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Author Topic:   Why 1/8 mile?
Moneymaker
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From: Lyons, IL, USA
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posted 02-28-2003 12:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Moneymaker   Click Here to Email Moneymaker     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
OK, we had some good fun on the why a small block thread didn't we? A little controversey and good natured banter helps stir the juices and keep the blood flowing.
So let's try this one on for size.
We have a real diverse group of racers here on M&M and a lot of you are from the southern states where 1/8 mile tracks dominate. Those of us north of the Mason Dixon line have very few 1/8 mile tracks.
I never even set foot on a 1/8 mile track until 1982!
First time I raced on one I felt like I was making love and quit right in the middle of the foreplay. It was in Kentucky at Bean Blossom Raceway where we were part of a booked in show. The track had old fashion dial display clocks and a traffic light on the top end.
You shut down in a gravel field, then pulled off into an orchard on the left. Most of the locals got out of their cars and sat on their hoods watching the cars shut down. You had to wait until the traffic light turned green, then you got back into your car and drove back down the track to get back to the pits.
Craziest thing I had ever seen up until that time.
Now since then I have done some more 1/8 mile racing. IHRA requires us to run a few each year if we are in the points. I have had some success on the 1/8, but to tell you the truth, I can't stand it.
The first time I ever went to a drag strip was in 1962 with my older brother. I was 9 years old and I got hooked! It was US 30 Dragstrip in Gary IN. It was of course a 1/4 mile facility. By the time I started driving I began racing. When we raced on the street we marked off a 1/4 mile. Every track in our area was a 1/4 mile. We had 5 within 1.5 hours drive. All of the magazines talked about 1/4 mile ET's and speeds. All of the records were 1/4 mile. The car songs were all about 1/4 mile. Jan and Deans Drag City doesn't start out "Burn off that 1/8 mile!"
Where the heck did all of this 1/8 mile stuff come from?
When I go down south and meet up with some of my southern IHRA friends, many of them never set foot on a 1/4 mile track! Their cars are geared for 1/8 mile even though there are no 1/8 mile national events.
I ask them why they race only 1/8 mile and the answer I get from most is "cause that's the way it's always been."
Some say it's easier on parts, and other say they can make twice as many runs in the same amount of time.
Regardless, ALL of the dedicated 1/8 mile IHRA class cars are SLOW. Most can barely run under the 1/8 mile index, especially in Superstock.
Now a few of the honest ones (and I do mean a very few)tell me that they are just to lazy to spend the time and money to go fast. "It's bracket racin' after qualifying anyway" they say. The money is better spent on hunting or fishing maybe? It can't be lack of funds cause some of these racers have killer motor homes and enclosed trailers. Quad runner support vehicles, and barbque grills big enough to cook a horse on!
I can honestly say that until 1982, I didn't even know that people raced only 1/8 mile.
Because the midwest has always been a hotbed of Superstock and Gasser competition, there were literally hundreds of dragstrips in the 60's and 70's. All were 1/4 mile!
When I read about all of the match racing action down south between my heros of the time, (Dyno Don, SOx and Martin, Hubert Platt, Arnie the Farmer, etc.)it was always 1/4 mile! ALWAYS! Virginia, Miss, Alabama, Tenn, Peidmont NC, Arkansas, EVERYWHERE!
When did someone down south decide that it was time to shorten all the drag strips in half? That's like drinking half a beer?
Up here IHRA forces us to run at least two 1/8 mile divisionals. The turnouts are always poor and all of us midwesterners can't stand it. It's hard to dial and harder to judge as we have been racing 1/4 mile forever. In NC, IHRA's division 9, I believe that every track on the shcedual is 1/8 mile.
Was it purely economics or did the track operators decide that they could open up a 1/8 mile track in their back yard much easier? Answers?????
Either way, even though I hold and set IHRA 1/8 mile records, I still think that it's a waste of time and not "real" drag racing. At least not the way I was brought up on drag racing. Like Jan and Dean sing..."Burn off that 1/4 mile!"

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Alex Denysenko
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65_302
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posted 02-28-2003 01:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for 65_302   Click Here to Email 65_302     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I agree that 1/8 mile must be like viewing 1/2 a movie, eating half a meal or only having one shot of Jack. Its just not enough.

When I first ventured onto a darg strip after street racing in the mid 60s, it was the Southwest Raceway here in Tulsa. It was a NHRA or IHRA national event, I think it was the spring nationals or something like that. I loved how you could "feel" the engines in your chest as they made their passes. 1/4 mile passes not 1/8 mile.

Until last year I have been away from racing for some 30 years. Don't know why I lost the thrill but I did. It's back now and the track has a different name but it is still 1/4 mile long.

It's just meant to be that way.

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Fastymz
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posted 02-28-2003 01:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fastymz   Click Here to Email Fastymz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

I love to race anywhere on any track.But it's all still new and fun to me.Years ago at Hot August Nights they had a 1/16 mile one lane track heck even that was fun.
So for me if it's an 1/8th or 1/4 it's all fun.
If I had a choice I'd take the 1/4 track over the others.But I'd rather just race at any track then to not race at all.

