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Discussion Starter #1
So...
I'm 19, a sophomore at Clemson, and I've had my 04 M6 IBM goat for going on a month now. Not a lot of manual driving experience before then, but I feel totally comfortable driving it out now, smoked a (modded? I think I heard a BOV...) Neon SRT4 outside campus, and now I have a buddy with a Civic Si wanting to drag me. There's an 1/8 mile strip in Greer, SC about 45 minutes away, and he wants me to go there with him on a Thursday evening. He's obviously been there quite a few times, and has been driving this Civic for a while now. He's totally convinced he can take me, and I know the only thing standing in my way is total inexperience. He's also the guy that would never let me live it down or forget it if I didn't win, even if I go back the next week and the week after and walk him from then on...

I'd like to go there once on my own before I take him, but I'd also like to not go alone the first time, seeing as how this would be my first drag event. I'm just looking for some advice on how to have a successful drag day. Here's what I've gotten down:

I know pretty well how staging works- pull up and prestage consecutively, then stage consecutively. 3 lights down the Christmas tree and we're off. I've yet to do a manual burnout... is that necessary?
I can shift reliably, but haven't done a real clutch drop yet. 3500 rpms in 1st and drop the clutch on go? Would you recommend power shifting or do I even need to bother next to a 200 hp fwd car?


Don't be afraid to tell me to wait a little while longer. Optimistically I'd hope to find someone there that would recognize a novice and help me out, but I think to some extent someone rolling up with an LS1 should know what they're doing.

Then again, I know a girl that works at MIR during the summers, knows her way around a drag strip... And I'm man enough to admit to her that I don't know what I'm doing.
 

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Drive your car hard on the street before you wreck it at the track. Typically, most insurance companies will not cover accidents at the track.

I also wouldn't launch at 3500 or you will smoke the tires out. 2500 and slip the clutch til you don't spin. It takes practice. 1/8 won't give you much time to make up for a bad launch so he might win.
 

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yeah if it was a 1/4 mile even with a bad launch you should catch up to a 200 hp 150ftq rice eater.

but like jason said drive it hard on the street and get that launch down. I will add on though you track is going to be aloooot sticker. Im still practicing on my launch. dumping the clutch on are cars with street tires youll burn the tires off in 1st. Slipping clutch in first gear was me best launch. And my best time in the 1/4 was a 14.1 and i know i can hit mid 13s cuz that 14.1 run i bogged 1st and missed 4th.

its all about practice. i had a 2007 focus. that was running 14.3s it took me a good 30 to 40 runs to keep the consistent everytime down. my best time in that car was a 14.289. my focus dynoed at 245hp and 236ftq. so he might have a chance.

all in all its comes to practice. goodluck!!!!
 

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its all about practice. i had a 2007 focus. that was running 14.3s it took me a good 30 to 40 runs to keep the consistent everytime down. my best time in that car was a 14.289. my focus dynoed at 245hp and 236ftq. so he might have a chance.
I traded in my modded 04 SVT Focus for the goat. It took me a JRSC with big boost, cams, cam gears, Ford racing headers, exhaust, FC intake and TB, and a 75 wet shot ti break 270 to the wheels.

IWhat all did you have done to hit those numbers? s the newer 'fukus' motors that much better then the ZETECs?
 

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Don't wait til you see the last light on the tree. Go when you see the second to last light. By the time you're moving the last light will be on.

You're probably on street tires. Don't worry about the burnout, but be sure to drive AROUND the water they probably put in front of the burnout area.

Run your front tires a couple psi high, your back a couple psi low.

Remove everything from your car, mats, spare tire, back seat, jack. Goal is a lighter car.
 

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Don't wait til you see the last light on the tree. Go when you see the second to last light. By the time you're moving the last light will be on.

You're probably on street tires. Don't worry about the burnout, but be sure to drive AROUND the water they probably put in front of the burnout area.

Run your front tires a couple psi high, your back a couple psi low.

Remove everything from your car, mats, spare tire, back seat, jack. Goal is a lighter car.
Thats some ricer stuff right there. Race it like is is made unless it is a track only car.
 

