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Cutting a Light!

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Postby regal » Fri Sep 05, 2008 9:49 am

The only way to ever cut consistenty good lights off the bottom (.01-.02)is to set the car up to your reaction. You have to set up to realease on reaction to the first sight of the third. I have won over 13k in bracket races in a season, off the bottom. I personally have my setup tight enough to cut high .00 and low .01 all day. Too many cars I compete against react so hard that there is know way they can release to the flash, they have to hold it. You can do this a few rounds but it will bite you. If the car is to slow anticipating is horrible, deep staging often will make the slowest of reacting cars close. Many people over look postioning
of button, air pressure in front and rear tires, front tire stagger, and other things to set the car to there reaction. :D
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Postby BirdMan » Tue Mar 10, 2009 12:54 pm

I started racing in about 1960 in Nebraska in Stock Elim. with a '56 Chevy. Didn't race from '65 until in the early 1970's I started racing again at an 1/8th mile track (Lawrence Dragway) at Lawrence, Kansas. At that time I was flying all over the U.S. setting up/repairing shears and pressbrakes, etc for a company in Topeka. After reading all available material on the planes' I got bored and laid the seat back, closed my eyes and 'practiced doing a burnout, staging, leaving. Normally the slicks I bought were the Firestone #14 and just did a 'dry burch' and staged. At first I staged light then everyone started Deep Staging and this was with just 1 stage light. I could consistently pull up rolling slowly into the staging beam and have the light normally on the back belly of the tire, consistently I am told by people who watched me and bet on me to win each round!! I set linelock (had a 4 spd), brought rpm's up to 5,000 and left on single amber.
I won 10 year long championships out of 12 or 15 years. In 1975 I won with my '65 Falcon in Street Elim and with a 340 Mopar powered roadster in Comp Elim winning an average every third race with both car and championship with both cars.
I dream practiced quite a bit while flying around the country and got real good. To confirm the practice technique I had a fella come up to me at a year end party and asked how I could be so consistent. Told him my routine and told him this winter after kids in bed, turn tv off and just lay back in easy chair and practice, practice in his mind. He won his class championship the next year! NO real practice tree needed.
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cutting a light

Postby dart440 » Thu Mar 26, 2009 7:08 pm

Hi; My name is Dave and I'm new to this forum and this is my first post.
You all have made very good pionts. One thing I'd like to add though. When I use my practice tree I play loud music (heavy metal) to cause a distraction. That way I have to concentrate much harder. I fell this helps simulate the many distractions at the starting line and forces me to blank them out.
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Postby Pro19Nova67 » Wed Dec 30, 2009 10:18 pm

I can't believe nobody has mentioned adjustable transbrake buttons. That's the ticket for the bottom bulb racer. Here is an example: http://www.biondoracing.com/TransBrake.shtml#TERM I use the second one from the top. You can adjust those things just to be just about as consistent as a delay box.

The other thing is I find my reaction time less consistent while I breathe, I know it sounds stupid but if I hold my breath as soon as I see that top bulb it seems to help me.
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Re: Cutting a Light!

Postby smallbloc » Fri Jun 17, 2011 12:16 pm

I know this is an old post but just want to add my 2 cents.
If you are serious about winning, get a practice tree, you will get better and folks will fear you.
I've won a lot of weekend events and been track champ
Worn out a bunch of batteries in the practice tree!
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Re: Cutting a Light!

Postby alteredu » Fri Jun 28, 2013 2:54 pm

The most important thing about a practice tree is that you are practicing in the car. If you are sitting in the living room using a different, or same button as is in your car, it is ok, but not as good as being in the car. If you practice in the car, go thru all the motions of pretending to bump the car in to the second light with the brake, launching the car the way you would if you were at the track. This really works. All the other motions become second nature and never become a distraction at the track because you don’t have to think about them. I even put my gloves on. (Open xpit)

The next most important thing is working on a consistence release motion. This might take awhile and several changes in technique. The objective, if you are a box racer, is to be consistent, not fast. You should be able to analyze your track reaction time and your practice reaction time and adjust the roll out in the practice tree to match your track reaction exactly. I have found the trick to the best motion is find one that uses the least amount of muscles possible.