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Fstln69
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posted 02-28-2003 01:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fstln69   Click Here to Email Fstln69     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I like Alex started going to the races at US30 in Gary In, back in 68 when my Dad took my brother and myself to the Funny Car shows there .I also had never heard of 1/8 mile,when i started racing myself in the late 70's the timeslips didn't give us anything but Et&mph for the 1/4.It wasn't until US30 closed in the 80's that we started venturing out to other tracks thats when we started to see the new timing devices that gave us all the incrementals 60ft,330ft 660,1000ft,1/4mile .At a point after Byron Dragway closed for awhile that the only place to race was Union Grove in wis,(and i personally hate the place my wife and I started to head south.We started to race at Muncie Dragway which is a 1/4 mile facility,one night we went there for a $5000 bracket race and the race was being run 1/8 mile .Well after making a few time runs 6.40's?Thought i had a fuel car .Well i must admit that the racing was ALL so close that i actually enjoyed it.Plus we went into DEEP rounds(that always helps).The worst part was the next weekend we went back to Muncie and the race was a 1/4 mile,every pass i made i kept getting out of it at the '1000 mark ,If i have my choice i'd rather run 1/4 miles but the 1/8 mile races do seem to keep the cars closer togheter and it doesn't give you the chance to lift (or dump)as most 1/4 bracket racers like to do..just my.002

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69 fairlane 351w [email protected] before M&M.. after??
always in search of more HP and faster ET'S

Fstln69 Pics Page

[This message has been edited by Fstln69 (edited 02-28-2003).]

[This message has been edited by Fstln69 (edited 02-28-2003).]

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Just Strokin
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posted 02-28-2003 01:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Just Strokin   Click Here to Email Just Strokin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
You have to take in consideration a lot of the towns in the south had people that worked saturdays and then go to church on sunday. Most didn't get off work from the cotton mills and such till 4 or 5pm....Then we had to pick the crops and hoe the rows.... ...and this was after we went out on friday nights and got drunk.....hehehe

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Larry

No fast Fords at this time but one fine cruising 96 F350 CC DRW Power Strokin diesel.
And one rusty 64 Fairlane nick-named the Rust Bucket....And sometimes called the Money Pit...

The sounds of a brain dropping into gear.....
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SteveLaRiviere
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posted 02-28-2003 01:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SteveLaRiviere   Click Here to Email SteveLaRiviere     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I've raced on a 1/8 mile track {Oxford Plains Dragway} a couple of times and I didn't like it. It's over too soon.

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kid vishus
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posted 02-28-2003 01:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for kid vishus   Click Here to Email kid vishus     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I don't view 1/8 mile racing as being "half a race". Truthfully, I don't care which I run, but I think the reason alot, not all, but alot of the 1/4 mile racers dont like 1/8 mile racing is because 1/8 mile racing is harder. Dial in's are tighter, there is less distance to make up for a poor light, finish line margins are extremely close all the time, etc. If you take a guy that is a good 1/8 mile racer, 99% of the time he's going to be one tuff SOB on the qrtr. But that's not the case the other way around. I have seen good 1/4 mile racers not find their a$$ with either hand on an 1/8 mile facility. Example; I would see my Cordova buddies show up at Eddyville for their first time and they would expect their .550 lights and dial ins that were intentionally dialed .02 under to win rounds like it did on the qrtr. That's just not the case. The racing is way too close for those tactics to be successful the majority of the time.

As for easier on parts, I don't buy that. Most motors that blow up go 'bang' before the 1/8 mile marker anyways. As for safety, every time my car has gotten 'spooky' it was within the first 150'.

I think in the south, the fact you can put an 1/8 mile facility on less ground plays a major role in that choice. The track I now race (Farmington) I am told was originally a 1/4 mile track. Truthfully, if it was still 1/4 mile, I wouldn't run it. The shutdown area was pathetically, and dangerously short. The other tracks I have been to down here are the same way. The shutdown area is too short for 1/4 racing, or the track itself is too rough to be safe for the speeds that would be generated on the top end of a 1/4 mile track. The fact there are so many tracks down here (I believe I was told there are around 25 tracks within a 3 hour radius of us), that anyone that now tried to run a 1/4 mile facility would not get the car count needed to succeed due to everyone already having their cars set up for 1/8 mile racing. Myabe they started shortening all the tracks down here when the population started to encroach on the track.

But this I do know, 1/8 mile racing is just as much a "real" drag race as 1/4 mile. At least to me it is. But perhaps I'm a little biased since I am a fairly decent 1/8 mile racer.

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Just Strokin
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posted 02-28-2003 01:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Just Strokin   Click Here to Email Just Strokin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Kid, you have pretty much summed it up in a nut shell as I have heard and learned about the tracks down here in the south. Also, a lot of the tracks were build in the middle of the woods or close to a river or swamp land that was cheap. This type of terain didn't afford extra room for the needed shutdown area for 1/4 mile racing.

I have attended some races at 1/8 mile tracks that had such a large car count, they didn't get to 3rd round till almost midnight and started racing at 8pm.

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Larry

No fast Fords at this time but one fine cruising 96 F350 CC DRW Power Strokin diesel.
And one rusty 64 Fairlane nick-named the Rust Bucket....And sometimes called the Money Pit...

The sounds of a brain dropping into gear.....
"Buzzzzzz.......Click"

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64FalconF-16
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From: Republic Of Texas!! Temporarily living in KY
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posted 02-28-2003 01:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for 64FalconF-16   Click Here to Email 64FalconF-16     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Racing at 1/8th mile tracks goes alot faster than at 1/4 milers. The cars move out and run like clockwork on the 1/8th.

That equals more cars at an evening event.

