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  1. #1
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    Drag Strip Dangers

    A fella and I were having a little discussion on another thread and we ended up completely hi-jacking it...........

    I gotta comment here because its too damn important to be swept under the rug...........

    I've done most the stupid street stuff and I've done some stupid track stuff, but I'm too old for that now...............seriously.

    This is a very very very dangerous sport and people think you're acting queer when you even start talking about some of the safety that MUST be considered.................

    Just because a guy/gal has been to the track a couple of times, all of a sudden he/she thinks everything is cool and now their an expert...........well lemme tell ya something, its too easy to get hurt and a damn shame when one guys stupidity gets someone else hurt.

    I know for a fact there is a car that just dynoed 610+ RWHP and even more torque..............ITS A FACT.

    I also know we're running consistantly under 11.99 area all the time and more than a few cars are going over 110 mph.............

    So more than a few of you guys need to listen up..........

    I've jumped out of planes, I've been less than 100 meters from someone who wanted to kill me with a loaded gun, I've done freefall, I've repeled over 100 feet, I've done wheelies at over 50 mph, I've sat with my feet hanging out over the skid of a huey at over 1000 ft, I've worked on live gas line pumping at over 1000 psi while removing a fitting..............yet I respect the idea, now more than ever that life is too sweet to do any of that dumb **** now!

    You take a car that is as unpredictable as these tug-boats, with rubbery and uncontrollable suspensions, with cv axles, 2 piece drive shafts, and no safety equipment and then add street tires and you're going to get hurt!

    I just had a conversation with the guy making OVER 600 RWHP and while I told him that was great, I BEGGED him to put a drive shaft safety loop on that car.................he WILL be going about 130 mph on the 1/4

    You guys are caught up into the "I wunna be the best" thing so much that ya'll are trying to beat each other to the point ya'll haven't slowed down enough to learn about the pit falls of this game are..........

    WHile I want FRI to be known as the best equipment out there............I'd give it all up if you people are going to go out there and kill yourselves or kill others.............

    99.9% of you have never had a car this fast and I can promise you that I've never seen a car this heavy, this unpredictable run this fast.........

    This is a whole different game............

    A few years ago no one considered going this fast with street tires..............but when your tranny shifts hard from 1st to second right as your nitrous comes on hard, you can spin.....................and its one wheel spinning............

    THere is a good possiblity your suspension car push hard left as the suspension loads then unloads.............

    There was already one dude that about lost it at the track and he pleaded for people to be safe.............but I know most just blew him off......

    Well lemme tell ya.............thats just plain stupid!

    I remember meeting this kid back in the day...............he was older than I was but he was hanging around all the big-time racers in the Mustang world..............I was tryng to work my way up and this dude was already big time..........

    He was hanging with Kenny Boomsma, Mike Marillo, Gene Deputy, and Storm'in Norman..........

    He was a kid from New York and he was kind and took time to talk to ya.............just like a good kid from next door............his name was Jason.

    Jason became buddies, as I understood, with the dudes from Turbo People up in the Northeast.............a very well known shop.

    He was going to race a small stroker with a Big Thumper single turbo in a new class starting up called "BFG DOT Radial"..........

    Some other dude was shaking up the world named Dwayne Guthridge............this dude was so bad that he made the cover of MM&FF pulling a wheelie till finally all 4 wheels came off the ground, he hit the bumper, then came back down...............kinda like a car-ollie that you'd do with a skate board.

    Racin Jason was going to knock Dwayne off this throne..........



    6/14 28 year old Jason Betwarda "Racin Jason" was killed when his Mustang drag car flipped at the Lebanon Valley Dragway, all our prayers go out to his family and friends

    Jason was a PRO.....................a guy that knew cars and had driven the fastest street cars in the WORLD.....................he knew how to handle them..................these were cars with dialed in, solid suspension MADE TO DRAG RACE.....................he had all the safety crap....................he was wearing his gear..................but when a car gets fast, you can't go out and throw some BS street tires on it.

    DOT Slicks have gotten better since then, but IMHO they are going way too fast on them and I still can't believe they race that series.......but they do.

    Call me an a-hole....................call me a nut-job..............I don't care...............I have 3 little girls to raise, I have people at work that count on me to do my job so they can do theirs and support their families, I have an extended family and people that count on me DAILY............

    I bet ya'll are more like me...............

    Go out and go fast.................................but don't be stupid!

    I liked Jason and wish he was around today.......................I wish he could see I've made a mark on the performance world......................but he wanted to go fast and never thought it was as dangerous as it was.
    Last edited by MomsR/T; 10-17-2007 at 11:38 PM.



  2. #2
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    Lee, sorry to hear about Jason. I know nothin about racing and here I am about to get a moster street rod! wow really puts things in perspective. I hope that I make all the right decisions while drive this car.

    Jason

    1968 Dart Supercharged Gen III Hemi
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  3. #3
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    he died long while back...............

    he died back when running 9's ment you had big money and most likely sponsorship..............

    I'd say the kid died back in 1998 or so............

    But in the big picture............he was REAL young for that level of the game.

  4. #4
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    Lee I do think you are a nut job (but I got love for ya Bro, ya know that) but I agree with you on this point....everyone needs to be safe out on the track...check your lug nuts to make sure they are installed correctly and anything else you can think of....

    All of us want to go fast but you don't want to be the 1st seriously injured in your LX at the track, that is not a record to shoot for.

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the heads up Lee, I often think about how heavy these cars are and how dangerously fast they are. I couldn't imagine running brakes that were not srt8 or Bigger, Since this is the safety thread, WTF happens when a 1/2 shaft breaks? Does the car react crazy? And whats the story on our drive shafts? 2 piece now, would a 1 piece work? Is a 1 piece more or less dangerous?

