Question on drag racing classes


Supporting Member 1
As I start the build on my 62 Biscayne, I am wondering how to figure out what kind of classes are available still, for the cars on the drag strip. In Denver, we only have an NHRA track, and it seems that most of the cars around here are bracket racers. I can't remember ever seeing any Nostalgia type classes in this area. If it's not a Camaro or a Nova, there just doesn't seem to be to much interest.

I guess what my concern is, what kind of modifications would one be able to do without being moved into an all out race class? I'd like to build a nice 409 powered street car with a nostalgia look, but be able to take it to the track and see how I do. The jury is still out on stoker motor or stock block with a cam upgrade. I've got an M-22 with scattershield, and I have the parts for a 4 link rear upgrade.

I know this is a very broad question, but I'm just interested in some general guidelines, or maybe input on what you have done, or not done to try and hit a specific set of class rules.

Thanks in advance.

Ronnie Russell

Well Known Member
Supporting Member 2
Dave, The one good thing about bracket racing is there are no rules. Build as conservative or radical as you want, the dial in makes everybody equal. Building a legal NHRA car is almost impossible nowadays. Bracket race and have fun. You will always have a crowd around your 409 car, now matter what type of racing you choose. If there was a sanctioning body in Colo. , like those lucky guys in the mid-west and north-east have, then maybe I would suggest something else. We dont have the good racing down here either, so we settle for weekly bracket racing. " Build the car, the race will come". Good luck,,,,,,,:) :)


I Don*t Understand?? Bracket Racing?

Years Ago it was Cubic Inches divided by the Cars Weight! & every Drag was Equal--as both Cars stated together on the Line!--I dono? about This little Car gets To GO! & the BIG Car has to Catch UP!--& If? YOU go over your Dial In?-- YOU Loose!--WE the Wife & I were out of Town & heard of a local DRAG strip--so WE went--Nice Crowd--& lots os Cars Draging!--One F--d Maveric--stole the Show-- 289 V-8 4 gear--he made several Runs--very Impressive!-- One Against 454 Blown Fuel Dragster--a Grand father Grand son team--as the tree Light UP! & the Little Maverick Leaped OFF the Line--with in a few Seconds--3 may bee 4? I knew the Big Block Blown Chevy was NOT going to Take HIM as the Maverick was Getting Very Small very Quick! WE met the Grand Father Grand Son Team & they gave US a Tour of the Little Maverick 289 Cu Inches--ported & Polished--& Ballanced--Stick Crank--Roller Can set UP!--One 4 Barrel Carb--4 gear tranny--Tubbed rear W/ very Wide Tires--4 link Sys--alloy wheels all round--8 point roll Bar-Beauftiful Paint!--All Letterd UP-Sponceed by a Local Ford Dealership-I Did Ask? their RPMS out of the Hole?--9700 was their Reply!--as thats their Rev Limit Setting!--Fuel Ave Gas!--HEY! FRED I thought of YOU!--& your Saying!!--Don*t Fool w/ those Ole Guys!--as They Been There & Done That! OH there was a Lot of very Nice Drag Cars There! & they Went Really GOOD!--its about a hours drive from Our Home Friday Nights--Next week We will be There!--Ole JIM


Well Known Member
Supporting Member 3
Couldn't stay away

See, now you have gone and got hooked again. You addict, you:roll :roll :roll If you don't stay away fom those darned strips, you will end up just like me, again. You'll be out there burning rubber, sniffing the air for those fuel fumes, and planning where and when to do it again. :doh :doh :doh


Well Known Member
Supporting Member 3
Milehi, Check and see if your strip has a Street Drag night.
The one here in Portland is every Friday and Saturday nite.
Woodburn has them on nites when they don`t have a race scheduled.
You just race yourself and no winners or losers just a fun time of racing.
you can get as many runs in as you can.
Other then that, bracket racing is the one style that will fit everyone as mentioned.
Contact Michael Mason a member here that lives in Golden and see if he has any thoughts or ideas. dq