Less chance for oil downs too.

I think it is economics more than anything.

Rick

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Moneymaker
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posted 02-28-2003 01:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Moneymaker   Click Here to Email Moneymaker     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
But wait!
I have tons of old magazines and National Dragsters/Drag News that show cased the southern tracks you all speak of. That's where all the "hot match race" action was happening in the 60's and 70's. From SS to A/FX to Mountain Motor Pro Stock. MMPS was born in the south!
I was ALL 1/4 mile. Every one was 1/4 mile.
I searched and searched and can't find even one of the tracks (most still in business) that contested 1/8 mile back them.
Telling me the speeds got too fast don't get it either as the MMPS cars were running 170-180 MPH, and the Funny Cars were well over 220 MPH back then.
There has to be more to it.

KV, I know what you mean. When we race at Eddyville and some of the guys show up that never race 1/8, they are almost always FRL's!

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Alex Denysenko
Co-Administrator and Moderator

NHRA/IHRA/SRA member and licensed Superstock driver
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Quote #1: "I never met a magazine mechanic I liked."
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Fstln69
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posted 02-28-2003 01:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fstln69   Click Here to Email Fstln69     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Alex,also what i have witnessed lately is the switch at a track from 1/4 to 1/8 do to some problem at the track,oil downs,wind whatever.When did this practice start being accepted.I seen this happen at US41 and at RT66.Is this just laziness on the tracks personal to shorten the track rather then fix a problem?

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69 fairlane 351w [email protected] before M&M.. after??
always in search of more HP and faster ET'S

Fstln69 Pics Page

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Moneymaker
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posted 02-28-2003 02:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Moneymaker   Click Here to Email Moneymaker     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It's not oil downs. 90% of the oil downs happen in the first 500 feet.

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Alex Denysenko
Co-Administrator and Moderator

NHRA/IHRA/SRA member and licensed Superstock driver
MCA member# 53321
NHRA and IHRA SS/LA National Record Holder '00,'01,'02,&'03
Fleet of FoMoCo products including 88 ASC McLaren Mustang #28
Professional Manwhore
The Barry of BarrysGrrl

Quote #1: "I never met a magazine mechanic I liked."
Quote #2: "Make sure brain is in gear before engaging mouth!"
Quote #3: "If you can't run with the big dogs, stay on the porch!"
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kid vishus
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posted 02-28-2003 02:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for kid vishus   Click Here to Email kid vishus     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Moneymaker:
Telling me the speeds got too fast don't get it either as the MMPS cars were running 170-180 MPH, and the Funny Cars were well over 220 MPH back then.
There has to be more to it.



Deteriorating track conditions maybe? (lack of upkeep on the racing surface itself, osme of the tracks don't look like they have had anything done to the downtrack surface in 30yrs or more). Or maybe the simple fact that when a track has 200+ bracket cars every week, it just makes more sense time-wise to run 1/8 mile. Alot of the tracks now (at least in this area) have a time curfew, and with the amount of cars they get, possibly they wouldn't be able to get done early enough?

I really don't know. I do know though, I wouldn't want to run 1/4 and go 135+ on some of these tracks with the shutdown area they would have had for it. I would rather have a long shutdown area for 1/8 mile, than a really short shutdown for 1/4 mile.

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Fstln69
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posted 02-28-2003 02:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fstln69   Click Here to Email Fstln69     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by kid vishus:
I do know though, I wouldn't want to run 1/4 and go 135+ on some of these tracks with the shutdown area they would have had for it. I would rather have a long shutdown area for 1/8 mile, than a really short shutdown for 1/4 mile.



I do agree with you there my vote is to make Greatlakes dragaway an 1/8 mile track

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69 fairlane 351w [email protected] before M&M.. after??
always in search of more HP and faster ET'S

Fstln69 Pics Page

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Moneymaker
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posted 02-28-2003 02:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Moneymaker   Click Here to Email Moneymaker     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Maybe they just didn't want to conform to the safty and insurance regulations that are required for 1/4 mile?
Some of these back woods 1/8 mile tracks still allow guys with low 6 second cars to race in tee shirts and out of date helments.
I have even seen video from last year of a guy in a Fox Mustang with a helment and NO shirt at all! (must have been real hot)

------------------
Alex Denysenko
Co-Administrator and Moderator

NHRA/IHRA/SRA member and licensed Superstock driver
MCA member# 53321
NHRA and IHRA SS/LA National Record Holder '00,'01,'02,&'03
Fleet of FoMoCo products including 88 ASC McLaren Mustang #28
Professional Manwhore
The Barry of BarrysGrrl

Quote #1: "I never met a magazine mechanic I liked."
Quote #2: "Make sure brain is in gear before engaging mouth!"
Quote #3: "If you can't run with the big dogs, stay on the porch!"
www.moneymakerracing.com

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kid vishus
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posted 02-28-2003 02:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for kid vishus   Click Here to Email kid vishus     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Moneymaker:
Maybe they just didn't want to conform to the safty and insurance regulations that are required for 1/4 mile?


I'm sure that's the case with some of them.

