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Bracket Racing Tips is starting a new section that will feature tech tips and the latest news about bracket racing. We will do our best to bring you current news, the latest trends and some basic “tips” that we hope might be of use for the first time racer and maybe rattle some brain cells of the veteran bracket racers out there.

If you have a big money event coming to your track or some “hot news” we want to hear about it. E-mail us at

No Box Racers:
(These tips are intended for beginners, but you old guys can read them too!)


    Having problems “finding the tree?” Reaction times are either red or way too green (as in slow reaction time)? Try my “warm and fuzzy” methods.

    1. Get consistent; I don’t care if it is green or red. Once you get conistent then you try to get closer to those 5-teen lights the guy who beats you has been cutting.

    2. If you are consistently “red,” make sure you are staging as shallow as possible and consistently. Check your front tire pressure. If you lower pressure, you add rollout and slow your reaction times down.
    3. What RPM do you launch at? Lower the RPM to slow the car reaction down a little; raise it to launch harder and the car reaction will be faster.

    4. Try on the “blinders.” This worked for me. I used a piece of cardboard that hung from sun-visor or roll bar and blocked the middle bulb on my side of the tree and the entire other side of the tree. I focused on the bottom bulb and BAM! mashed the throttle when the last amber lights up.


    1. Can’t run the same ET consistently? If there is one problem I have seen with racers who struggle to win rounds it is their varying E.T.’s. Until your 60 ft times, 330 ft. times, etc. are consistent, get ready to go home early. The most common problems are tire spin and poor fuel delivery. Look for some used slicks or drag racing DOT approved tires if your budget won’t allow for a new set-ask around, they are out there.

    2. Fuel delivery. I don’t care if you have the latest greatest carburetor, if the float bowls run dry you will never be consistent. Increase the fuel line size to 3/8 or 1/2 inch. Use a good high flow fuel filter (no, a $3.00 one from Wal-Mart won’t work). If you are racing with factory fuel injection, put a new high quality fuel filter on. Limit the number of bends or elbows in the fuel line to reduce restrictions. Mount the electric pump behind and below fuel level if possible. That will get you started in the right direction.

    3. Fuel pressure. Gas engines with a carburetor need about 7 pounds of fuel pressure all the way down the track. That means you should have a fuel pressure gauge that you can see while you race. If you are running factory fuel injection, have the fuel pressure checked and also the resistance on each of your injectors. Use good quality fuel line and fittings, which does NOT mean you need stainless braided lines. Metal lines will be fine and you can use up to 6 feet total neoprene hose to make connections with.

  3. Test Days.

    Use them for more than seeing how many runs you can make. If you want to be competitive use these days to improve your driving and the car. It is the most cost-effective thing you can do. Go to test days with a plan. First try to get 60 ft. times consistent, then work on the reaction times. You can do this without making full runs so the wear and tear on the car is less. Once you get those two things worked out make 1/8-mile runs until they are consistent, then run the quarter-mile and see if everything is falling into place. If not, where is the problem and what will you do about it?

  4. Log Books

    I have always been a poor record keeper and I sometimes feel my chances of winning are diminished by that. Keep accurate records of weather, wind speed and direction; log the information from each time slip. This will accomplish a couple things. First, it makes you take the time to see what the car is doing and second, you have an easy-to-find reference of what your changes have done for you.

    I just started using a log book because I want to run some 10.90 Hot Rod / Super Street races. Trying to repeat my ET at different tracks will be a lot of fun but records are a must.

  5. Watch and Learn

    If you really want to start winning try this out. Hang around the start line and watch what the winners are doing. Visit with them in their pit area. I have always found racers will share about everything with other racers. Pay attention to driving styles, methods of staging, equipment on the car, between round preparation, etc. All of this will make you a better racer.

  6. Fuel Injection

    Are you racing your fuel-injected street car? We did and we had a lot of fun. We found a couple things that really helped. We unplugged the A/C compressor and then turned on the A/C switch. This ran the cooling fan all the time. That way it won’t turn on during a run and change your engine temperature. We also NEVER turned the car off after we got to the track. The car was extremely consistent doing it that way. I think it keeps the engine management computer and sensors more consistent. When we turned the car off between runs we varied a couple of tenths on our runs. When we left it running it would only vary a few hundredths all day.

(More tips coming on May 22nd. Stay tuned.)

I know you all have some ‘top secret’ tips and ideas that have worked for you at the track. I invite you to share your wealth of knowledge with other racers. Things like wiring tips, towing tips and ideas, suspension ideas, homemade tools that work, stuff that doesn’t work and so on. Just e-mail us at: We will put in the 1320 Bracket Tips and even give you the credit you deserve.

See you at the races!



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