Top Fuel Dragster Info - Whatever


Got this in an e-mail today... thought it might be of some interest to a few of you.


One TF dragster's 500-inch Hemi makes more horsepower than the first 8 rows at the Daytona 500.

Under full throttle, a dragster engine consumes 1 1/2 gallons of nitro per second, the same rate of fuel consumption as a fully loaded 747 but with 4 times the energy volume.

A stock hemi will not produce enough power to drive the dragster's supercharger.

Even with nearly 3000 CFM of air being rammed in by the supercharger on overdrive, the fuel mixture is compressed into nearly-solid form before ignition. Cylinders run on the verge of hydraulic lock.

Dual magnetos apply 44 amps to each spark plug. This is the output of an arc welder in each cylinder.

At stoichiometric (exact) 1.7:1 air/fuel mixture (for nitro), the flame front of nitromethane measures 7050 degrees F.

Nitromethane burns yellow. The spectacular white flame seen above the stacks at night is raw burning hydrogen, dissociated from atmospheric water vapor by the searing exhaust gases.

Spark plug electrodes are totally consumed during a pass. After ½ way, the engine is dieseling from compression - plus the glow of exhaust valves at 1400 degrees F. The engine can only be shut down by cutting the fuel flow.

If spark momentarily fails early in the run, unburned nitro builds up in those cylinders and then explodes with a force that can blow cylinder heads off the block in pieces or split the block in half.

To exceed 300 mph in 4.5 seconds dragsters must accelerate at an average of over 4G's. But in reaching 200 mph well before 1/2 track, launch acceleration is closer to 8G's.

If all the equipment is paid off, the crew worked for free, and for once NOTHING BLOWS UP, each run costs $1000.00 per second.

Dragsters reach over 300 miles per hour before you have completed reading this sentence.

Top Fuel Engines turn ONLY 540 revolutions from light to light!

The redline is actually quite high at 9500rpm

The current TF dragster elapsed time record is 4.477 seconds for the quarter mile (06/02/01 Kenny Bernstein)

Putting all of this in perspective:

You are driving an average Lingenfelter powered "twin-turbo" Corvette. Over a mile up the road, a Top Fuel dragster is staged and ready to launch down a quarter mile strip as you pass. You have the advantage of a flying start, but you still run the 'Vette hard up through the gears and blast across the
starting line and past the dragster at an honest 200 mph. At this moment, the dragster launches and starts after you. You keep your foot hard down, but you hear an incredibly brutal whine that sears your eardrums and within seconds the dragster catches and passes you. He beats you to the finish line, a
quarter mile away from where you passed him. That, folks, is acceleration.

Think about it, from a standing start, this phenomenal machine has spotted you 200mph and not only caught, but nearly blasted you off the road when he passed you within a mere 1320 feet.

Now....., tell me about the time you spun the wheels and laid rubber on dry concrete.


Those are some great facts.

Depending on how this is meant - "One TF dragster's 500-inch Hemi makes more horsepower than the first 8 rows at the Daytona 500." it can be unaccurate. Probably meant the first 8 cars.

A TF horsepower is about 6400 - 6500. A Nascar motor is about 800. 6500 divided by 800 is roughly 8. Put that into perspective, an ENTIRE Nascar motor produces about the same amount of HP as ONE CYLINDER of a TF motor.



Well-Known Member
I heard that a restrictor plate engine only makes about 550 horsepower. So how about the first six rows at Daytona? Maybe we should say that one cylinder of a top fuel car is equal to one Trophy Truck engine. I also was led to believe that a nitro motor's horsepower was only an estimate. I didn't think that a dyno could measure these numbers. A machine that can shake your eyeballs around in your head, steal the air from your lungs, and make you cry involuntarilly has got be very exciting.

I'm planning on going to qualifying on Friday evening (April 4th), then heading out to Barstow early Saturday morning to chase the Uff Da car. The front end has been reworked, and we are hoping to finally finish a race in the new (to us) car.

My own taste for the hops is very powerful, and I had no intention of spending a beerless weekend...


Well-Known Member
There has been no actual dyno because of the amount of power, nothing out there could handle it, but I belive the trick tank team a year or so ago had a tourqe gauge on the rear end to see what kind of numbers it was producing and from that they estimated about 10,000 hp from the tourqe, some day we will know.

"Everything you do is triggered by an emotion of either desire or fear."


Well-Known Member
The 6000 plus HP figure was from engineers a few years ago doing the math for moving that much weight, that far, in that amount of time. It may have gone up since then.

<font color=blue>"A Ship in the harbor is safe, but that's not what ships are built for"</font color=blue>


Well-Known Member
i heard some were tv or word of mouth that they a pushing almost 15000 hp now

Can blind people be dyslexic when they read Braille?


Well-Known Member
"I heard that a restrictor plate engine only makes about 550 horsepower"

450-510 would be a bit more accurate like anything, depends on the builder.
open motors are in teh range of 740-800 and change depending on the track