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Fstln69
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posted 02-28-2003 02:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fstln69   Click Here to Email Fstln69     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Moneymaker:
i even seen video from last year of a guy in a Fox Mustang with a helment and NO shirt at all! (must have been real hot)



Brings up a good point (but probably for another thread)last year i went to US41 for the Street Car Chaos race,There was a young guy in a fox mustang,no helmet doing shortones carrying the front wheels and his parents cheering him on from the stands right in front of me i wanted to slap them!!!!!
Dennis

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69 fairlane 351w [email protected] before M&M.. after??
always in search of more HP and faster ET'S

Fstln69 Pics Page

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69 Sportsroof
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posted 02-28-2003 02:19 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for 69 Sportsroof   Click Here to Email 69 Sportsroof     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
We have a 1/4 mile track in Montgomery. That's where the big guys race. When the majority of the cars run 9's to 12's, that great. But when you have a bunch of street guys racing, 1/8 tracks keep things moving quicker. Besides, on an 1/8 track, your dial in is in the 7's and 8's instead of 13's and 14's.

In the South, "cause that's the way we do it" is a perfectly good answer for anything.

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Just Strokin
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posted 02-28-2003 02:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Just Strokin   Click Here to Email Just Strokin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
As we all know, the cost of not only racing has sky rocketed but also the maintenance of the facility, the local laws and regulations, the health departments, insurance (most tracks do carry here it in the south).

Alex, the tracks you speak about in the south that use to have the match races back in the mid sixty's would never meet the rules of say NHRA or IHRA of today. Lee County Drag Strip in Alabam where I saw many times the A/FX Comets, TBolts and such was nothing more than a strip of asphault about 25' wide with nothing more than a piece or two of guide wire between the spectators and the race.

And drag racing did die back in the south in the 70's. When it made a resurgence in the 80's, it was again in the middle of a cow pasture or cotton field with a short length of asphault, similar to what you described. I remember shovelling sand off the starting line in Abbyville (cow pasture) dragway and then having to run the cows off during the race, not to mention pulling the cars out of the cotton field on occassions. The safety barrier between the cars and the spectators was ONE piece of 1/2 diameter wire rope/quide wire. We ran two classes, 8.00 was the cutoff. It was nothing to have a 5.00 car against a 7.90 car. Motorcyles ran cars at that time also.

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Larry

No fast Fords at this time but one fine cruising 96 F350 CC DRW Power Strokin diesel.
And one rusty 64 Fairlane nick-named the Rust Bucket....And sometimes called the Money Pit...

The sounds of a brain dropping into gear.....
"Buzzzzzz.......Click"

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Ryan Wilke
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posted 02-28-2003 03:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ryan Wilke   Click Here to Email Ryan Wilke     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The discussion on this thread sounds like we're entering "another cycle thru" of the late 50's/60's... where there were little to no rules and the tracks were old air strips. It'll probably take a half-a-dozen deaths in one season to get any changes made....

Reminds me of the circumstances around the death of the 5.0 superhero, Steve Gresbeck a while ago,,,

--- Should it be the tracks responsibility or the drivers responsibility to decide if it's safe enough to run??????

Ryan

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Just Strokin
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posted 02-28-2003 03:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Just Strokin   Click Here to Email Just Strokin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Ryan, I feel the ultimate choice is in the hands of the driver irregardless of how well the track is prepared, maitained, etc or not.

------------------
Larry

No fast Fords at this time but one fine cruising 96 F350 CC DRW Power Strokin diesel.
And one rusty 64 Fairlane nick-named the Rust Bucket....And sometimes called the Money Pit...

The sounds of a brain dropping into gear.....
"Buzzzzzz.......Click"

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RickBook
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posted 02-28-2003 03:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for RickBook     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I've also raced both the 1/8th and 1/4.

I scoffed at the 1/8th at first - 'just didn't seem like it would be any fun.

Now, personally, I prefer the 1/8th over the 1/4. One reason being safety - I have no idea what the kid next to me is going to do when something happens to his ride at 140+ mph. I don't want to be near him.

Granted, a lot of the street cars in my class get up to 100+ in the 1/8th - but the duration is much less than the 1/4.

Also, it seems to me like I'm just 'riding' the last 1/8th mile. Kinda "ho hum".

On the 1/8th track, one still has to do the appropriate burnout, deep or shallow stage, and cut a good light. Further, I belive 'most' of the races are won in the first 60 feet anyway. Right?

Another reason 1/8th over 1/4: I don't agree with the quote a buddy of mine said, but I liked it - "You race only half the distance - tear up only half your sh*t!"

But, to each his own.


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65hoss
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posted 02-28-2003 03:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for 65hoss   Click Here to Email 65hoss     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Alex as you know, Memphis has a nice 1/4 mile track. But it is only used for the big events. All regular weekend races are 1/8 mile. Why? Money. 10 yrs ago it was a weekly 1/4 track. But the 1/8 redneck tracks were getting all the cars. All those guys thought it was easier on the cars to run 1/8. Whatever!! So as the attending cars at Memphis dropped, they decided to go to the 1/8 format also. Most of the guys I know are split 50/50 on it also. 1/2 want 1/4 mile, and the other 1/2 want the 1/8 mile. So when my car is running again, the only way for me to get any 1/4 mile times is to run in the street car group or show up on test-n-tune nights. Both run 1/4. Only the real race cars run 1/8. Go figure.

It does take longer to run the 1/8 races at Memphis than the 1/4. Why? Easy, they still have to travel the distance down the track. One way is wide open, the other is under braking.

[This message has been edited by 65hoss (edited 02-28-2003).]

