Ever wonder how some people with slower machines consistently beat the faster machines they drag race against? It is all about getting the right start, or getting that perfect “hole shot” as some people would call it. But it does take a little practice in order to master this drag racing technique. When it comes to drag racing, it is safe to say that the take off is the single most important factor that you will need to get learn to perfect.
So what is the most important thing that you can do to get a great takeoff when drag racing? Simply put, it is the clutch, or better yet, the proper USAGE of the clutch. Seems like a simple enough concept right? Well, it is a fairly simple concept, yes, but it is also one of those things that certainly takes some time to master. So what do you want to do with the clutch? You want to let it slip for the first few feet, rather than just letting it engage instantly, or shortly after you let it out. If you let the clutch out to fast when drag racing it always ends up giving you the same negative results, which are generally excessive spinning or excessive front end lift, both of which usually guarantee that your opponent will get the win.
The best way to take off is always to give the machine a lot of gas, but do NOT let the clutch out all the way. Rather than just letting the clutch engage right off the bat, let it grab to the point where the tires of your ATV (or dirt bike) come slightly off the ground, or the rear tire starts to spin. At this point just keep letting it out slowly, but not all of the way out, until the engine is almost to the end of its power (or “power band”). I know this may not sound like much, but it is critical to get the optimal clutch slippage when you first take off. Once you have let the clutch all of the way out, the rest is easy: just keep shifting. At this point, it is all up to the power of your machine, not your driving skill.
Also, another great tip is to start off in second gear. Sounds strange, right? Well, believe it or not, this can be HIGHLY effective, as it gives you a much longer range of power, and allows you to slip the clutch for a longer period of time before having to let it all the way out. It also makes for smoother and softer power delivery, which means that you machine will get better traction, and will not be trying to go over backwards on you as easy.
What I recommend is that you practice the technique outline above quite a few times before you jump in and start actually drag racing. This is by far the most critical thing to master when it comes to drag racing.