One TF dragster's 500-inch Hemi makes more horsepower than the first 8 rows at the Daytona 500.
Under full throttle, a dragster engine consumes 1 1/2 gallons of nitro per second, the same rate of fuel consumption as a fully loaded 747 but with 4 times the energy volume.
A stock hemi will not produce enough power to drive the dragster's supercharger.
Even with nearly 3000 CFM of air being rammed in by the supercharger on overdrive, the fuel mixture is compressed into nearly-solid form before ignition. Cylinders run on the verge of hydraulic lock.
Dual magnetos apply 44 amps to each spark plug. This is the output of an arc welder in each cylinder.
At stoichiometric (exact) 1.7:1 air/fuel mixture (for nitro), the flame front of nitromethane measures 7050 degrees F.
Nitromethane burns yellow. The spectacular white flame seen above the stacks at night is raw burning hydrogen, dissociated from atmospheric water vapor by the searing exhaust gases.
Spark plug electrodes are totally consumed during a pass. After 1/2 way, the engine is dieseling from compression - plus the glow of exhaust valves at 1400 degrees F. The engine can only be shut down by cutting the fuel flow.
If spark momentarily fails early in the run, unburned nitro builds up in those cylinders and then explodes with a force that can blow cylinder heads off the block in pieces or split the block in half.
To exceed 300 mph in 4.5 seconds dragsters must accelerate at an average of over 4G's. But in reaching 200 mph well before 1/2 track, launch acceleration is closer to 8G's.
If all the equipment is paid off, the crew worked for free, and for once NOTHING BLOWS UP, each run costs $1000.00 per second.
Dragsters reach over 300 miles per hour before you have completed reading this sentence.
Top Fuel engines turn ONLY 540 revolutions from light to light!
The redline is actually quite high at 9500rpm.
The current TF dragster elapsed time record is 4.428 seconds for the quarter mile, done 11/12/06 by Tony Schumacher.
Tony also holds the current mile per hour record at 336.15 mph, done 05/25/05.
Putting all of this in perspective:
To cover a quarter mile in 4.5 seconds, you need to average 200 mph. Say that you are driving your Lingenfelter powered "twin-turbo" Corvette. Over a mile up the road, Tony Schumacher is staged in his top fuel dragster, waiting for you to cross the starting line. You have the advantage of a flying start and blast by him at 200 mph.
At this moment, Tony launches his dragster. Within seconds, you hear an incredibly brutal whine as the dragster catches and passes you. He does so by more than 100 mph, and easily beats you to the finish line.
Think about it. From a standing start, this phenomenal machine has spotted you 200 mph and not only caught you, but nearly blasted you off the road when he passed you within a mere 1320 feet.
Hard to fathom, huh?
I like the one about the engine only turning 540 revs from light to light. Go figure.
Another couple stats not mentioned above ... The TF dragster hits 100 mph in less than 1 second, or three car lengths. Also, at half track (1/8 mile), they reach speeds over 280 mph in just 3 seconds.
Sure is. Like someone is beating on your chest!
Not to mention the nose hairs burned off from the Nitro
I go most every year for the past 30 years.
__________________ - Craig 3.4L, SC heads, 964 cams, B&B headers, K27 HF ZC turbo, Ruf IC. WUR & RPM switch, IA fuel head, Zork, G50/50 5 speed. 438 RWHP / 413 RWTQ - "930 is the wild slut you sleep with who tries to kill you every time you "get it on" - Quote by Gabe Movie: 930 on the dyno