While many NHRA sportsman-series drag racers are shoveling snow, those living in the Valley of the Sun are slapping on new slicks, stocking up on engine oil and tranny fluid, and filling their fuel jugs. The 2019 NHRA Drag Racing season is off and running at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park. After a successful Club-Day event held on the 5th of January, the track received a brand-new timing system upgrade and is set to kick off NHRA Summit Racing Series racing January 19th and 20th.
If you’re preparing to head out to The Motorsports Park at Wild Horse Pass this year, there are a few important items that you should consider – that will ensure you and your car are safe, all certs are active, and you can enjoy your time at the race track.
Here are 5 tips that will help you reduce headaches at the track – and allow you to accelerate into the new year at the drag strip.
Tip #1 – Get Familiar with TruSTART
One of the most exciting (and needed) upgrades we’ve made at WHPMP is the addition of a new timing system. From new timing blocks, to upgrade software and a complete rewiring project, racers competing at Wild Horse Pass will be relieved to know that each lap will be accurately timed at each interval. Arguably the biggest update is the new TruSTART software update.
For those who are not aware, when it debuted in 2016 at the K&N Spring Fling Million race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the goal of TruSTART was to change the handicapped bracket racing world by awarding the win to the driver who red-lighted by the least in a double red situation. In years past, drivers with quicker dial-in held a competitive advantage. If the slower driver was more than -0.001 red, the win light automatically was awarded to the quicker car.
Here is a real-world scenario of how TruSTART works. Let’s say that driver A dials-in 10.50 and driver B dials in 9.50. When the tree comes down, driver “A” is -0.002 red, while driver “B” is -0.003 red. In this situation, the tree would illuminate “GREEN” for driver “A” until the tree comes down for driver “B”. If both drivers have reaction times sub 0.000, both red lights will illuminate. However, the driver closer to the perfect light (or who red-lights less) will receive the win-light and the round win.
It’s really that simple. If you have any questions about how the TruSTART system works, please don’t hesitate to come up to the timing tower and speak with Jess or Tim in room 203 (race control).
Tip #2 – Check those Safety Certs
Take a poll of most bracket racers across the country about the most frustrating and ridiculous situation that occurs at their first race, and you’ll likely hear, “I was told my (insert your favorite piece of safety equipment here) was out of certification and couldn’t race”. Depending on your class, and the piece of equipment, nearly all safety systems have an SFI certification and date of expiration.
A proactive racer understands the value of inspecting every aspect and component of their car (including your safety equipment) before heading out to the track for the new year. If you have equipment that is out of certification, send it to the manufacturer ASAP to be recertified – so you can hit the ground running without delay.
Tip #3 – Invest in an NHRA Rule Book
For several racers who don’t race in Super Pro, Pro ET or Motorcycle brackets on a normal basis, there are often situations or questions that come up during tech inspection. The NHRA Rule book is an exceptional resource that will clearly explain what safety systems or equipment is required based on the performance of your vehicle.
At the Motorsports Park at Wild Horse Pass – we host more than Summit ET Series events. So – if you’re a casual racer who might come out to Advance Auto Parts Presents Friday Night Drags, or one of our Club-Day events here is a link to the NHRA racer’s website – where you can purchase and download a 2019 NHRA Rule Book.
Tip #4 – Be Proactive About Chassis Certifications
If your car runs 9.99 or quicker, it requires an NHRA chassis certification. These certs are typically good for 3 to 5 years and are completed by an NHRA certified chassis inspector in each of the 7 divisions. If your chassis is currently expired or will expire in 2019 or in 2020, Wild Horse Pass is hosting a chassis certification on Saturday, January 19th. The average cost of a chassis certification ranges from $175 to $225 – so if you’re in need of certification, please contact our Track Operations Manager Ron Conner at RConner@RaceWildHorse.net or at 520-796-5601 extension 2024.
Tip #5 – JR Dragster Parents – Make Sure to Fill Out Your Paperwork
We love our JR Dragster teams at Wild Horse Pass. From the 5-year old’s getting their feet wet, to Jr. Comp racers, our team at WHPMP understands the reality that tomorrow’s weekend bracket racers to Top Fuel Champions earn their wings in the Jr. Dragster League. Every year, the waivers and paperwork that is filled out for Jr. Dragster drivers expire. As such, if you’re a Jr. Dragster parent, make sure you stop by the tech shack at your first event of 2019 and fill out all waivers COMPLETELY. There are (2) sides to the waiver paperwork, so make sure to stop by the tech shack and fill out all required paperwork for Jr. Dragster drivers.