Monday, May 28, 2012

A Day at the Track {and a quick tutorial}

Now that you've seen all about Lucas' first race experience here is more about Hubby's day at the track and how he and the car did.

Here's a snapshot of his stats for the night.  I'll try my best to explain...

First, the race car is in the "foot brake" class, meaning it doesn't have any fancy electronics to help you race.  You have to actually hit the gas and go at the right time, like a normal street car.  And this particular track, New Bern Motorsports, runs an Eighth Mile as opposed to a Quarter Mile.  So it's a shorter length.

The first two rounds, T1 and T2, are time runs {practice} and the third, DFC, is a Dash-for-Cash race.  It's just a separate race within the race where all classes can run against each other - the closest to their Dial-in wins {as opposed to the fastest}.  You see, that's what bracket racing is really about.  Not being the fastest per se, but rather predicting what time your car will run {the Dial-in} and running as close to that number as possible without going faster {that would be called Breaking Out}.

In the Stats above you will also see some color coding.  In red are some negative reaction times.  Reaction time is measured when the lights {affectionately called a Christmas tree in drag racing} count down from yellow and turn green, which is the point at which the car then hits the gas and drives down the track.  So a perfect reaction time would be 0.000.  So you want to get as close to a perfect reaction time as possible.  The higher the number the slower you are at reacting to the tree.  Now above you see that Hubby has two reaction times in red.  This is because he was too quick in reacting and left before the light turned green {called Red-lighting}.  This is an automatic loss, like shown in the 2nd round.

Another color you will see in the Stats is blue, which is the Breaking Out I mentioned above.  You see this in the ET column {Elapsed Time} which is the time actually ran down the track.  The blue times shows that Hubby went faster than his Dial-in.  This is also an automatic loss - unless of course both cars break out {a double break out it's called}, then the car closest to its dial-in would win.  The car that broke out the worst would lose.

Now with all that explained here's basically how his day went, rather short actually.

T1: Hubby said his tires spun when he first launched {the track was too slick}.  And he red-lighted.  Good thing it was just a practice.

T2: A better practice run and his ET was really close to his other time run.

DFC: First race where you would Dial-in predicting what time you think you'll race.  Hubby broke out by four thousandths {very very little} but it's a loss.  **I got to stage him during this round/race.

Note that later in the day when the sun goes down the air tends to get cooler.  In racing when the air gets cooler it allows the cars to run faster.  So you tend to see the drivers gradually change their dial-in times appropriately as they plan for the car to go faster.

Now for the races to begin.

1st: Hubby had a good reaction time but the previous car that ran down the track didn't do a good enough burn out and ended up bringing some water down the track with him.  {I'll show you some examples of burn outs further below.}  So that left the track a bit slick and he didn't run too close to his dial-in, but even with that he still managed to win - the other car red-lighted.

2nd: This time Hubby red-lighted.  You know this as soon as it happens so even though you automatically lose you then treat this as a time run.  He still ran it out trying to get the best time he could.

At some tracks, like NBMS, they allow "buy backs" where for additional money, if you lose you can buy back into the race.  Now each track is different with how they handle this.  Usually they only allow it for first or second rounds, allowing you to buy back only one of the two rounds or sometimes you can buy back for both.  So Hubby bought back after 2nd round to keep going.

3rd: Hubby had an okay reaction time but he and the other car were really close at the end of the track.  He ended up "patting" to slow down - he "lifted" off the gas to slow down just a bit as opposed to hitting his brakes to slow down a lot.  {You can also tell how much he slowed down based on his MPH.} 
     He did this because he was reaching the finish line well ahead of the other car, and with bracket racing you should arrive at the same time based on your dial-ins.  So Hubby knew he was either going to break out or the other car was just going too slow.  As a result, even with his "patting", he did get down there too quickly and he broke out.  The other car didn't so Hubby lost, ending his night early.

There weren't too many cars in the race to begin with because it's a holiday weekend and everyone is at the beach, so there weren't too many more rounds to finish.  But now on to the fun stuff!  Pictures of Hubby racing his dad's car.

Just a day at the track.

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