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jsracingbbf
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From: Batesville,MS. , U.S.A.
Registered: Mar 2002

posted 02-28-2003 04:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for jsracingbbf   Click Here to Email jsracingbbf     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Like KV said it is harder to race 1/8th mile. When I moved to MS from NE Texas, I had to make the change. Hallsville, TX. still races 1/4 mile ( I think ) Anyway, I din't like it at first, the race was over too soon. However, after a while I liked it. It is a bit safer, I don't know about easier on parts. I grew up in Hattiesburg and it was 1/4 mile as long as I can remember. It is 1/8th now. I guess either is ok with me, but if all the tracks were 1/4mile there would only be two tracks around here to race at, Memphis and Greenville. As it is there are about 15.

------------------
Jerry
69 Mustang Pro ET Drag
70 Mustang retired former footbrake car
"This is FORD Country! On a Quiet night you can hear a Chevy Rust"

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68DARKHORSE
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Posts: 417
From: Austin, Tx
Registered: Aug 2002

posted 02-28-2003 04:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for 68DARKHORSE   Click Here to Email 68DARKHORSE     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There are 4 tracks in this area. 3 of them are 1/4 mile.

[This message has been edited by 68DARKHORSE (edited 02-28-2003).]

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Toronado3800
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Posts: 364
From: St. Louis, MO
Registered: Jul 2001

posted 02-28-2003 06:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Toronado3800     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Mostly I've just run at stoplights. Been to the track only once and that was for a 1/4 mile event. It did seem rather long.

I always figured it was like racing on the street. You just picked the race for your car.

When I had an under powered 305 but a 3.73 rear end with a good suspension I'd kill most of the 14.0 sec Fox Bodies my friends had from the light to 60 then they'd walk right on past me. So with that car if I wanted to post good times it would have been 1/8th mile.

After I saved for a 383 SB it ran only a little stronger to 60 but finally pulled equally well top end. So I could hang 1/4 mile.

Now if I owned a new 6spd F-body I'd want a mile or to race since the car does 150

[This message has been edited by Toronado3800 (edited 02-28-2003).]

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Dubz
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From: Manitoba Canada
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posted 02-28-2003 06:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dubz   Click Here to Email Dubz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Is anyone complaining that they don't still have the 1/2 mile drags???

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Bob Hopkins
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From: BRIDGEPORT NJ USA
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posted 02-28-2003 06:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Bob Hopkins   Click Here to Email Bob Hopkins     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
YOU remember late 50's-early 60's 1/2 mile drags out west can you immagine speeds at the end,and trying to stopppppppppppppppp

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RickBook
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Posts: 140
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Apr 2002

posted 02-28-2003 07:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for RickBook     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I can't find it on the Internet, but I remember seeing a photo from the 50's or 60's showing 4 or 5 cars drag racing at the same time (side-by-side)in what looked like an organized (sanctioned?) event. The photo was more of an arial shot and it looked like the track was 1/2 long.

That must've made for some spectacluar crashes!

[This message has been edited by RickBook (edited 02-28-2003).]

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Moneymaker
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From: Lyons, IL, USA
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posted 02-28-2003 07:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Moneymaker   Click Here to Email Moneymaker     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
They used to run four of the same class cars at Dragway 42 in Ohio regularly.
Byron Dragway near my home used to run 4 funny cars at the same time.
Both were 1/4 mile.

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Bloose
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From: Milwaukee, WI
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posted 02-28-2003 10:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Bloose   Click Here to Email Bloose     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
FSTLN69,

What the heck is wrong with Great Lakes Dragaway??? You don't like racing in a corn field??? You don't like a gravel pit area??? You don't like weather conditions in a swamp???

Actually they finally have stuck some money into the place. Broadway Bob is no longer the owner and they are working on the place. The one nice thing is it is still pretty much in the middle of nowhere, so there are no complaints about noise that I know of, yet. I'm sure that won't last much longer.

For me Union Grove is the only place close that I know of. I am glad it is 1/4 mile as I think 1/8 would be too short. Plus, being that I am really not a racer, I like to know what my car runs in the 1/4 so I know how it compares to most other cars. Factory Muscle cars were all measured in the 1/4 so I know how my car compares to them. Plus nearly everyone talks 1/4 mile.

B-loose

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Moneymaker
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From: Lyons, IL, USA
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posted 02-28-2003 10:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Moneymaker   Click Here to Email Moneymaker     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
GLD has made monumental improvements to the facility. Our IHRA divisional there last year was back to 1/4 mile and everything was first rate. The pits, staging lanes, and return roads have been repaved. They have upgraded all of the lighting to Musco at a cost of over $250k. The track has been lengthened over 400 feet and repaved. It is now very smooth. We were #1 qualifier in Superstock by almost 2 full tenths over the rest of the field and never broke a sweat.
I would race there anytime now. The track is as smooth as can be.

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Dad Vishus
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From: Moscow, Iowa, USA
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posted 02-28-2003 10:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dad Vishus   Click Here to Email Dad Vishus     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There are lots of valid points here for both.

I must first point out that I now really prefer 1/8 mile racing. Its harder, requiring tighter dials and less stripe games.

Here though is another point for 1/8 mile. Its better for spectators. The whole track can be viewed all at once from practically anyplace along the fence or in the stands.

1/8 mile goes quicker too, at least on a track that is designed for 1/8 in the first place. The placement of the turnoffs is key here. If you race 1/8 and have to go all the way to turnoffs for 1/4, that argument goes out the door.