SS425HP said:
See, now you have gone and got hooked again. You addict, you:roll :roll :roll If you don't stay away fom those darned strips, you will end up just like me, again. You'll be out there burning rubber, sniffing the air for those fuel fumes, and planning where and when to do it again. :doh :doh :doh
HI FRED--No Worry--Not on my fixed income--the Best Part--was WE didn*t know any One!--just Enjoyed watching every RUN!--& I looked but Didn*t see any 348s nor 409s-- One older couple that operates the Lunch Wagon--a 1-1/2 GMC truck--Dual rear wheels--w/ the Quilted stainless Body--made a last minute RUN!--Very Impressive!-a they NOT only make Great Lunches--that Lunch Wagon really Goes!--I had a few Flash Backs!-seeing a few real young fellers--just starting Out?--that Need Ole Timers help! You know? the Young Guys thats doing every thing Wrong? Fred I Dono? as there Don*t seem to Be the secretcy? of Ole Days Dragging?--very Open!--how Ah Days!--I kinda took a shine? to One Young Feller that was Really Trying! He Remined Me of ME in the Ole Days!--the Desires there! & that Will to WIN!--but--Hes Young & New! & just Dono? I chatted w/ Him--Nice Kid!--Needs a little Advice!--On how to Do Things?--My Wife Felt Sorry for Him!--& Surprised ME!--JIM-- You should Help that little Feller! as Hes Trying so Hard!--& He lives just a few miles from US!--He called ME today! & I gave Him a Few Suggestions!--the Basics on setting UP--& told HIM to One at a time--So He will Know? what Works? & what Don*t?-- You remember? way back when! WE did several things to our Car & didn*t know? what Worked??--& What Didn*t?? First thing! that Don*t Cost any thing!--re-locate a few things--so the Weight is where it should Be--& then--remove all the Un-necessary Stuff?--but its One step at a Time--DEAL--as WE both Know! YOU can Make any thing GO!--If YOU dump enough $$ into IT!-- FRED I Love Your CHEVY --Wish I could See it Really RUN! My Wife says I*M too Old for Any Racing?--but between YOU & I --What dose She Know??--as I have been3 yrs re-building an Antique 71 Kenworth Wrecker--& It still in the Ulgy Stage!--right between Junk? & I Dono?--& the Grand children have Named it--Grampys Sports Car?-- Give E*M Hell Fred!-Ole JIM


Well Known Member
Supporting Member 3
I must be lucky, we have several nostalgia drags here in Missouri so it is something you can build for. They have a new place about 5 miles from me, Lucas Oil has a dirt track but no drag strip. I figured with all the drag racers using Lucas oil products he might include a drag strip but nothing but a nice circle dirt track. :cuss Roy

Skip FIx

Well Known Member
I usually just go to test and tunes to try and go faster every run, breakouts and being on the brakes for brackets just isn't racing to me.


Well Known Member
Supporting Member 3
Of course in the old days it was advertised horsepower to weight for stockers and cubic inches to weight for gassers. Today the closest you can come to that is index racing. I like that because it is heads up start but you had better not break out of your index. Say you are running the 15.00 to 15.50 index that means that you are going to run cars in that et bracket. If you can run close to the 15.00 et then you can push all the sandbaggers out the door:D If you are running close to 15.50 then you had better go to 15.50 to 16.00 or plan on getting everyone out of the hole like Ray does.:cool: Roy

I love racing on an index! We had that here in San Antonio for a few months in a street class on a pro tree on only certain sundays. They took it away though, proberably from lack of interest in the area for taking your driver to the track. I liked this because its the perfect class for a 4 speed car like my 55 Chevy, and those of us using mildly hopped up muscle cars who all seem to run real close to a class brake. I raced in the 13.00 index as my 55 Chevy with a 350 cu. in. at thie time driven all out ran 12.80s, but I could race in this class leaving at 4500 instead of 6000 and I had to drive the snot out of it to hit that 13.00 and win the race. I am very competative on a pro tree as a leaf spring full framed 4 speed car like a 55 Chevy breaks the beam very quickly making it hard to race on the sportsman tree. It does for me anyway. If I leave on the last yellow, I run a very consistant .410 to .420 window. Very bright red on the sportsman tree!

As a side note my current 10:1 283 with 097duntov cam and 2.02 heads would be tough to beat in a 14.00 index as it will run within half a tenth of this every pass. I have just taken this cam out and installed the "30/30" cam. Much stronger feeling engine. I will post this section again along with results of a heads up grudge match with a friend of mine who just got an 03 Vette in the old 097 cam and the anyone raced with a 283 threads for posterity in case anyone needs this info in the future.

I would just suggest to get a bunch of your friends with close to stock cars or cars with engines built with verious cominations of production parts to schedule a club night at the drags and just go to a grudge night together. This is very fun. You can proberobly meet some people at a local cruise night.

Have Fun

I built my car for NHRA/IHRA Stock Eliminator. Thought it was the right thing to do. Yes, it IS somewhat moe prestigious than a bracket racer, although FAR more expensive... just to run the same numbers.
Last year, when I finally managed to get "out there" amongst experience Stock / Super Stock cars and people, for the most part, although my car itself does not work, it made quite a stir. I received MUCH needed/appreciated information and advice on how to make the chassis work properly, so my dyno'd 508 HP / 7000 RPM 423 inch engine could do what it's supposed to do.
Now, the car is all apart, the plan is to implement the technical info into the chassis. Money has brought that process to stand still.

Along with the genuine helpful input, recently there has also been the other kind. An "in cogneto" older member of our club here, has expressed an interest in the car. First, by asking fundamental questions... which evolved into what amounted to patronizing insults. Yes, this person is undoubtedly knowledgable. However, he seems to have a bit of a thorne in his side. Seems he can't deal with the concept of this "no-nothing", nobody Canadian, out in a farm field, stepping into that "elitest" circle of high-profile Stock / Super Stock... with a car/engine that is universally accepted as "no longer competetive". His most recent comment amounts to "suggesting" that I give it up, and sell the car to somebody who is capable of making it work properly.
Make no mistake, this car, if I can ever make this chassis work properly, will eclipse history's prior efforts. And if that ever happens with this car, it's going to be my own doing.
Would I try it again ?
I doubt it.
However, at this time, I'm still determined to finish what I started.

