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Dragsters - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Dragsters. How do Top Fuel Dragsters Work. Dragster Facts. View this video clip on aerodynamics and car design. View this video clip on tire design. Two cars over 1/8 th to ¼ of a mile The cars activate a timer They are judged on elapsed time ET Cars reaches a speed of about 325 mph.

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How do Top Fuel Dragsters Work

drag racing

Two cars over 1/8th to ¼ of a mile

The cars activate a timer

They are judged on elapsed time ET

Cars reaches a speed of about 325 mph

Drag Racing
engineering principle no 1 mass

Dragster cars are a great deal lighter than barbells, but they still have weight; what scientifically we call Mass.

The Balancing Act:Advantages:Cars with less mass go much faster.Disadvantages:Cars with less mass are less stable and less durable.

Engineering Principle No. 1: Mass
engineering principle no 2 drag

Drag: the resistance of wind moving

over an object.

So how do you overcome drag?

Start by making the body as aerodynamically "clean" as possible. Think of vehicles designed for high speed such as rockets and jet fighters and go from there.

Engineering Principle No. 2: Drag
engineering principle no 3 friction

Everything has friction. On a DRAGSTER car, friction occurs primarily in two places: between the wheels and the ground, between the axles and the car body. The Balancing Act:

Engineering Principle No. 3: Friction
fuel use
Fuel Use
  • It depends on the type of race car you are talking about. For example:
        • NASCAR engines burn 110-octane leaded gasoline.
        • Indy cars burn pure methanol (a.k.a. wood alcohol, CH3OH).
        • Top Fuel dragsters and funny cars burn nitromethane (CH3NO2).
drag racing classes
Drag Racing Classes

Top Fuel

Top Alcohol dragster

Funny Cars

Top Alcohol Funny Car

Pro Stock



Super Comp

Super Stock

Super Gas


Super Street

safety requirements

Seat belts and roll bar or cage

Helmets and neck collars

Protective clothing

4 wheel hydraulic breaks

Safety Requirements
junior drag racing
Junior Drag Racing


Official site of the National Hot Rod Association


comparing race car designs

How do you think the design requirements of a Pike’s Peek race vehicle with those of a Dragster are different

Discuss this for 1 minute with a student sitting beside you

Comparing race car designs

Pikes Peek

Click the title to see the movie clip