I want to start this post by saying that I don’t drag race very often and we only got in four runs.
I left the shop around 2:15pm on my solo tip to Sonoma. I was hoping to get a better turn out of our customers and friends for the afternoon trip up to Infineon Raceway yesterday but hopefully there will be a better turn out next time. The drive was overcast with a few sprinkles here and there but no serious rain on the horizon.
The hour and a half drive was fairly uneventful and I even pulled out the camera to take a picture as the 370 and I passed by the San Quintin State Prison on highway 580. I pulled into the gate at Infineon around 3:45, paid my $25 racing fee (thanks to Rob for spotting me), and proceeded to wait in line for tech inspection.
The track staff, seeing that the car was brand new, waved me through without a fuss and I went directly into the “Street Performance” group’s staging lanes. Apparently I have perfect timing because there was barely time to turn off the car and say hello to a few people before we were headed up to make our first runs.
I happened to be parked next to a ’71 2.4L turbo Datsun 510 for my first run so I was pretty excited (I own a turbo’d 510 myself, again thanks to Rob.) I get to the water box to do my burnout and a second or two after the tires start spinning the car begins to wheel-hop pretty badly. I cut the burnout short and roll to the lights.
Now here comes the part where you realize how little I drag race. I’m saying out loud to myself, “Leave on the third yellow.” I thought I did. NOPE. I launched the car at 5,000 rpm and I cut a .539 light. Bummer. The tires are cold from the crappy burnout and I leave the tree with the wheels spinning which again turns into wheel hop. The tires spin pretty well on the shift into second again and I am on my way to turning a 14.672 @ 100.83mph. At least this leaves plenty of room for improvement, right?
Well… our next runs would have to wait a bit because it did start to rain a bit for a total hold time of around 45min. Now back to racing.
Over the next two runs I alter my burnout and launching techniques to get down to a 14.077 @ 101.28mph. Now it’s time for eliminations. At this point I am way more confident in launching the car and in my staging strategies so I dial in a 13.95 for the first round. Now the problem is that I ended up lining up next to one of our good customers in his supercharged 350z. This is bad for two reasons. First, he has been drag racing for a long, long time. Second, since we are racing each other, one of us is going to lose in the first round.
After a decent burnout, finally, we stage up and put the hammer down. I cut a .158 light which isn’t too bad and I run through the top end with a 13.930 @ 100.45mph. I ran faster than my dial-in time.
If you are new to bracket racing here is a very short tutorial. You initially set a dial-in time of the fastest you think your car will run, mine was a 13.95. The goal then is to get as close to that number as possible without going faster. Sort-of like Price Is Right rules. If both racers go faster, or “break out”, then the person who goes over by the least wins.
So I broke out by .020 of a second which means that Walt had to go quite a bit quicker than his 12.95 dial in time to give me the victory. He didn’t, but boy was is close!! He ended up running a 12.933 at 104.28mph. That means he was .003 closer to his dial in time than I was. You really couldn’t ask for a better race.
I know that we will be going back to the Wednesday Night Drags as soon as we get a chance, and maybe someone with higher skills than yours truly will be doing the driving to make sure that we get the most out of the 370z, it should be good for low 13’s. All I want is another piece of Walt and that supercharged 350z.
Enjoy the pictures below and click the read more for the full gallery. Unfotunately none of the videos I took of the Zs turned out well but I will try to scan the time slips so that everyone can have a chuckle at my expense.