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Discussion Starter #1
After running my first bracket race, I'm thinking that I'll have to end up doing a few things to my car to be competitive that I was hoping I might could go without but I have a feeling that will be very hard to do. Not sure if I'm going to continue doing footbrake for long term or if I'm going to go to Pro/Box soon. No Box could be an option if the class ever develops or gets ran at my local tracks. I'm saying all of this in case it makes a difference in what direction I should go based off what class I'm planning on racing. Anyway, here's my questions:

1. I'm thinking of upgrading my water temp gauge up to a digital one so I can try to replicate the same temps pass after pass by knowing when exactly to turn water pump and fan on. I don't have a trans temp gauge, is this something that I should really consider investing in and redoing some things to get one in or should I just throw a fan under the converter or trans after every pass? Is trans temp something that can be easily regulated pass after pass like the water temp?

2. I'm looking at a Kestrel 5100 weather station to help me with predicting dial ins as the night goes on. Is this a decent device? Seems to have the important things needed on it without spending $400+.

3. Are there any articles or videos out there that describe what weather elements to look at when bracket racing and how they affect the car, as well as what changes to make to compensate? Or is that a mistake to change things on the car to make it run the same number as weather changes as the day or night progresses?

Thanks for any info
 

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After running my first bracket race,.... HUGE snip

Thanks for any info
Say no more. Your FIRST. Change nothing. Do nothing different. Next time out will be a different experience. Just roll with it. If, after a year of fighting what you believe to be a losing battle, THEN you can start worrying. However, in the mean time, you will pick up an incredible amount of knowledge. In this day and age, you are competing with "kids" who already have several years of experience in Junior Dragsters. They have it down. Until you do, do not think you are doing something wrong. You aren't. It's paying your dues. And it isn't something you can do in a single season. When you read these folks who claim it's "easy" and/or they won the first bracket race they ever entered, mentally call BS. You now know better. Seat time. There is no substitute. Take care. Tom Worthington
 

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Exactly what Tom said. Get a season of racing under your belt and I promise you will look back and probably every race will be different until you can get some sort of routine down. It will take a while for this to come. Just keep at it and try to be consistent before making any major changes
 

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All good advice above. You can start keeping a log of your runs with conditions. This is a great habit plus if you track weather and take good notes you'll begin to see trends develop. Try to avoid the "gotta have it" gadget. I use a Kestrel and in my slower car the wind speed/direction has the biggest impact on MY ET prediction. Don't get discouraged when you lose a round, try to take a lesson away from it. Check out the winners and what they have for equipment, you'll probably notice a guy or two with average looking cars that win a ton. That's the guys to ask questions. Don't worry about them thinking you're a noob,they already know. Meet people and have fun, you'll never regret racing.
 

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For your number 3, you have to learn what affects YOUR car and YOUR combination (which can touch on 1 and 2). It is possible to make combinations move less with changes. But it is also possible to just learn how your combination will react to different conditions and dial/adjust accordingly. That is the great thing about bracket racing. Just change the dial.

Concentrate on absorbing information and making adjustments that are within your means/control. Learn to maximize the potential of the tools that are already available/free. In your spare time, watch things like the "American Bracket Racer" series on youtube. There is so much free information on the web to be had that it can be overwhelming.

Most importantly, HAVE FUN in the moment. I love the enthusiasm. I want you to keep it. Don't get in so deep buying stuff that it stops being fun. I've been in and around drag racing at all levels, and some of my fondest memories are back in the bare-bones days just hanging out and enjoying the moments with friends. You can spend yourself into oblivion chasing the next "must-have". There are also people who can win consistently with a $1500 beater. Better tools help, but the most important tool is the loose nut behind the wheel. Get the seat time. You'll learn quickly where YOU need to prioritize.
 

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The best advice I’ve ever heard is if you can’t win in a slow car you’ll never win in a fast one. Take your time to learn the game.

Take your time & learn to be consistent.

Learn what the runs look like at the stripe

Know what the car is gonna run & hold a little something. You wanna be able to womp it once & run dead on........ or not. Lol
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for the input guys. I'm just a really competitive racer and I take my racing seriously as if it's my career, always have even as a kid back in go karts. I'll take everyone's advice on this one, as I'm sure some of you who replied have been doing this longer than I've been alive. I guess I just wanted to eliminate any variables that I can to compensate for being new at this, anything that would help get me one round farther. The other reason being is that if I were to have the bells and whistles in the car and I wasn't doing well, I could know that it was just me as the problem. I do like the idea of not spending more money on the car for a while anywyay! However like one of you mentioned, there's always going to be some guys that go rounds that have basic equipment, maybe I can be one of them.

I have had the DragTuner app on my phone for a while now but haven't used it. Was wondering how people seem to like it versus the Dr Dial In app but based off the reviews for both, they seem to be good. DragTuner is a bit cheaper, so I might end up with that one. Guess that leaves me to try and fix a few things on it this week and if weather and time is on my side, I'll give it another go somewhere this weekend. Thanks again
 

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One thing a guy who wins alot told me is that when you get to the track and you are actually racing and not doing time trials is to leave the car alone. If you try tuning this or tweaking that between rounds you have no idea where it will be, slower or faster. He said if it runs slow off the trailer then its gonna run slow all night cause changes to timing, carb etc have no guarantee on results. That's a time only night routine. Otherwise, get in, slam the skinny pedal on the right and HAVE FUN!!!!
 

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Use your first year as a learning and growing experience. Every time you get to the track get a routine and hammer it. Weather stations are good but honestly if you run that car enough and keep logs of air temp, humidity, conditions, etc you will know by what air temp is as to what to dial the car. That comes with seat time. I can dial my car just by seeing air temp I know what it runs. Remember the less heat you can be at during the run/staging process the better. For example I always do my burnout at 160 deg, by end of run I'm at 180. Keeping a constant engine temp and doing things like clockwork equals consistency. The more you do it the better you will be obviously. Just remember the guys who are winning started out the same way you are NOW. If you lose and you will, take it gracefully and learn. A 7.90 bracket car will win just as much as a 4.50 dragster if you learn how to drive both ends. Good luck be safe and enjoy it!!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Yeah, routine is definitely a huge part of bracket. Kind of already have one as far as how I do a burnout, making sure it's straight and in the groove when I come out of it, get close to prestaging, check gauges and switches one last time and then pre staging. The staging I need to work on but think I know what to do now. I'm going to definitely get the shift solenoid mounted in line with the shifter so I can start using it and having that consistency there. Seat time is needed. Hopefully I can run it soon, (ends up that it won't be this week unless I can get everything done which is doubtful), but I'll definitely be running it soon again.
 

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Just take your time with it and learn. Ask questions and mainly have fun. Dont let it get to the point where you automatically go with the mindset you will win every race because then you get off you're game.
 

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If you decide to do a digital gauge you may want to get an extra sending unit for the trans. You can wire it up on a three way switch and just flip back and forth between the engine and trans. Saves buying another gauge and mounting it . Also listen to Tom 396 ,I heard he has been down the track a couple of times.;)
 

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Seat time and have fun. Get to know the other racers. If you want to get technical, get a good tire gauge and keep the tires consistent. Don't go crazy with the digital temp gauge. A regular temp gauge is fine. Practice staging the car, and hitting the tree.
Most important, have fun.
 
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