  6. #6
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    And this just brings street racing up as well. Tons of kids who think they can drive a 3000 lb+ machine but when it goes wild, they have no clue what to do. This also brings up the weekly car shows at a place by me. Tons of people (old mostly) are doing burnouts on their 30x15 tires and then when they leave they do a huge burnout and speed off. People should not be doing that stuff because I guarantee, they dont know the first thing about controlling a car. If youre a race car driver then you know what you are doing somewhat and are taught how to control a car in all aspects. Thats why I shudder when I see the old folks doing burnouts next to little children and cars, and teens every week doing 100+ on the highway. You try to tell them about quitting the sh!t, but they aint gonna listen until its too late and thats the problem. Its sad, but you made a really good point!

    And Red, you hit the nail right on the head when you said no one wants to be the first person injured or even killed in an LX. So wear your helmets and be careful please

  7. #7
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    Good write up and something to think about...
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  8. #8
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    HEMI31 and I have been telling people all along that this 2 piece drive shaft is going to come apart...........when we have no idea.............but he and I have discussed it.

    I told my one buddy that just dynoed above 600rwhp to fab something up.............

    If you're going to consider it, make sure that if the shaft busts, the trailing section can't fall down and stick to the ground thus pole-vauling the car over at 100+ mph.

    We call this a drive shaft safety loop..............

    FOr our cars.........have the cross beam about 1 foot behinf the drive shaft joint..............I don't care if you JB weld it in there.............it will only have to last one catastophic event.

    We may be COMPLETELY wrong and they may NEVER break........but don't count on it.


    We're at the point now where I start to cringe..........................I have no idea what is going to break next on these things but start expecting to see some wilde stuff happen...............

    We heading right into the 10's while a year ago there was only 1 car in the 11's and it was Bo here in Houston.

    Its not that the horsepower will break stuff...............its all that power against all this lard arse weight................parts will start to give.............and I suspect the shaft is next yet none of us have done anything about it.


    Then the whole discussion about running in the 11's on STREET RADIALS...................it makes me nervous because I know how fast we're really going. One little thing and your spinning then swapping frt sides.......


    So............I know there are at least 2 threads out there talking about running 10's.............and I'm all for it and our customer already has the power to do it.............no biggie and we all knew it was coming...........big deal.

    I'm just a little struck by how insane this is.......

    The demographic of these cars is different than the LS1 cars and Mustangs..............our average earnings and age is up there compared to the others...........

    So what we have is money...............and considering speed = money.................some of you guys can AFFORD more than you can maybe handle..................both in skill and safety products.


    Name a VENDOR specializing in LX safety / racing products?


    Ya'll use a real car / snell helmet?

    Driveshaft safety loop?

    Your bottle actually have the blowoff installed?

    anyone drill for larger studs yet?

    etc etc etc........

    Lets stop for a second and consdier this stuff...............if we can help create it than so be it..............if PPP, HHP, or THS wunna get involved so be it.................I think its better that way.

    Maybe we can stop fighting long enough o agree on something and save someone before they lose an entire car or worse..............get someone hurt / killed.

  9. #9
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    Yep. The reason we get to keep having fun is either because we are smart or lucky. Much better chance to keep on if its the former and not the latter. Safety has a lot to do with being anal about details. Not losing your head and getting all schoolboy-giddy is a big big part too.
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  10. #10
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    great thread. Had a similar discussion this evening. I've only been dragging cars down the quarter mile for about 25 years. Never beat 13.1.

    I'm always a bit scared when i line up next to the rat roadster, dragster, balzed out mustang.....but just like thinking the guy coming at you in the snow storm is the issue....well...he's thinking the same thing.

    Prepare for the worst, hope for the best, don't confuse the two.
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  11. #11
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    Trojan so far it just stops. Every one that has broken one on the forums has done so at launch and the car just stopped. I think it drops to limp mode because the shaft being driven accelerats too fast and it will hit rev limiter or some other "failsafe" programing in the. But I am far from an expert on that.

    We are getting to the point we need to really think about adding some gear to these cars. The Drive shaft loop is one. I have thought about adding a hoop behind the front seats as some extra rigidity to the chassie as some of the structual glue in these things has got to be having fit with what we are doing to it

    Lee, I know many of those names you are talking about, I recall when going 12.0 on a stock heads/cam and block was a huge deal and Storman Norman and his GT Convertable (?) its been a while and Gene and his turbo car.

    As a reminder we are driving a 2 ton missle that has a LOT of energy traveling @ 100mph.

    -R
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  12. #12
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    I'm going to make this a sticky. Lee, thanks for taking the time. Beginners, listen up (myself included). Experts, don't forget.
    On to... ...the next

  13. #13
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    We took my drive shaft off a week ago and took it to a place to get the center u-joint checked to see if it needed to be replaced...after 46K miles and 25K on the stroker motor it was still tight, no replacement needed.

    I think this might be a byproduct of the lack of angle the drive shaft is at...as in straight compaired to the one in my jacked up Blazer that is at a big angle and therefor wears out faster.

  14. #14
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    First time I have heard of any of that. Is there some web link or thread that explains all these important safety features, and when we should start considering to use them? I'm not FRI'd yet...but one day I plan to be and want to be ready!

    Quote Originally Posted by MomsR/T View Post

    Driveshaft safety loop?

    Your bottle actually have the blowoff installed?

    anyone drill for larger studs yet?

    etc etc etc........
    Marcus

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    g00d points

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