How to cut a good light,time to go to school!

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  1. HEMI-ITIS

    HEMI-ITIS STREETER on LI FBBO Gold Member

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    I have never been a competitor and jsta tuna fish.That being said I have the car moving well and would like to start cutting better lights.I'm a foot breaker with no trans brake. Mostly a streeter with a few weekend trips to the track.
    School me please!:thumbsup:

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    • kiwigtx

      kiwigtx International Mod Staff Member FBBO Gold Member

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      Leave before the GREEN. :thumbsup:

      Stage shallow, and roll on the second yellow I was told.
       
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      • Mike Gaines

        Mike Gaines Well-Known Member

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        On the Full Tree I leave when just the last orange comes on.
        Every car is different. No tricks, just seat time.
        Just have your setup exactly the same each time...rear and front tire pressure, shock settings, amount of gas in your tank or cell, rpm at launch, etc, etc.

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        • biomedtechguy

          biomedtechguy Accelerati Rapidus Maximus FBBO Gold Member

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          Mike Gaines knows...
          Me:
          Get the "beat" of the lights, go on the last yellow.
          Depending on how deep you stage, of course. I try to make the 2nd staged light come on, and stop. I am not nearly as skilled as many here.
          I have cut some good lights, best out of anyone one year at my car club track day.
          Hardly ever ever go red.
           
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          • kiwigtx

            kiwigtx International Mod Staff Member FBBO Gold Member

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            Yeah, but I like to finish up my sandwich before I race....:D

            upload_2020-3-16_8-8-50.png

            Not bad for a little truck and a 'once every 10 years' racer. :lol:
             
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            • 33 IMP

              33 IMP FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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              Obviously, as everyone previously has said, you need to "swap feet" at the last yellow. When, what, and how much depends on the car and driver.
              There are TWO reaction times involved in cutting a light, the internal reaction time of the driver, and the reaction time of the car itself. A fast internal driver in a fast car will have to leave at a different point on the tree than an average driver in any car. The trick is finding that point for you in your car. That's where practice comes in.
              A further complication is the track you race at. A track that hosts nhra division races or national events use l.e.d. lights on the tree, in place of the old incandescent. I think the Lee's are harder to read.
              When I was racing a lot, i could judge when to leave by the brightness of the light. An incandescent would "heat up", start to come on, then be on full, then fade. The new lights are instant on, then instant off. I had to leave with the footbrake car at full on, the transbrake car at collapse. Instant on makes that tougher.
              There's not much that you can do about your internal r,t. Like Mike Gaines says, there's lots you can do with the car. One he didn't mention is front tire diameter. Tall front tires can make the car appear faster (more rollout) but give a slower r.t. This may be what a certain driver needs, if the time that the drivers personal r.t. to his accustomed spot on the tree results in a red light ( me, more often than I would like). Most cars running on a pro tree, use the shortest tire they can use (less rollout, breaks the beam faster, better reaction time). I've used 23", 26" at 29" fronts.
               
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              • dvw

                dvw Well-Known Member

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                I used to watch the tree drop. It's not accurate enough in my opinion. The only good way to repeat is focus on the bottom bulb by itself. You leave when the bulb comes on. Any thing else is a guess. Your R/T window will be all over the map. Red one time,.100, .020, .080 etc. The key is grouping all the lights together. The tighter the grouping the closer towards .000 you can sneak. Now to get there? Practice, practice, practice. My racing is foot brake only. No starting line chip. Different tracks, different rollout. You adjust the car to the tracks rollout and lighting. How? higher/lower rpm, deeper/shallower staging, higher/lower air pressure, tighter looser suspension settings. When foot braking shooting to go .00x R/T is playing with fire. Without a rev chip staging the car at a perfect spot and rpm isn't possible. Can you get very close? Yes. Best to set up for a .025 and if you make a mistake your still green. Took me years to learn this fact. Gambling puts you in the trailer. I have 144 runs in my data base over the last 2 years. These are both in competition and practice. Ave R/T left lane .0284, right lane .0280. 21 red (11/21 were .00X). Only 3 red were for losses. 14 runs over an .05X, 17 at .00X (11 at -.00X , 6 at +.00X ). As you can see .00X doesn't come often. Neither does slower than .050. How has it worked? In 7 years running this car; 90 events > 38 semis >18 finals > 16 wins. I still practice 5 days a week from March on to seasons end. You have to make up for lack if natural tallest , thus I practice often.
                 
                Last edited: Mar 15, 2020
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                • 33 IMP

                  33 IMP FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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                  I used to make fun of the guys in the late model muscle cars that cut abysmal lights at our local test'n'tune....till I tried it with mine.
                  I would shallow stage like always, the lights come down, I see the last yellow and stab it and.....
                  The car would say " you didn't really mean that did you? You really want to go now? No, I don't wanna! I think we'll go...........NOW!"
                  Couldn't cut a light to save my life! I was leaving on the next-to-last light. Either two tenths red, or two tenths late. No wonder so few of the new cars show up to bracket race. I gave up with my car after two tries. I'm going back to a carbureted car without electronic slower-downers!
                   