I don't dislike 1/4 mile necessarily. There is nothing like watching fuelers at the finish line at 300 plus on the quarter. Then again, theres nothing like being at the starting line when the hammer drops on a 6000 horse monster and the shock wave hits you in the chest. Even 1/8 mile racing doesn't give you both sensations at once from anyplace on the track.

I do think that eventually our sport will go mostly 1/8 mile everywhere. Its stricly a cost thing as I see it. Less track to maintain, less track to prep, and that is a major cost for spray and machinery, less area to light, and somewhat safer for insurance purposes. I'm not totally sold on the safety thing, though. What is safer, a fuel car at 270 on 1/8 mile or at 320 on the 1/4? Splitting hairs, I'd say.

As this has kindof turned back in time somewhat, I can remember when I was a pup, there were 2 tracks that everybody here went to. One was Cordova, 1/4 mile then and now, and Kahoka, Missouri, and 1/8 miler which was a popular track back then and is no longer in business.

For some reason, most of the guys I knew that raced then raced at Kahoka. I don't really know if that was because it was 1/8 or better payouts or what.

Makes for interesting, shall I say freindly, debate, doesn't it?

------------------
63 Falcon 377 Cleveland stroker Flying Toilet alchohol injection. 6.19 @ 110 MPH 1/8 mile
2002 Ranger FX4 daily driver
2000 F350 PSD Crew cab dually - Like commuting in a B52!!
98 US Cargo Phantom II 28'

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Fstln69
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From: Westmont,il
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posted 02-28-2003 10:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fstln69   Click Here to Email Fstln69     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Well i admit that i have not been back there since '95 but after all the years of burning brakes up and trying to get my cars to hook there i just decided that would be it.95 i ran a dart with a 440 and a 14x32 tire (great bracket car 10.90's and hook anywhere)The car went sideways everytime i let go the button i am glad they have done some improvements god knows they needed it

------------------
69 fairlane 351w [email protected] before M&M.. after??
always in search of more HP and faster ET'S

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Jim63
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posted 02-28-2003 10:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jim63   Click Here to Email Jim63     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This post is like saying "My dog is bigger than your dog".
Let me just say MM that it takes NO less talent to win at a 1/8 vs a 1/4 mile! Many have said "no replacement for displacement" but regardless it still requires skill behind the wheel.
Just bring yours down to our new strip and let us see!
The bottom line is--if you are going to race do it at a drag strip and make sure you whip the cheviesss!

------------------

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TomP
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From: Delta BC Canada
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posted 03-01-2003 12:22 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for TomP   Click Here to Email TomP     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Alex

I agree with your assessment of 1/8th vs 1/4. I 'm glad we have very few tracks shorter than a quarter here...err... maybe. We have 330ft Saratoga Speedway and 380ft Western Speedway, 1/8th mile Thunder Mountain and 1/8th mile Sechelt, 500ft Evergreen Speedway... sheeesh.

Bremerton WA went 1/8th mile for a while because the guardrails didn't meet specs. They soon reverted back to 1/4. Not too many would prefer 1/8th out west here.

Those Southeastern strips that are running as 1/8th now when they used to run 1/4 are often plenty long enough. I have aerial pix of every one of them and some have a half mile of weed covered unused track at the end. Some were dangerously short, 1/4 miles with 700ft of shutdown were too common, but a 2 mile long former runway that runs as an 1/8th mile dragstrip seems odd to me.

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TomP
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From: Delta BC Canada
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posted 03-01-2003 12:45 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for TomP   Click Here to Email TomP     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Heres a shot of Fayetteville NC , runs 1/8th with plenty of space for 1/4 mile.

http://terraserver.homeadvisor.msn.com/image.aspx?S=11&T=1&X=1736&Y=9678&Z=17&W=2

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kid vishus
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Posts: 5281
From: middle of NC
Registered: Oct 2000

posted 03-01-2003 09:39 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for kid vishus   Click Here to Email kid vishus     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by TomP:
[B]Heres a shot of Fayetteville NC , runs 1/8th with plenty of space for 1/4 mile.



Fayetteville does run 1/4 mile quite a bit though. I beleive all their test n tune nights are qrtr mile. Their webs site is down right now or I would check for sure. I think they just run their bracket program 1/8 mile so they can get the car count needed to succeed.

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kwazykat
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Posts: 6569
From: ...a wonderful place to be.... orange county... NC!!!! M&M member #92 .... a blue-oval GRRL-deluxe.....
Registered: Jun 99

posted 03-01-2003 10:18 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for kwazykat   Click Here to Email kwazykat     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
i figure..... some athletes train and are coached to sprint and some athletes are trained and coached to go long-distance.....

they are each in their own right very talented ..... but asking a sprinter to go double-the-distance with grace and asking a distance runner to burst everything they have in half the distance is a tall order..... some are talented enough and have the physical prowess to run both.... and those are the guys you have to watch out for.....

so far, i have only sprinted.... i like the 1/8th mile rush .... and when i get back in the groove and start racing again this season i will really enjoy the challenge of the numbers.... and i would like to try the 1/4 ..... if nothing else, so i can have the experience to actually make a true comparison..... who knows.... i might love it!!!

