-One Top Fuel dragster's 500-inch Hemi makes more horsepower then the first 8 rows at the NASCAR Daytona 500.

-Under full throttle, a dragster engine consumes 1 1/2 gallons of nitro per second, the same rate of fuel consumption as a fully loaded 747 but with 4 times the energy volume.

-The supercharger takes more power to drive then a stock hemi makes.

-Even with nearly 3000 CFM of air being rammed in by the supercharger on overdrive, the fuel mixture is compressed into nearly solid form before ignition. Cylinders run on the verge of hydraulic lock.

-Dual magnetos apply 44 amps to each spark plug. This is the output of an arc welder in each cylinder.

-At stoichiometric (exact) 1.7:1 air/fuel mixture (for nitro), the flame front of nitromethane 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.

-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 off its fuel flow.

-If spark momentarily fails early in the run, unburned nitro builds up in those cylinders and then explodes with a force that can blow cylinder heads off the block in pieces or blow the block in half.

-Dragsters twist the crank (torsionally) so far (20 degrees in the big end of the track) that sometimes cam lobes are ground offset from front to rear to re-phase the valve timing somewhere closer to synchronization with the pistons.

-To exceed 300mph in 4.5 seconds dragsters must accelerate at an average of over 4G's. But in reaching 200 mph well before 1/2 track, launch acceleration is closer to 8G's.

-On the tracks with shorter shorter shut-down area, many drivers shut off before the finish line, or even dual parachutes will not stop the car.

-If all the equipment is paid off, the crew worked for free, and for once NOTHING BLOWS UP, each run costs $1000.00 per second.

-Dragsters reach over 300 miles per hour before you have read this sentence.

Carey Johnson
Product Manager
Rotary Corporation


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