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If you experience wheel hop (which is inevitable) let off the gas then punch it again. Definitely do not launch at 3500. I wouldn't worry too much about the honda. At the end of the day regardless who wins you drive a GTO and he drives a POS honda.
 

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If there's no cash in it, skip it. If you win he'll says this or that and still talk smack.

There's always the risk you'll break something or worse, so if this is a car you need just let it be.
 

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I traded in my modded 04 SVT Focus for the goat. It took me a JRSC with big boost, cams, cam gears, Ford racing headers, exhaust, FC intake and TB, and a 75 wet shot ti break 270 to the wheels.

IWhat all did you have done to hit those numbers? s the newer 'fukus' motors that much better then the ZETECs?
o yeah i had the ST model with didnt have the 2.0 in it. i had the 2.3duratec (175hp/171tq) and to explain it loooooved aftermarket parts. i had cosworth header/flex (catless) with 2.5" straight pipe. cossi intake, thottle body. pully. balance shaft delete kit. and dyno tuned. i gained 26/21 from just the tune alone. they people at the dyno shop were amazed with the 2.3 and what it could do.
 

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Its a shame they won't bring the RS here.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks for all the advice guys. I'm not really sure I even want to do this. What irks me is that I know at the end of the day, all it would prove is either that he's a better driver and has been drag racing (way) longer, or that I have enough skill to put the GTO ahead. And the story for him will be that his underdog car raped the V8 or that he only lost because he has a little over 1/3 the displacement. He keeps telling me at the very least that he wants to pull me from 40 rolling. I know I can do that.

But only where the speed limit is greater than 40.
 

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You may want to re-word that sentence.
It sounds good to me. A careless driving ticket is much better then years of carpayments because your insurance woudn't cover the car at the track.

i wouldnt of bought the goat if they had the RS lol.
Same here... or atleast it would of pushed me back. These are 2 of my favorite cars on the road.

Thanks for all the advice guys. I'm not really sure I even want to do this. What irks me is that I know at the end of the day, all it would prove is either that he's a better driver and has been drag racing (way) longer, or that I have enough skill to put the GTO ahead. And the story for him will be that his underdog car raped the V8 or that he only lost because he has a little over 1/3 the displacement. He keeps telling me at the very least that he wants to pull me from 40 rolling. I know I can do that.

But only where the speed limit is greater than 40.
Even with no driver mod, you will rape him from a rolling start.
 

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It sounds good to me. A careless driving ticket is much better then years of carpayments because your insurance woudn't cover the car at the track.
Look at it this way, telling a young individual to drive careless and recklessly on the street is never a good thing. I can care less about him getting a ticket or wrecking his car. I'm more concerned about the possability of killing a young kid on the street or T-bone a family. I can live with clowning around on some B-roads. The point comes across different on young adults than it will a older adult.
 

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Same here... or atleast it would of pushed me back. These are 2 of my favorite cars on the road.
thats funny. Ive always wanted a GTO but with a price tag of 35k there was no way i was getting one. Imma ford man never the less. But hate the mustangs. for a car thats supposed to be powerful and fun to drive i just never liked them. they are way under powered for what there all hiped up to be. and unless you want more power and handling from them you gotta spend it on a cobra saleen whatever but then your looking at over 40k. all in all youll never see me in a ford mustang. I hopped in this 2007 ford focus ST 4 door sports car and fell in love. if i had the money that would be my daily driver and the goat would come out on the weekends.

GM4Life. that is a great point. telling a young kid of 19 years old that probably hasnt had anything this powerful before should be going around driving like a ***hole out there. im 22 and still learning how to drive this rear wheel V8. Its a whole other world than a front wheel drive 4 cly focus.
 

