Friday, July 31, 2015

Test and Tune Thursday - Part II - Rained Out but not wasted time

As expected, the storms that came rolling through Virginia yesterday caused SumerDuck Dragway to cancel Thursday's Test & Tune...

...leaving me to waiting another week to put to practice what I've been researching:  how to launch this beast!

Those of you who may have read some of my work as a staff writer for Behind The Steel Curtain, a Pittsburgh Steelers community ( in the past might know how in-depth I can get on my research...

...for those of you new to my work, I can take the most trite barstool arguments like "...who drafts better, the Steelers or X"  or what quarterback truly is "elite" and research and analyze statistically to the nth degree to determine an answer, such as I did in in these articles originally published on BTSC:

From Bell Curves to Le’Veon Bell: A reason to have faith in the Steelers’ Draft

For those of you who don't want to read them, the first statistically demonstrates the Steelers' superiority in the draft over the rest of the league, and the second demonstrates how statistically Aaron Rodgers, Steve Young, Kurt Warner, Tony Romo and Phillip Rivers are the top 5 quarterbacks since 1970.

Thus, when I say I'm "researching" something, believe me, I'm digging down deep.

However, learning how to do something is a long ways away from putting what you learned into practice, thus my frustration over last night's cancellation.

Anyway, I'll cut and paste some tips I've come across and am anxious to practice, for those of you like me who want to enjoy these cars to the fullest (safely on the race track!)

Tip #1 - Stage shallow - this means, stop right where the second staging light comes on.  This will give you more room to roll under controlled throttle until you reach a spot where your tires will hook

Tip #2 - Feather your clutch (manual)/find your torque converter's sweet spot where the car will roll out strong without spinning.  Since I have a 6M, this means I can't just dump the clutch and go; I have to keep it partially engaged and give enough throttle in first gear to get moving as quickly as possible without spinning my tires (not an easy thing to do with the amount of torque these 392s produce).

Tip #3 - Launch on 3rd yellow - Because I'm shallow and feathering my clutch, I'm not going to spring forward quickly, thus, I can begin moving at the third yellow because by the time I hit the beam, the green light will have come on and I won't redlight.

At this point, per my research, I should be .5 seconds out and nearing full power in first gear; time to powershift to second but still controlling throttle and feathering clutch.   At this point my rear wheels should have traveled 30 feet or so, or 15 feet past the beam and into the stickiest part of the track; now I can fully release the clutch and start giving more gas.

Apparently it's the last 45 feet of that initial 60 foot segment that is the most important; great launches occur in the last 45 - 50 feet of the 60 foot mark.

In other words, Balance the throttle and clutch.

Oh, and the most common tip in all that I've read researching this?

Practice, Practice, Practice, then repeat!  Sort of like sex; you get better at it the more you do it!

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