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How to Become a Drag Racer

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Drag racing can be done as a hobby or as a profession. You can drag race as an individual or with a team and go to single drag race competitions or drag race on a specific circuit around the country. Drag racing takes skill, experience and practice to become good at it and win races.

Practice driving and launching. No matter what type of car you drive or how much power it has, you need to know how to launch from the starting line. Begin with the car in drive, or in first gear. Put your left foot on the brake and hold it down so that the car stays put. Place your right foot on the gas pedal, applying just enough pressure to rev the engine. A tachometer is needed so you can see at what numbers your car is revving. Hold the engine so it is revving less than halfway. To take off, press the gas down completely and let your foot off the brake at the same time. Practice this until you are able to take off without the car sitting still and burning out, which would cost time at the track.

Get a fast car. Depending on what type of car you want to drive, domestic or import, it must be very fast and built for drag racing. If you eventually want to have sponsors for your racing team or for yourself as an individual racer, you must win drag races to get noticed.

Participate in drag races at local tracks in your area. Most tracks have practice nights called “Test and Tune” nights. Practice until you are extremely comfortable with the atmosphere, lights, track and rules for driving on the track.

Enter in as many drag races as you can so you have more opportunities to win. If you are good, you will be noticed and may be asked to drive for a large team or sponsor. If no one approaches you, you can contact companies and teams to ask if they need drivers. You may start out as a mechanic or helper on a larger team and work your way into becoming a driver for them.

Attend a race-driving school. Most race-driving schools are not for drag racing, but for oval-track racing. This can still give you an edge and teach you driving skills that you can use. It also shows you have qualifications and are determined to become a driver, which may help when looking for a team. Schools such as the Bob Bondurant School of High Performance driving even beginner courses, even for teens.


Have a helmet, racing suit and shoes. Cars faster than 12 seconds on the drag strip must be driven with a helmet. Cars in the 8- to 10-second range require a protective driving suit. Driving shoes provide advantages when racing because of their design.