When you get that part down, then you can start working on a motion that is consistent. It takes some work, but when you get it you have it for life. Again, in car practice is the key. This is when the practice tree translates to the track exactly. What you learn practicing, you can now put to use in the car.

Next is focusing on the light. This takes practice also. Believe it or not practice with your eye motion. How many times have you cut a bad light and after the run you realize you weren’t even focused on the light? Here is a technique that works for me. After I light the first bulb I drop my eyes to the first yellow (I am a box racer) then back to the second bulb, then I do it again, training my eye motion to go to that first yellow when the second bulb is lit. From that point on there is nothing else in my world but that bulb.
Here is another trick that I have learned, and at first I didn’t like it, but I have found that by shorting the time I am focused, it helps keep my focus. That trick is not pressing the trans brake button until all four pre stage lights are lit. When I first heard that idea I didn’t like it, but I begin to play with it on the practice tree and became comfortable with it. If your track, and most do, have autostart, it reduces the amount of time you have to focus, and the amount of time your trans brake solenoid has to heat up. When I press that trans brake button it is a que to my brain to automatically lock in on that first bulb.

When you become confident in a consistence release you can add and subtract numbers from the box with confidence. At my track we qualify by reaction time. I can take .010 out of the box and cut a .00x light every time. Then in eliminations put .010 back in to be safe and race. If I am racing a guy that I am up for, I might add another .010 to compensate for the adrenaline. If for some reason when I pull in I want to be extra safe, I can just press a little bit harder on the button and add another .010. When you reach that stage it gives you another whole level of confidence. In car practice is the key. Good Luck..
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Re: Cutting a Light!

Postby Jeff Lee » Thu May 29, 2014 10:06 pm

Relax
focused
no distractions. That includes your friends that "want to wish you well" just before you pull into the water box. Those that say "now don't red light!", leave them at home next time!

I just got back in to racing after 7 years off. They had incandescent bulbs back then. I was "not bad" on my reaction times. These LED bulbs have me so screwed up it's not even funny! I've got a couple of ideas for next time out to try. I know I'm 7 years older (now 53) but it's not like I'm ancient. But I sure feel like it with those LED's! (this is a mid 10 second clutch car).

Something funny. My kids got me hooked on "Flappy Bird" on my iPhone. Bird has to fly in between staggered sewer pipes and you tap the screen to make the bird go up and down. It takes concentration. I'm convinced it can help on the starting line. Go ahead and laugh...
NHRA SS/H
1970 AMX
390 4-speed
Advanced Clutches
Red Line Racing Cams
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Re: Cutting a Light!

Postby Ed Wright » Wed Oct 08, 2014 4:56 pm

I certainly agree with Jeff's first paragraph. I just ask both kinds to not talk to me. A friend's kid (20 years old), when he goes with his dad, always wants to open the door and say "good luck Ed!" just before I roll into the water box. Drives me nuts! (Short drive) I finally got my wife to not talk to me about driving. Hangers-on that want to advise you are often more of a problem than help.
I use blinders, made from clear lexan, tied to the front roll bar above the windshield, painted flat black on the front side, blocking the first two bulbs (narrower band than I expected), and the other guy's tree all the way below the stage lights. I can see both lane pre stage and stage lights, then just look down without moving my head.
I use a Biondo button, with no spacers. Been between .004 and .020 most passes lately. I adjust my lights with the 2 step and rear tire pressure. Have not used my practice tree in a while, but when I do I plug it into the button in the car, set the tree on the back edge of the hood, and sit in the car and use the blinders, same as at the track. Had to adjust the roll out in the tree to get my times to match the car. Some guys tell me they strap in and wear their helmet too. I have not done that.
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Re: Cutting a Light!

Postby Ed Wright » Wed Oct 08, 2014 4:58 pm

My car is a 1996 Pontiac Trans AM, 350" LT1 and automatic trans. Runs SS/JA.
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Re: Cutting a Light!

Postby AMXstocker1 » Sat Nov 19, 2016 4:18 pm

i've heard of guys making hits on the practice tree almost right up to the burnout box. i will say without a blinder you have to know your car, some cars don't react fast enough to leave on the last yellow you have to anticipate a bit, but it is imparitive to know your vehicle reaction time so you know where you need to be on the tree. in a fast leaving ss car or super gas/comp car leaving off a transbreak knowing how to tune the car to you would be the way to go.
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