- Look for all the different parts run by different teams like injector hats, cylinder heads and turbos. The variation is as wide as the number of cars and teams out there. They come in all shapes and sizes, and you can be the judge of whose engineers found the perfect shape and size.
- Because they are inside an enclosed area when the cars are warmed up in the pits, the driver and crew right around the car often wear gas masks(as you will see in the time-lapse video below courtesy of John Force Racing). It’s an adrenalin-pumping, heart-thumping experience and if they seat the clutch and whack the throttle – well, let’s just say that everyone gets a thrill – whether you expect it or not, I dare you not to jump!
- In the 65 minutes between runs, every team tears down the engine completely - all the way down to the crank. Fans have access to the pits and can watch every part of the tear down and rebuild process that occurs like a choreographed dance.
An insider's guide behind the scenes at U.S. Nationals [VIDEO]
Wednesday, August 29, 2012 11:00 PM by Elaine Whitesides
Meeting up with the NHRA's Technical Operations proved rather eye-opening for this open-wheel racing girl during testing at Lucas Oil Raceway in Brownsburg, Ind., last week. I mean, I have a good idea what goes into putting together these four-wheeled rockets, but some things in drag racing are really different. For instance, did you know that they tear down the engines after EVERY run? That, in itself, is a miracle because it is done in less than 65 minutes. With that in mind, I wanted to put together a list of fun facts and viewing tips to make this year's trip to the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals in Hendricks County even better for race fans. For you gearheads, like me, I have a more in-depth piece about recent innovations and the technical side of this sport on my personal blog. What to look for beyond the racing Every ticket is a pit pass, so fans can almost reach out and touch the cars. Yeah, it’s almost like you are a part of the crew.