biondo Racing

     

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