Drag Racing 101

Drag Racing Explained

Drag racing is a competition between two cars. The goal is to see which driver can get their car to the finish line first, without fouling. A foul can occur if the driver leaves the starting line too soon, hits a wall, or crosses the center line.

Timing System

The timing system has two main parts; reaction time, and elapsed time. Reaction time is how long it takes you to react the the green light coming on, indicating the start of the race. The elapsed time is how long it takes you to make it to the finish line.

For an in depth look at the timing system, including how reaction times and elapsed times are calculated, click here.


Burnouts are important because it heats up the tires to make them get more traction. Traction is the key to not only going fast but getting a good reaction time. If you spin the tires, your times will slow down significantly and could cost you the race.

EV3 makes doing a burnout very easy by including a meter to indicate when your tires are hot enough. Once the meter is full, you will have the maximum traction for your tires. For general tips for a perfect burnout, you can read this.


Staging the car is when a driver positions his or her car so that the front tires are on the starting line. This ensures that both competitors start from the same position so the race is fair. There are 2 general ways to stage; deep or shallow. A deep stage is when you have the back of the tire barely touching the front edge of the starting line. A shallow stage is the opposite, where you have the front of the tire barely touching the back of the starting line.

Both techniques have their advantages and disadvantages, so it's worth trying both and seeing which you prefer. There's really no wrong way to stage as long as you get the win. To explore some of the advantages and disadvantages for each techniques, read this.

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