Top Fuel Dragster Facts Quiz


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About This Quiz

Top fuel dragsters are some of the most powerful machines on the planet, generating power and speed that push against the upper limits allowed by the laws of physics. This top fuel dragster quiz will amaze you with its raw power.

The engines in top fuel cars are based on what well-known production engine?

Although they produce astonishing amounts of horsepower, top fuel engines are based on factory 500-cubic inch Hemi engines.

The 14:71 designation of a top fuel supercharger is a remnant of the labeling system GMC once used for what?

GMC's diesel engine superchargers were named for the number of cylinders and the displacement of each cylinder, such as a 4:71 for a four-cylinder engine with 71 cubic inch per cylinder. More advanced superchargers got higher numbers even though the engines don't actually have 14 cylinders.

How much horsepower can a top fuel dragster produce?

It's impossible to precisely measure a top fuel dragster's horsepower output, but estimates put it between 8,000 and 10,000.

What notable feat did racer Eddie Hill accomplish in the 1980s?

Hill already held the quarter-mile speed record on water when he set the land record in a top fuel dragster in 1987.

Who was the first person to win three NHRA top fuel championships?

Muldowney won her championships in 1977, 1980 and 1982.

Who has the most top fuel wins in NHRA history?

Schumacher's 80 wins gives him a solid lead.

What is the official distance of an NHRA top fuel race?

The top fuel distance was reduced to 1,000 feet from the traditional quarter-mile after the death of Scott Kalitta in 2008.

What percentage of a top fuel dragster's fuel is nitromethane?

The percentage has shifted due to NHRA rule changes over the years, but as of 2016, it's 90 percent.

What year was the first NHRA top fuel champion crowned?

The NHRA first broke down its points championship into six divisions, including top fuel, in 1964. Jack Williams took the first championship.

What is a top fuel engine block made from?

Top fuel engines are made from aluminum.

Who was the first driver to reach 330 mph at both the quarter-mile and 1,000-foot distances?

Schumacher topped 330 mph on the quarter-mile in 1999, then did it on a 1,000-foot track in 2012.

What was the fastest top speed ever recorded by a top fuel car on a 1,000-foot track?

Spencer Massey reached a speed of 332.75 mph in August of 2015.

What is the minimum weight of a top fuel car?

The NHRA adjusts the minimum weight from time to time to limit speeds for safety reasons, but as of 2016 the minimum weight was 2,320 pounds.

True or false: the ignition timing is slowed part of the way through a top fuel run to reduce rpm and reduce the chance of engine failure.

The timing is reduced at about 7,900 rpm, which reduces top speeds slightly but helps save the engine.

How many Gs of acceleration does a top fuel driver experience?

In the first .5 second of a top fuel run, the driver endures more than 4 Gs of acceleration.

Nitromethane is such an effective racing fuel because…

Nitromethane's oxygen content helps with ignition, which would otherwise be limited by the amount of air that could be forced into the cylinders.

How much fuel does a top fuel dragster burn per second during a race?

1.2 gallons per second is faster than you can pour gasoline out of a fuel can -- the fuel system is basically a fire hose of nitromethane.

How loud are top fuel cars?

A precise measurement is hard to come by (not many sound meters can even register sounds this loud), but 150 decibels is a reliable estimate.

How long is a top fuel dragster, from front spoiler to rear wing?

A dragster is just over 30 feet long.

What are the bellhousing and intake valves made out of in a top fuel engine?

Titanium components can sustain serious punishment, a necessity in a top fuel engine.

About how much does a single run down the track cost a top fuel team, counting fuel, tire wear and engine components?

Including practice, qualifying and elimination rounds, $5,800 per run adds up fast.

How much does the diameter of the rear tires change during a top fuel run?

The tires expand from a 36-inch diameter to a 44-inch diameter under the force of the wheels spinning.

True or false: top fuel cars use heavy-duty transmissions adapted from military tank transmissions.

Top fuel dragsters don’t have transmissions at all, just a clutch.

How much horsepower does it take just to drive a top fuel supercharger?

The supercharger is just a huge, belt-driven air pump, and it takes 700 hp to drive it (some estimates suggest it might be as high as 900 or 1,000).

How long does it take a top fuel team to rebuild an engine?

A top fuel engine is rebuilt after every single run, so teams have to get it done in 30 to 40 minutes.

How many amps do the magnetos in a top fuel engine deliver to the spark plugs each time they fire?

At 1.2 amps per spark plug, the total amperage delivered by the magnetos is not far short of an arc welder.

What weight lubricating oil does a top fuel engine use?

Special 70W racing oil keeps the engines components lubricated. It's quite a bit thicker than the 10W-30 in your street car.

About how fast is the air being pushed out of the supercharger into the engine moving?

The supercharger generates more than 60 psi boost pressure and shoves air into the engine at an estimated 250 mph.

How many spark plugs are there per cylinder in a top fuel engine?

It takes two spark plugs per cylinder to reliably ignite the enormous amount of fuel getting pumped into the cylinders.

How much chrome-moly tubing is welded together to build a top fuel dragster's frame?

250 feet of tubing is bent, angled and welded to create the rigid frame. As strong as it is, the frame isn't painted because stress cracks have to be re-welded so often.

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