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The Brilliant Lunacy of
Top Fuel Dragster Engineering

June 25, 2013 by Matt

Top Fuel Dragster Racing Engine Motor Block

If my racing tech represents “arrested development” (the way that of all major series except endurance racing), I’d rather go all out. In other words, if I can’t geek out on technological breakthroughs in the racing machines that interest me for the simple reason that the technology in my 7-year-old minivan is in many ways more advanced, I can at least remain in awe of those who push a specific formula to its complete, utter, ludicrous limits.

Like these guys.

Top Fuel drag racing represents the elephant man corner of motorsports. It’s the freak show. The bearded lady and conjoined twins sit in the audience, cheering on these cars-in-name-only, distorted out of all resemblance to anything you or I would drive to the grocery store. The machines are designed to do one thing extraordinarily well, do that thing for about 4 seconds, then stop doing that thing. In what other arena of competition, nevermind just motorsports, is the window of opportunity for success so small? All the sound and fury of an entire NASCAR race, compressed into a handful of ear-splitting, pavement-cracking moments. How can I look away?

The tech in particular fascinates me. Sure, it’s not envelope-shattering in the innovative sense, but the amount of attention lavished on every decision combined with the sheer scale of it all, from distributor size to exhaust gas temperature to speeds to decibels to power output… I just can’t help but stand and gawk at it all. The above article does a great job documenting the geeky details of a Top Fuel racer’s engine prep. Check it out!

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Filed under: Media, Racing, Tinkering

1 Comment

  1. John D says:

    Great read. Anything Top Fuel or F1 related is amazing to learn about.

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