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Look at it this way, telling a young individual to drive careless and recklessly on the street is never a good thing. I can care less about him getting a ticket or wrecking his car. I'm more concerned about the possability of killing a young kid on the street or T-bone a family. I can live with clowning around on some B-roads. The point comes across different on young adults than it will a older adult.
I could of worded it better, but then again at $30 a pop to hit the track and your lucky to get a few runs in on 1/2 prepped courses if iti s busy that night... I def have no problem finding a backroad to practice launching on. It isn't like you need to go past 2nd anyway :) There is the added risk on the street, but there is in my eye a diffrence between having fun and benig spiritied and driving like an ahole.

thats funny. Ive always wanted a GTO but with a price tag of 35k there was no way i was getting one. Imma ford man never the less. But hate the mustangs. for a car thats supposed to be powerful and fun to drive i just never liked them. they are way under powered for what there all hiped up to be. and unless you want more power and handling from them you gotta spend it on a cobra saleen whatever but then your looking at over 40k. all in all youll never see me in a ford mustang. I hopped in this 2007 ford focus ST 4 door sports car and fell in love. if i had the money that would be my daily driver and the goat would come out on the weekends.
I actually went to buy a brand new 04 Cosmos when they came out, the dealer wouldn't let me test drive it without runing my credit first, granted I was only 20/21 at the time so they probally thought I was just wasting their time. Little did they know I was at a job where we couldn't keep up and we were allowed unlimited overtime and 2X pay on Sundays. I would bringing in $2000+ a week with a cheap little appartment. I have $10k to put down and everything but wasn't going to put a deposit or run my credit for a test drive. It actually deter'd me from GM for a few years until the recession hit and I got ahold of my 04 w/22k miles for $15.9k. I was very content with the Focus and kinda impulse bought the GTO when I saw it at the dealer. It sat and sat for like 6 months, then I finally grapped it when gas was $4+ a gallon. They ended up giving me $8500 trade for my Focus. They really wanted that thing gone.
 

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I could of worded it better, but then again at $30 a pop to hit the track and your lucky to get a few runs in on 1/2 prepped courses if iti s busy that night... I def have no problem finding a backroad to practice launching on. It isn't like you need to go past 2nd anyway :) There is the added risk on the street, but there is in my eye a diffrence between having fun and benig spiritied and driving like an ahole..
:cheers
 

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First things first, drag racing is exactly like golf. If you try to kill your tee shot you do nothing but flub the shot. If you try to launch full tilt, especially with not much experience it isn't going anywhere but up in smoke.

You know the basics with the tree, that is a good start. I do a bit of drag racing and I'll be glad to share what has worked for me.

I'll agree to some extent with trying stuff out on the street, but find yourself an empty parking lot or a road to no where.

Launching the GTO is the trickiest part of it. They wheel hop and they also don't transfer weight very well if you do the wrong things.

Try this.

Set your air pressure around 23-25 psi on the backs, take the fronts up to 40 psi.

Pull around the water box, back in to get the tires wet and pull forward. Keep one foot on the brake and heel and toe while letting the clutch out to get it spinning. Do a burnout for a second or so to clean the tires off. There isn't any advantage to a big smoky burnout on streets.

Stage.

Get the car up to 1800-2200 rpms and hold it till you think you see the second yellow lite up. At that point do a quick take up on the clutch while pressing steady on the gas pedal towards the floor. Don't go straight to the floor or you'll spin like carzy. Your goal is a slight amount of wheelspin while keeping the rpms above 3000 and below 4000. At 4000 rpms you want to be fully hooked up and the gas pedal to the floor.

At 250 rpms short of redline, clutch and pull it into second. No need to powershift. Your car is easily a full second quicker than his. You just need to not make a mistake.

Focus on your 2-3 shift and take it a bit slow, rushed 2-3 shifts usually result in a mistake and lost time. It's better to lose a tenth on each shift because they are slow than to lose a half second by missing the gear. Also shift at 250 short of redline, the tach in the GTO is a bit slow and the rev limiter will cost you time.

You will need to make a 3-4 shift at 250 feet before the finish line. The tach will be pretty close, the enigne isn't building revs as fast now, so shifting at redline is just about right.

Again, your car is a full second quicker than his. It's your race to lose and he is betting you will make rookie mistakes and lose the race. Don't try to kill it and have the best run of your life, just do a simple solid run and leave when you see the second yellow light and you will be 5 plus cars ahead at the end of the 1/4 mile.
 
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