Have you ever wanted an up close and personal look inside how a Top Fuel dragster works? 8,000 horsepower and zero to 300 mph in three seconds can surely get your attention and when the Top Fuelers take flight, it’s definitely an earth-moving experience. Today you can get all the enlightening information you could ever want from this awesome video courtesy of Popular Mechanics in their segment “How’d They Do That”. Sit back and get ready to be moved as the team from Kalitta Motorsports shows you around.
The setting is the historic Raceway Park in Old Bridge Township, New Jersey. The Kalitta Motorsorts team leads us from front to back on just how these amazing machines go down the track. Starting with exotic materials like chromoly and carbon fiber is what keeps the dragsters in one piece as the 500-cubic inch Hemi propels the car and driver to 120 mph in just one second. With nearly two gallons of nitromethane pumping into the engine per second and being fired by a pair of magneto’s that are generating in excess of 40 amps each, you could literally say it’s an explosion inside the engine at all times.
As the dragster traverses the 1,000-feet of racetrack it will go through a series of stages in the clutch system to help propel the car to over 300 mph yet still maintain traction on the racing surface.
All that just to make one pass may seem a bit extreme but when you realize that each time the car makes a run it’s then torn down completely, engine and clutches overhauled and reassembled in a period of 75 minutes. Just add in the factor that at all times, there are eight complete engines and eight sets of cylinder heads which will suffice for the amount of times the team could send the car down the track in a weekend. Definitely makes you say “How’d They Do That”?