Track Length: An Essay

In the Lanes with Al Heisley

I’ve spoken with several Big Show drivers and owners about the length of the dragstrips around the nation. Each has told me that they think the current configuration is not only the safest length we’ve had for nitro-powered cars, but it cuts down on parts attrition as well. Though one wonders if that comes into play given the current performance of these cars. Violent explosions continue at every race. Yet, I still wonder if ….

…. national events run at tracks of different lengths would add a change and challenge to national events that teams and fans have never experienced.

Where did I get that idea, you ask?

Easy. From watching other types of auto-racing!

Every other kind of racing has several venues that vary in length. F-1, Indy Car, NASCAR, IMSA, the list goes on and on. So, wouldn’t be interesting if we ran some national events at 660’, others at 1,000’ and one or two at 1320’.

What? Traditional drag racing is two cars running side-by-side for 1320 feet! Isn’t it? Well, let’s look at that. In a word, yes! But then someone came up with the idea that 660’ would be adequate. And then 4-wide racing came into play.

Now, I don’t expect NHRA will jump on this idea anytime in the future. This is simply food for thought. Something to think about. So much comes into play. Not just the length of the track but the safety factor, too. But think about it. What if ……..

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