The moral of all this ... If you can find a nearby place with nostalgia type classes, THAT's where to be:deal ! ( ABSOLUTELY NOTHING resembling that within 600 miles of me ).
This "Stocker" thing that I tried, seems to have brought out the "unpleasant" side of some of the older racers ( had to bite my tongue BIG TIME here:rolleyes: ).

I sincerely wish you and others GOOD TIMES in the hobby of drag racing:beerbang . A FAR more likely experience if you prepare for and participate with the closely knit group of nostalgia racers:deal


Well Known Member
Supporting Member 5
I joined up with a group of nostalgia racers and I'm having a lot of fun.:beerbang It's only bracket racing but it's still fun because you can do what ever you want to the car and the racing's not all that serious. Most guys are more interested in geting the most out of their car than they are in winning a race. From what I've seen I think it takes a lot of skill, time and money to be sucesfull in most heads up classes. It sure would be nice to see Aubrey run competitively in NHRA/IHRA Stock Eliminator. That's a really tough class.:deal

region rat

Well Known Member
Supporting Member 2
Aubrey, What did your car 60 ft"? And what gear? see what the other guys here have done. I don't think most guys keep secrets. What was your min weight.? Stock guys have to run so far below index to make the program at a big event it would be tuogh, but still fun. Bob
Bob, average 60ft is 1.72-1.78. Generally, the slicks spin right through 1st gear, and another 20ft in 2nd.
Tires are 28" tall, 4.88 gear, 2.83 1st gear.
Oh, I'm engaging the clutch at around 3000 ( peak torque is 471 @ 4900 ).

When I was in D Stock, I had to add over 100 pounds to meet the minimum of 3925 ( with me in it ).
If the car worked properly, it would be around .7 under.
Plan is to install proper light weight drag-race wheels and tires, along with a Wilwood aluminum disc brake conversion, and bump up into C Stock... around 3720 ( with me in it ).

Don't think most guys keep secrets ? !
:roll :roll

I'll figure it out on my own

Thank you for asking, Bob. Please do PM me if you'd like.

I'll never be "competetive", Jim. But when the car works properly, it'll leave a positive impression.


Well Known Member
Supporting Member 3
Give `em hell Aubrey !!!:bow

Nay sayers are the ones with pile of crap in their pants !!!:brow

How many racer do what you are doing with the limited budget you have???

How many have even tried to do what you are doing with a `62 and a 409????

Limited success??? Not from my view!!!:clap You just haven`t finished what you started !!

Time and trials will get you there,,, then watch out !!!

Like you said,,,"But when the car works properly, it'll leave a positive impression. ":cheers

How much more fun can it be then that !!!,,,dq


Well Known Member
Supporting Member 3
Aubrey we can all relate to lack of money. Most of us do with out things that most people would think we're crazy for giving up for our cars. You're young but all us old guys are still sacrificing for our beloved cars so it never ends until they throw dirt in your face. You make a living at building cars and I think that is frosting on the cake. I know that it is hard to stay in a class and be competitive without a sponser. If you can get the traction problem solved and you will, your going to be right in there. This is really great with a engine that is 40 years old not like your competition.:clap Roy


Supporting Member 1
I could not agree more with Tripower. My experience with heads up racing has been so good I just cannot help but to share what I have experienced.

The heads up index style is great because you match your car to an index and go from there. You can keep it simple and race in the 14.20 Factory Street class or anywhere up to the 10.0 in the Outlaw class. Typically the ladder is not slowest against fastest qualifiers in a class, it is like vs. like times from qualifying. The goal is to provide a close race between two cars…you know the race where you are beating the floor board out of the car so that you can put the sticker on the license plate out in front of the other guy. For the most part everyone is racing above board and not sand bagging (you will be able to tell real quick who sandbags). Typically the racing is fun, but the guys and gals that you meet make the event – you meet some good people at the track – make some great friends that will do anything for you and vice versa.

I have been racing in a heads up series now for 3 years. I have stayed in the Factory Street Class w/ 14.20 index. My 63’ is a street car which I drive quite a bit – not a big power house – nothing fancy – I change plugs and fluids in the spring and do not touch it the rest of the racing season. We have 7 races a year. The track is rented for our event. Car count is averaging 102. It started out that most of the guys just wanted to go fast and really did not pay attention to the reaction times/weather/track. NOW if you do not pay attention to the reaction times/weather/track it is hard to go to many rounds. Is the racing competitive?? Heck YES! The dominant car in each class has forced everyone to be a better driver and tuner. Still everyone is having a great time. Everyone understands and keeps in perspective that we are there to have a good time. Some of the guys/gals have been racing for years and some are just starting out.

After racing hours BS session and pit food is something to look forward too.

Build your car the way you want it and find a heads up series in your area to participate in. Most of all go with the mentality of having a good time no matter what.