What Is Drag Racing? Should I Let My Child Participate?

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What Is Drag Racing?

Drag racing is a sport in which two cars race each other down a straight track. Drag racing typically takes place on a quarter-mile (402 meters) track but can also be done on an eighth-mile (201 meters) or a half-mile (805 meters) track. The objective is to reach the finish line first.

There are two types of drag racing: bracket racing and heads-up racing. Bracket racing is the more common type, where each car is given a handicap based on its expected performance. This makes sure that both cars have an equal chance of winning. In heads-up racing, both cars start from a dead stop at the same time, and the first one to cross the finish line wins.

Quick History Of The Extreme Sport

The sport of drag racing has its origins in the hot-rodding culture of the early 20th century. Hot rodding is a term used to describe the practice of souping up (or modifying) cars for better performance. This often involved installing larger and more powerful engines into smaller cars, making them faster and more agile.

Drag racing as we know it today began to take shape in the 1930s and 1940s when hot rodders in Southern California started holding informal races on deserted strips of road. These early races were typically run from one point to another, with the winner being the first to reach the finish line.

As word of these races spread, more people began to participate. Soon, formal drag strips began to spring up across the country, and the sport was born. Today, drag racing is a hugely popular sport, with professional circuits worldwide. It remains true to its roots, with cars highly modified for speed and power.


Dragster: A dragster is a specially built race car designed for drag racing. These cars are light and have powerful engines, making them ideal for racing down a straight track.

Safety Equipment: Racing can be dangerous, so it is important to have the proper safety gear, including a fire suit, helmet, and neck brace. You will also need a set of Racing Harnesses to keep you safe in the event of an accident.

Wheels and Tires: Drag racing tires are specially designed to be able to grip the track and provide traction. They are also very wide, which helps to increase the car’s stability.

Engine: Your dragster’s engine is one of the most critical parts of the car. It needs to be powerful to propel the vehicle down the track quickly.

Transmission: The transmission is responsible for transferring the power from the engine to the wheels. It needs to be able to handle the high speeds and loads that are associated with drag racing.

To be competitive, you will also need to invest in things like a good set of slicks and a high-performance clutch. However, the above items are the basics required to get started.

How Dangerous Is Drag Racing?

While drag racing can be an exciting and adrenaline-pumping activity, it can also be hazardous. Not only are there dangers inherent in operating a high-powered vehicle at high speeds, but there is also the risk of collision with other vehicles or objects. In addition, because drag racing often takes place on public roads, there is the potential for innocent bystanders to be injured or killed.

Despite the risks, many people continue to engage in drag racing. Some do so for the thrill of going fast, while others see it as a way to showcase their driving skills. Whatever the reason, it is important to remember that the sport is illegal in some jurisdictions and can lead to severe consequences if caught. If you choose to race, do so only in a safe and controlled environment, such as a racetrack.

Safety Tips

Never Race on Public Roads: This is extremely dangerous and puts you and innocent bystanders at risk. Always find a safe and legal racing venue before hitting the gas pedal.

Make Your Car Is In Good Condition: This means making sure all fluids are at the correct levels, tires are properly inflated, and there are no loose parts or pieces that could come flying off during a high-speed race.

Be Aware of Your Surroundings: Always ready to react if something unexpected happens. Be cautious of other drivers and never assume that they will act safely.

Follow The Rules Set By The Venue: These rules are in place for everyone’s safety, so ensure you adhere to them. 

My Child Wants To Try Drag Racing: Should I Let Them?

As a parent, you may wonder if drag racing is safe for your child. While there is always some risk associated with any high-speed motorsport, steps can be taken to help ensure your child’s safety.

Here are a few things to consider before letting your child race:

1. Make Sure They are Old Enough: Most sanctioning bodies have an age limit of 16 years old. This is in place to help ensure that only experienced drivers are behind the wheel.

2. Check The Car: Before allowing your child to race, inspect the vehicle, they will be driving. Make sure all the safety equipment is in place and functioning correctly. Also, check the tires and make sure they are in good condition.

3. Get Them Trained: Many Drag Racing schools offer training for experienced and novice drivers. This can help your child learn the necessary skills to race safely.

4. Talk With Them: Before letting your child race, sit down with them and discuss your expectations. Make sure they understand the risks involved and are willing to take responsibility for their safety and the safety of others on the track.

5. Follow The Rules: Once you’ve decided to let your child race, ensure they adhere to all the regulations set forth by the sanctioning body. This includes wearing the proper safety gear, obeying flaggers, and driving within their skill level.


After discussing the pros and cons of letting your child participate in drag racing, I have come to the conclusion that you should ultimately make the decision based on what you think is best for your child.

If you believe that they can handle the responsibility and pressure that comes with drag racing, then, by all means, allow them to participate. However, if you have doubts about their abilities or maturity level, it may be best to wait until they are a bit older.