CH NO 3 2
Ever made a perfect run? Cruz Pedregon...
Yeah, I’ve made one – just the other day, actually. Our 4.09 in qualifying
at Denver this year (LEFT) is probably the only perfect run I’ve ever
made. It was on the edge all the way; if we would have pressed anything
any harder at any point on the track, it wouldn’t have made it.
Launching a Top Fuel dragster is like being shot out of a cannon, and that’s not the scary part – the car actually accelerates harder from 200mph to 300 than it did blasting
off the line. When that happens, it’s like taking off all over
again, only you were already going 250mph.
“When you leave, it feels like your whole body is being shoved
right through the seat,” says Morgan Lucas, driver of the GEICO
dragster. “It’s 4Gs, and it takes a second for your eyes to focus.
The front end comes up, the left tire is a little higher than the
right, and they wobble for a second, then set back down. When
the wheels are up, the car seems like it’s steering itself, and you
have to decide right then whether you need to correct it or not.”
A nitro car launches on just six of its 18 clutch fingers –
anything more and it would be up in smoke. The other 12
fingers come in one at a time at predetermined intervals, and
PH Y SICS
TES T Main Image Marc Gewertz/Ree Tucker
Pay attention, class, as Top Fuel racers Morgan Lucas and Shawn Langdon go beyond the numbers and give you their personal take on the laws of physics, NHRA-style.