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                  • 383man

                    383man Well-Known Member

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                    I also leave when I see the last yellow come on. If I am paying attention I can usually cut better lites then this .056 as this was a time run. I have noticed that some tracks are different as it seems at one of the tracks I have run if I leave on the last yellow I redlite so I have to see a tad more yellow. But I don't race a lot so I don't consider myself a killer racer on the tree since I only race once or twice a year. Ron

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                    • mopar 3 B

                      mopar 3 B Well-Known Member

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                      I like to study the lights long before the run just to check their timing. Then count down with the lights when I get there. Also use to have a computer track program. Training the eyes to me was just as important as car setup and the mind tell the rest of the body parts to go.
                       
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                      • Budnicks

                        Budnicks Super Poster, You Can Just Thank Me Later FBBO Gold Member

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                        IMO sportsman 0.5 tenths trees/lights suck ass

                        give me a 0.4 tenths all 3 yellows/ambers at once, pro-tree any-day

                        I left when I saw yellow/amber, on a pro-tree
                        I usually couldn't tell if I was green or red

                        I left on the last yellow on a sportsman tree

                        I red-lit far more than I liked on a 0.5 tenths sportsman tree

                        most my cars were trans-brake or Lenco cars,
                        I did the same thing

                        the classes I ran, rarely ever had 0.5 tree either
                        that's mostly bracket racing stuff or handicap racing

                        with the Lenco/Crower clutch I would mess with clutch fulcrum points
                        or even weight, for better reaction times

                        with the trans-brake it was just letting go of a thumb button quickly
                        a trained monkey should be able to do it :poke:

                        not all buttons are created equal either
                        (I found that out the hard way too)

                        I liked to shallow stage almost always too,
                        it left a little room for roll/creep,
                        it may have sacrificed maybe a 0.005 to 0.01, maybe a 100th in reaction
                        I never liked the really tall front runners/tires either,
                        no matter if it gives you a better reaction time,
                        you should know your car, what it takes to stage & where

                        my cars were squatting then lifting & going forward for the most part
                        no big ass wheelies (jerking the car up & out of the beams)
                        IMO that's a waste of ET & momentum
                        IMHFO wheelie-bars (in my case anyway) are for controlling wheel-speed
                        & fine tuning the starting line/suspension adjustments
                        to get the launch straight, not to control huge wheel stands
                        in most all the classes I raced in anyway

                        IMO it's risky to go in deeper too, but it's what I did regularly,
                        when I knew someone in the other lane was really good on lights/reactions
                        most the time I just raced my own lane & not worry
                        about who's in the other lane
                        with a shorter tires it's like 7" of play room, you could do either
                        get a really good reaction time in deep or a better ET going in shallow
                        sacrifice a very minor slice of your Reaction time,
                        IMO you just need to know what you're doing & when to do it
                        practice makes perfect... I did a shitload of TnT days

                        I've done very little foot-braking, competitively anyway
                        except for an occasional street/strip car
                        or my daily driver
                         
                        Last edited: Mar 15, 2020
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                        • kiwigtx

                          kiwigtx International Mod Staff Member FBBO Gold Member

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                          Maybe true back in the 1920's :lol:
                           
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                          • dvw

                            dvw Well-Known Member

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                            I agree in training your eye to movement. All full trees are set the same. Either .500 between each yellow and the green. Except in a few rare cases some groups run them at .400. But its well known beforehand.
                            Doug
                             
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                            • 33 IMP

                              33 IMP FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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                              C'mon Kiwi, you post a .580 and make fun of the way I read a light?:poke::lol:
                              Third, fourth and fifth passes I made in my friends Gtx.... that I had never even sat in before.

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                              • oldbee

                                oldbee FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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                                Eyeballs brain muscle memory is the best and a lot of practice!
                                 
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                                • biomedtechguy

                                  biomedtechguy Accelerati Rapidus Maximus FBBO Gold Member

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                                  For some reason, the tree at Chattanooga on the 1/8th mile track was one occasion that I consistently left late, every single time. Maybe it was LED vs the incandescents I was used to, or maybe I was just having a bad day, or not focused on the tree, worrying about the lack of traction instead.
                                  That's another benefit I expect to get from the HitMaster launch control system. I have less to do at the launch, allowing me to focus more on the timing of the lights.
                                   
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                                  • kiwigtx

                                    kiwigtx International Mod Staff Member FBBO Gold Member

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                                    :D At least you read my post.
                                     
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                                    • 33 IMP

                                      33 IMP FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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                                      Good thing your camera is better than mine. I didn't even have to get my reading glasses!:D
                                       
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                                      • NSS Guy

                                        NSS Guy Well-Known Member

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                                        I would follow dvw's advice. Practice as much as you can, I will add watch what you eat and drink through out the day as you don't want any swings in your metabolism. And always adjust the car, tire pressure front and rear can make a difference, starting line rpm, and stage the car the same way everytime. Just a few things to think about.
                                        Bracket racing can be a very humbling sport, and don't let anyone fool you, you always need a little luck to get a win. I've posted this time slip before to show how easy it is. lol BG.jpg
                                         
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                                        • 33 IMP

                                          33 IMP FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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                                          Ho lee sheet!!!??!! (Which were you?)
                                           
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