A Race Down the Track

in Andy Robinsonís Pro Mod Studebaker


Click the logo to visit the Web Site. This page is a combination of text from the Guide, still pictures of the run and clickable links to movies showing what it's like inside the car.


Great fun but actually quite a challenge to get it right! My crew guide me into the water box where I slowly rotate the tyres to get the water right around. I bring the car up to about 20 feet from the start line in second gear. I then rev the motor and drop the clutch to ĎGet up on the tyreí (this is when the slicks Ďgrowí to their maximum diameter) and as soon as I can feel this I shift into third. I donít use a burnout stop or limiter to control the engine revs during the burnout Ė I feather the throttle to maintain the burnout across the start line and lay two nice wide sticky strips of rubber for the car to launch on.


Click here to see from engine start to reverse after the burnout.

The small lever at the bottom right of the picture is the forward/reverse shifter, the lever close to Andy is the brake and the tall lever in the middle of the shot has line-lock on top and two buttons for the air shifter about half way up.



In qualifying I try to stage as shallow as possible and I donít worry to much about reaction time Ė Iím much more interested in getting the launch right. I use a handbrake to control the roll to the line. In eliminations I really need to get a good reaction time so I push deeper into stage. Because I use a two step rev limiter I will either go straight to full throttle if my opponent has staged first or wait until I see my opponent stage and then go to full throttle and focus completely on the tree.


Tom is checking tyre temperatures while Bowser and Luke complete the burnout and staging procedure.


Click here to see staging, watch out for Bowser guiding Andy up to the line.


The Run

When I see the yellow lights on the tree I step off the clutch and let go of the handbrake simultaneously and look for the shift light to signal my shift to second Ė this happens approx 1.6-1.8 seconds into the run. As soon as Iíve shifted second Iím looking for the next shift light which comes on around 2.8-3.2 seconds into the run. At 4 seconds into the pass Iím at the eighth mile travelling at 180+mph and normally the car will have settled into the groove by now. At roughly 5 seconds into the pass Iím reaching up for the chute release and looking out for the finish line.


Click here to see the run.



This close-up clip from the main picture shows how much the tyre distorts on launch.


The finish line

I normally go through the traps with the pilot chutes out at 226+mph. The full chutes then deploy and I then ease off the throttle and as the RPM drop I depress the clutch. I then have my hand on the handbrake and start easing the speed down with the handbrake. I try to let the engine idle and as the oil pressure drops to about 50psi I pull the fuel shut off which is located on the handbrake lever. At this point Iím looking to the top end crew and checking to see where my opponent is. I look for the top end crew to guide me off the top end of the track as they are watching both cars. When the car stops I select neutral, release the air system on the shifters, turn everything off, open the door and wait for my crew to come and tow me back to the pits. Itís often difficult to tell whether itís been a good run although the crew reaction usually gives it away. 


Click here to the what happens after the finish line.


This picture from the 2005 Main Event.


Date  07-Jul-2006
Pictures and video by

 Webmaster and Sharkman