kk

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DidgeyTrucker
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Posts: 1112
From: Greenbrier, TN USA
Registered: Oct 99

posted 03-01-2003 11:45 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for DidgeyTrucker   Click Here to Email DidgeyTrucker     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I think the Southern 1/8 mile tracks were built because of the value of the land.
Here in middle Tennessee their were more tracks back in the 60's. I think the industrial complex where I work now (Metro Center) used to be 1/4 mile track (Riverside Raceway?). The 1/4 mile track in Memphis featured in "Two Lane Blacktop" is now a shopping center. Beech Bend in Bowling Green, KY is still a 1/4 mile with 1/8 mile and 1/4 mile clocks. Music City Raceway (also known as Union Hill or The Hill) is stll open and is 1/8 mile. Alex, you need to come run on "The Hill" sometime. You can't see the end of the shutdown area from the starting line. It's about 20 feet lower. It The Hill was 1/4 mile long the end of the shutdown area would be about 500 feet below the starting line. Why do you think they call it "The Hill"? AND they run jet cars and IHRA Mountain Motor shows there! But they do run an awesome NHRA Combo program on Saturday nights. It combines NHRA S/S and Stock in their own bracket with all NHRA rules and indexes.

Tracy

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cracing
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Posts: 159
From: Saltillo Miss. USA
Registered: Jan 2002

posted 03-01-2003 01:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for cracing   Click Here to Email cracing     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Well I think a big reason is distance, many probably would run 1/4 if they were closer. I'm not driving 350 mi round trip to get to a 1/4 when I can drive to 2 others at 52 & 60 mi. round trip. In my case its economics. I also remember Hugh Scott after he started running with Scotty Cannon say" if I ran 1/4 all time ,everything I have would be torn up" but then he is set up for 1/8 mi tracks.

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Moneymaker
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posted 03-01-2003 01:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Moneymaker   Click Here to Email Moneymaker     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yes, but MOST if not ALL of those southeastern tracks USED to be 1/4 mile.
Something changed and I feel that part the promotors pied pipered the racers into the 1/8 mile format. Complacency took over from there.

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cracing
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From: Saltillo Miss. USA
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posted 03-01-2003 02:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for cracing   Click Here to Email cracing     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Maybe so, but I remember some around here in the 60s that had huge trees as guard rails,& others that had trees at the end of a very short shutdown area,they were cut back as a saftey measure. However, you also have to remember that in those days when the tracks weere built, there was not much money being made in the south, my pay in 1965 was $55.00 gross a week for 5 1/2 days work. All the money then was being made up north. Must still be that way,they still pull big vacuum on pay around here.

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Fstln69
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Posts: 364
From: Westmont,il
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posted 03-01-2003 03:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fstln69   Click Here to Email Fstln69     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
yeah but ALL the big money bracket races are down south.You never see many races over a $1000 up around here.Costs more to live up here in the north too.


------------------
69 fairlane 351w [email protected] before M&M.. after??
always in search of more HP and faster ET'S

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Moneymaker
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posted 03-01-2003 04:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Moneymaker   Click Here to Email Moneymaker     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Fstln69:
yeah but ALL the big money bracket races are down south.You never see many races over a $1000 up around here.Costs more to live up here in the north too.



You got that right!
There are 1/8 mile $10k bracket races somewhere every weekend down south!

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Alex Denysenko
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Quote #1: "I never met a magazine mechanic I liked."
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Buster
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posted 03-01-2003 04:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Buster   Click Here to Email Buster     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I race at a 1/4 mile track in Orlando, but Lakeland has an 1/8 mile track that I have been to as well.

As far as safety... I think beer holders in racecars are more important that safety rules.

I have seen guys racin in Lakeland at 11:00am and thats after they have been drinking for an hour.

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Moneymaker
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posted 03-01-2003 05:19 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Moneymaker   Click Here to Email Moneymaker     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Geeze Buster, you bring back memories. I forgot all about Lakeland. I haven't been there since the 70's.
It was 1/4 mile and a dump back then.

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Alex Denysenko
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Quote #1: "I never met a magazine mechanic I liked."
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CometGT1974
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Posts: 293
From: Asheville, NC USA
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posted 03-01-2003 08:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for CometGT1974   Click Here to Email CometGT1974     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Honestly, I couldn't tell you which one I liked the best because i've never been on a 1/4 mile track!!! All i've ever known is 1/8th mile drag racing, almost all the tracks in the state are 1/8th mile and the closest 1/4 mile is Bristol VA. (Bristol also runs 1/8 mile though.) North Wilkesboro, Shadyside, Farmington, Mooresville, Roxboro, Greer are all 1/8th mile and that's about all the tracks that I participate at. I do know that the Outlaw 10.5" cars attract huge crowds and are extremely popular, the payout is usually like $10,000. Since the 1/8th is so popular in my region it just seemed like the best route to go!

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65_302
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From: Bixby, OK
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posted 03-03-2003 02:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for 65_302   Click Here to Email 65_302     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Moneymaker:
You got that right!
There are 1/8 mile $10k bracket races somewhere every weekend down south!


Wow. In case we ever get to that level of competition, how much is the entry fee for one of those $10K bracket races and can anyone with the money and a car compete? I think the brackets here are around $1,000 payout on $35 - $45 entry fee.

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64FalconF-16
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From: Republic Of Texas!! Temporarily living in KY
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posted 03-03-2003 02:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for 64FalconF-16   Click Here to Email 64FalconF-16     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by 65_302:
Wow. In case we ever get to that level of competition, how much is the entry fee for one of those $10K bracket races and can anyone with the money and a car compete? I think the brackets here are around $1,000 payout on $35 - $45 entry fee.



