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Why 1/8th mile?

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Dan390 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dan390 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Why 1/8th mile?
    Posted: Apr/05/2021 at 11:16pm
Ok, I'm no drag racing expert...but WHY did 1/8 mile drag racing ever become a thing, and why do people like it? Not to offend anyone, clearly it's popular. I just never have heard why this got started.

I guess for me it's like if we started playing baseball with only 1st and 2nd base...what's the point, and that's not "baseball", I guess is the best analogy I can come up with.

Wasn't 1/4 mile short enough? I also heard even 1/4 mile racing is less than an actual 1/4 mile these days too, if true, what is the logic behind these shorter tracks?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mixed up Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr/06/2021 at 12:32am
as quarter mile speeds increased the smaller tracks went to 1/8 mile so they had time to slow down and insurance liability on track owners
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TX390AMX Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr/06/2021 at 1:00am
As Top Fuel & Funny Car speeds increased to well over 300 MPH in the 1/4, most NHRA sanctioned events limit these classes to 1000' instead of 1320. A couple years ago at O'reilly Raceway Park, outside Indianapolis, the Top Fuel cars were still going 320 in 1000' in the low 3 second range. Got to keep your camera on a swivel to catch any of that. IDK about the 1/8 mile except for the Street Outlaws. Some of the Pro-Mod street outlaw cars are running over 160 in the 1/8 mile. Easier to find 660 feet of racing surface with shutdown area than 1320 feet with additional shutdown.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote WesternRed Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr/06/2021 at 8:42am
Most of the driving action happens in the first 1/8th mile anyway.

We have a few 1/8th mile events for cars that are too quick to run 1/4 mile due to lack of safety gear. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Ken_Parkman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr/06/2021 at 2:14pm
I still prefer and relate to 1/4 mile, but the way seems to be 1/8 and there is some logic. Watched the progression of the outlaw cars and the power progression has been so impressive that the heavier weight break cars were getting simply absurd. The inertia in a 3500 lb car at 235 mph is simply unsafe if something is to go wrong.
 
So it all trickles down.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Softbuster Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr/06/2021 at 6:23pm
There is a guy that built a Awd 400 hp  late 80s Cutlass because his buddy was beating him with an Eagle Talon Awd.     

That being said there is a difference in racing 1/8th mile vs 1/4 mile, The big block cars shine in the 1/4 mile vs a smaller car with a quick small block.   A lot of variables to discuss... Does bench racing happen in the garage or the Lounge? Haha


Edited by Softbuster - Apr/06/2021 at 8:00pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tyrodtom Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr/06/2021 at 9:22pm
Back in the early 60's one of the local small airports was converted into a 1/4th mile dragstrip.
They closed in about 10 years later when too many cars couldn't stop and went into the housing area.  

In the early 80's they opened it again as a 1/8 mile track, didn't last 10 years that time for the same reason.

One of the other tracks in KY went through the same evolution for the same reasons,   is down to 1/10th mile, maybe even less now.  But at least it's still open.

Cars get faster,  they need more room to stop.
But land prices go up,  even if you have the option of extending the stopping area.
Unless a engine blows,  the race is usually decided in the first 100 feet or so anyway.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dan390 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr/06/2021 at 9:34pm
Thanks, great feedback. I had suspected that more tracks could open if they were shorter, and in my mind there never is enough local dragstrips!

I personally don't much care for pro drag racing since it's nearly identical cars winning by nan0seconds of each other unless one had a breakdown or driver error, frankly it's boring even though the cars are amazing.

That was one thing I like about local 1/4 mile tracks, often if a guy blew it at the line or had a slow launch car, he could often reel the other guy back in right at the end and makes for fantastic racing.

Plus you kinda have to build a car that has low end launch but long legs at the other end for 1/4 mile, 1/8 mile to me seems more like just a one trick pony motor.

I have to admit though that 1/8 racing the spectators can actually see the end of the race, 1/4 mile can be hard to visually judge who won until the boards light up.

In the end, anything that keeps it alive. With the changes coming to cars and environment etc. in the next 20 years it may get harder and harder to keep it alive. Chrome is a good example...who ever thought it would be hard to get car parts chromed? That's fast becoming obsolete.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote amxdreamer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr/06/2021 at 10:10pm
The outlaw and small tire cars are so much fun to watch in the 1/8 mile. 150+ mph in an 1/8 mile on a 275 radial is amazing!

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mixed up Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr/06/2021 at 11:49pm
1/8 mile also save on wear and tear of the cars
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