Since the dawn of time, mankind has been competing, whether it's for food, water, or the affection of the fairer sex. It was only natural that we took this innate need to one-up each other to the road, which eventually spawned the birth of racetracks. Racetracks attracted street racers, and these days manly men even make a living by out-driving and out-tuning each other, which means that racing is legit and cool. If you're a wannabe racer, you should probably bone-up on the art of drag racing before giving it a shot in your truck. This will save you some embarrassment when you screw up. The Sport Truck staff is a generous lot, so we are imparting some of our own racing tips for free, and we know you like free stuff so enjoy this guide to sneaky race secrets. Remember, if you ain't cheatin' then you ain't racin'.
Pick a slower competitor and then only go fast enough to beat him by a little bit so that you can keep on beating him when he asks for a rematch. He will ask for a rematch if he's got any sort of pride.
Don’t be the first guy down the track. Watch everyone else run and then pick on an easy target. Avoid other racers that look like they know what they are doing, or have better equipment than you have—like tires that aren’t bald. Driveshaft hoops and roll cages are instant clues to a truck that probably goes faster than yours, so avoid those trucks like a chick with an s.t.d.
Always ask for more than you really want and ask for the move. Make the other guy chase you. A chase is a race.
4. Just Floor It
On computer-controlled trucks, fight the urge to "power brake” at the starting line because the computer will pull back the engine's ignition timing advance, which cuts down on power. You are better off just sitting there and then stabbing the gas pedal when it's time to launch.
And by cheat we mean use any possible method to gain a competitive advantage, whether it’s hiding a nitrous system in your truck or just jumping the gun at the starting line.
Get down to your race weight. Fat guys need bigger pockets and better engines to win against skinny guys, so put you and your truck on a diet. Take a laxative the night before a race to purge your system and then take out anything inside the cab of your truck that doesn’t need to be there. That huge box with 12-inch subwoofers in it isn’t going to win any races; it’s just going to slow you down. Also, racing with a full tank of gas is a no-no. Only run with a quarter tank of gas, which is just enough to keep the fuel pickup covered during the holeshot.
7. Kill Vampires
Turn off all accessories that will add drag to the engine and rob it of power—like the A/C. We’ve tested it, and most alternators also eat up a minimum of 5 hp. It doesn’t sound like much, but every little bit counts when you’re trying to beat down a guy with a mullet and a Camaro.
Practice holeshots before you go racing. The best way to leave the starting line quickly and not look like a tool is not in a blaze of glory and bald tires.
9. Chill It
Cool air equals more engine power output, so don’t let your truck idle forever while waiting for a race. That hot engine will increase the air inlet temperature and kill power production. You can also cool your truck’s engine down between races with a bag of regular or dry ice placed atop the intake manifold.
10. Short And Wide
Smaller-diameter tires will decrease your final drive ratio and help the truck accelerate more quickly for short-distance races. It will suck on the freeway, but what’s more important—winning or getting 25 mpg on the way to the race?
11. No Big Burnie
Radial tires don’t hook up better after a burnout, they just get smaller. Only do a short wheelspin to clean any grease off the tire tread. Frying your 25 series tires isn’t making your truck quicker, it’s just emptying your wallet faster.
12. Keep The Pedal To The Metal
It’s a pretty common habit to lift off the gas pedal right before your truck shifts. Fight the urge and keep that go pedal planted!