Go to North Texas Dragway in Denton Tx. Or Hallsville (Tx) raceway. I think they both have a website. They run 10.5 outlaw and King of the Hill races that draw huge crowds and have big payouts. The KOTH cars are running 4.50s in the 1/8th. They catch is the front suspension and firewall have to be in the stock position. It is real wild racing.

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Moneymaker
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posted 03-03-2003 03:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Moneymaker   Click Here to Email Moneymaker     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The entry fees vary from event to event, but the adds I see all range in the $100 to $200 area.

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Alex Denysenko
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Quote #1: "I never met a magazine mechanic I liked."
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Fstln69
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Posts: 364
From: Westmont,il
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posted 03-03-2003 06:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fstln69   Click Here to Email Fstln69     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Moneymaker:
The entry fees vary from event to event, but the adds I see all range in the $100 to $200 area.



Not bad when you consider it costs $60 to run for $1200 at Rt66,also you ever see the quailty of cars down south!Can't tell me that all the money is made up north.

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69 fairlane 351w [email protected] before M&M.. after??
always in search of more HP and faster ET'S

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jsracingbbf
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Posts: 2177
From: Batesville,MS. , U.S.A.
Registered: Mar 2002

posted 03-03-2003 10:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for jsracingbbf   Click Here to Email jsracingbbf     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by 65_302:
Wow. In case we ever get to that level of competition, how much is the entry fee for one of those $10K bracket races and can anyone with the money and a car compete? I think the brackets here are around $1,000 payout on $35 - $45 entry fee.

Tracks down here have many types of races to pull racers in. Sometimes they have a 3 day, $25,000 dollar pay out race. 5k friday night, 10K Sat, 10K sunday with a gamblers race for losers. Loser's entry fee $50.00 bucks pays all back to drivers. Based on at least 100 cars entry the big tracks can pull this easy. Entry fee is $100.00 per day or $250.00 for all three days. No Broken rain checks given and your buddy can't run your number. Two time trials, time permitting.

N20 Mike didn't you post that boring Bracket auto cars drive themselves? ALL of these cars are Autos. AND they don't drive themselves. With all due respect, Man do you need to attend one of these events. Competition is STIFF. Packages are usually .005 or less for wins. 75$% to 90% are dragsters. they would fall down and roll on the ground laughing at an "stick car" in the staging lanes. I hate to say it.

Last time I went to one of these in Hattiesburg I made three rounds before I broke a convertor. Luckily I only entered for one day, so I was only out $100.00. Some High dollar dragster won it. He could probably could have run Comp Eliminator with his set-up.

I guess if bracket racing was easy everyone would be doing it.

JS

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Buster
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posted 03-03-2003 11:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Buster   Click Here to Email Buster     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Moneymaker:
Geeze Buster, you bring back memories. I forgot all about Lakeland. I haven't been there since the 70's.
It was 1/4 mile and a dump back then.


Alex, I think the only thing that has changed is the 1/4 mile part... it's still a dump, and thats being nice, lol.

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Moneymaker
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posted 03-03-2003 11:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Moneymaker   Click Here to Email Moneymaker     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
When I was there, Don Garlits had a speed shop on the premisis. This was before the museum I believe. Circa 1976???

------------------
Alex Denysenko
Co-Administrator and Moderator

NHRA/IHRA/SRA member and licensed Superstock driver
MCA member# 53321
NHRA and IHRA SS/LA National Record Holder '00,'01,'02,&'03
Fleet of FoMoCo products including 88 ASC McLaren Mustang #28
Professional Manwhore
The Barry of BarrysGrrl

Quote #1: "I never met a magazine mechanic I liked."
Quote #2: "Make sure brain is in gear before engaging mouth!"
Quote #3: "If you can't run with the big dogs, stay on the porch!"
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JohnGift
Journeyman

Posts: 1
From: Weslaco, TX, USA
Registered: Mar 2003

posted 03-05-2003 02:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for JohnGift   Click Here to Email JohnGift     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
What about Centerville Dragway's 1000' strip in Centerville, Arkansas? I started out racing there and when I moved to Texas and ran the first time at a 1320' track I thought I'd never get to the end. I imagine 1000' really screws with people both who are accustomed to 1/8 and 1/4 mile. Home field advantage.

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Moneymaker
Administrator

Posts: 21880
From: Lyons, IL, USA
Registered: May 99

posted 03-05-2003 03:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Moneymaker   Click Here to Email Moneymaker     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Welcome to M&M !
We went to a match race in Alton IL back in the 70's once and got there late. We were hurried to the staging lanes so we could get a time trial so we never had a chance to check things over.
Our first lap was a 9.90 something and we about had a heart attack when we got the time slip.
Of course upon further review, we found out that it was a 1000 foot facility.

------------------
Alex Denysenko
Co-Administrator and Moderator

NHRA/IHRA/SRA member and licensed Superstock driver
MCA member# 53321
NHRA and IHRA SS/LA National Record Holder '00,'01,'02,&'03
Fleet of FoMoCo products including 88 ASC McLaren Mustang #28
Professional Manwhore
The Barry of BarrysGrrl

Quote #1: "I never met a magazine mechanic I liked."
Quote #2: "Make sure brain is in gear before engaging mouth!"
Quote #3: "If you can't run with the big dogs, stay on the porch!"
www.moneymakerracing.com

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