Facts about a Top Fuel Dragster


*        One dragster's 500-inch Hemi makes more horsepower then the
first 8 rows at Daytona.

*        Under full throttle, a dragster engine consumes 1 gallons of
nitro per second, the same rate of fuel consumption as a fully loaded 747
but with 4 times the energy volume.

*        The supercharger takes more power to drive then a stock hemi makes.

*        Even with nearly 3000 CFM of air being rammed in by the
supercharger on overdrive, the fuel mixture is compressed into
nearly-solid form before ignition.  Cylinders run on the verge of hydraulic lock.

*        Dual magnetos apply 44 amps to each spark plug.  This is the
output of an arc welder in each cylinder.

*        At stoichiometric (exact) 1.7:1 air/fuel mixture (for nitro),
the flame front of nitromethane measures 7050 degrees F.

*        Nitromethane burns yellow.  The spectacular white flame seen
above the stacks at night is raw burning hydrogen, dissociated from
atmospheric water vapor by the searing exhaust gases.

*        Spark plug electrodes are totally consumed during a pass.  After
way, the engine is dieseling from compression-plus the glow of exhaust
valves at 1400 degrees F. 
The engine can only be shut down by cutting of
it's fuel flow.

*        if spark momentarily fails early in the run, unburned nitro
builds up in those cylinders and then explodes with a force that can blow
cylinder heads off the block in pieces or blow the block in half.

*        Dragsters twist the crank (torsionally) so far (20 degrees in
the big end of the track) that sometimes cam lobes are ground offset from
front to rear to re-phase the valve timing somewhere closer to
synchronization with the pistons.

*        To exceed 300mph in 4.5 seconds dragsters must accelerate at an
average of over 4G's.  But in reaching 200 mph well before track
launch acceleration is closer to 8G's.

*        Drivers shut off before the finish line, or even dual parachutes
will not stop the car.

*        If all the equipment is paid off, the crew worked free, and
for once NOTHING BLOWS UP, each run costs $1000.00 per second.

*        Dragsters reach over 300 miles per hour before you have read
this sentence.