"NHRA Top Fuel is the quickest sport on the planet. Here are just a few pieces of info that may surprise you."
Did you know that a nitromethane powered engines produce over 6,000 HP to be able to reach the speeds and ET,s they attain. Well over 40-times that of the average car.
A Top Fuel Dragster accelerates from 0-100 MPH in about 0.8 seconds.
A Top Fuel Dragster leaves the starting line with a g-force rating of 5 g's (5-times the force of gravity), and matching that of the space shuttle lifting off from Cape Canaveral, Florida.
A Top Fuel Dragster/Funny Car also has a reverse force of 5 g's when both parachutes deploy simultaneously.
One a typical 1/4-mile pass, the Top Fuel cars consume 4-5 gallons+ of fuel for just the pass. The complete run (burnout, staging, and pass) uses 10-12 gallons of fuel. When the term "Gallons Per Mile" was first spoken, they had to be thinking of Top Fuel ...
The Top Fuel Dragster accelerates faster than a Formula 1 car, jumbo jet, and even a jet fighter.
Speaking again of fuel ... the fuel pump on a Top Fuel car delivers over 65 gallons of fuel per minute. Roughly equal to eight bathroom showers running at the same time.
Measured fuel line pressures in a Top Fuel Dragster operate between 400-500 psi.
Aerodynamics become life-threatening important so as to keep these cars under control. The averege wing on a Top Fuel car applies between 4,000 and 8,000 pounds of downforce (depending on angle and size).
With all this horsepower and force, parts have to be extermely durable. Especially when takes a mere 15/100th of a secound for 5000+ horsepower to reach the rear wheels. Now THAT'S throttle response!
Never complain about your street tires wearing out prematurely when the monster meats on a Top Fuel car are only good for roughly 2 miles, or 4-6 passes.
Exhaust exit angle is also important in that there is so much exhaust velocity (easier to compare as THRUST) that a slight variation in the angle will change the direction of the car. Even to the point that is say the car hits the wall and smashes a bank of exits or turns them downward it can literally throw the car into a roll."
and some other bits and bobs...
"One Top Fuel dragster 500 cubic inch Hemi engine produces more horsepower than the first 4 rows at the Daytona 500.
Under full throttle, a dragster engine consumes 1½ gallons of nitromethane per second; a fully loaded 747 consumes jet fuel at the same rate with 25% less energy being produced.
A stock Dodge Hemi V8 engine cannot produce enough power to drive the dragster supercharger.
With 3000 CFM of air being rammed in by the supercharger on overdrive, the fuel mixture is compressed into a near-solid form before ignition. Cylinders run on the verge of hydraulic lock at full throttle.
At the stoichiometric 1.7:1 air/fuel mixture for nitromethane the flame front temperature measures 7050 degrees F.
Nitromethane burns yellow. The spectacular white flame seen above the stacks at night is raw burning hydrogen, dissociated from atmospheric water vapor by the searing exhaust gases.
Dual magnetos supply 44 amps to each spark plug. This is the output of an arc welder in each cylinder.
Spark plug electrodes are totally consumed during a pass. After 1/2 way, the engine is dieseling from compression plus the glow of exhaust valves at 1400 degrees F. The engine can only be shut down by cutting the fuel flow.
If spark momentarily fails early in the run, unburned nitro builds up in the affected cylinders and then explodes with sufficient force to blow cylinder heads off the block in pieces or split the block in half.
In order to exceed 300 mph in 4.5 seconds dragsters must accelerate at an average of over 4G's. In order to reach 200 mph well before half-track, the launch acceleration approaches 8G's.
Dragsters reach over 300 miles per hour before you have completed reading this sentence.
Top Fuel Engines turn approximately 540 revolutions from light to light!
Including the burnout the engine must only survive 900 revolutions under load.
The redline is actually quite high at 9500rpm.
The Bottom Line; Assuming all the equipment is paid off, the crew worked for free, and for once NOTHING BLOWS UP, each run costs an estimated US $1,000.00 per second. The current Top Fuel dragster elapsed time record is 4.441 seconds for the quarter mile (10/05/03, Tony Schumacher). The top speed record is 333.00 mph (533 km/h) as measured over the last 66' of the run (09/28/03 Doug Kalitta).
Putting all of this into perspective:
You are driving the average $140,000 Lingenfelter "twin-turbo" powered Corvette Z06. Over a mile up the road, a Top Fuel dragster is staged and ready to launch down a quarter mile strip as you pass. You have the advantage of a flying start. You run the 'Vette hard up through the gears and blast across the starting line and past the dragster at an honest 200 mph. The 'tree' goes green for both of you at that moment. The dragster launches and starts after you. You keep your foot down hard, but you hear an incredibly brutal whine that sears your eardrums and within 3 seconds the dragster catches and passes you. He beats you to the finish line, a quarter mile away from where you just passed him. Think about it, from a standing start, the dragster had spotted you 200 mph and not only caught, but nearly blasted you off the road when he passed you within a mere 1320 foot long race course.
That, folks, is acceleration