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Drag Racing Burnouts: Why and How to Do It

Burnouts in drag racing

If you've ever been to a drag race, you're bound to have seen a burnout. Let's take a look at the procedures for doing a proper drag racing burnout.

What are Drag Racing Burnouts?

A burnout is keeping a vehicle still while spinning its drive wheels at the same time. Burnouts began in drag racing as a way to heat the tires up and making them stickier for better traction.

Burnouts began in drag racing and are still an essential part of the sport to this day. Drag racing slicks and street tires help you launch better if you are able to raise the temperatures of the tires.

Water Box

The water box is essentially an area before the starting line, or the tree, where racers will perform their prerace burnouts. Racers can either pull straight through or drive around and back into the area. The area is wet down with a hose to make it wetter, hence the name “water box.”

How to Do Burnouts in Drag Racing?

Whether you are running street tires or slicks, the process in the same. Once you have positioned yourself in the water box under the directions of the track attendant you are ready for to heat your tires.

For Manual Transmission

  1. First choose which gear you will perform the burnout, some use first, but many will chose second as first gear tends to wind out faster.
  2. With the clutch depressed, rev the engine to around 3k rpm (will vary depending on the car)
  3. While still revving the engine, pop the clutch and immediately move your foot to the brake to control the roll
  4. After a couple seconds of spinning ease off the brake and roll through the burnout until the tires start to hook, making sure not to roll past the beams.

For Automatics

  1. For automatic cars, you can keep the transmission into D or put it in low.
  2. Next, hold the footbrake down while building up the revs of the engine. While maintaining the rpms of the engine start releasing the brake until its just enough to hold the car in place. Afte a second or two of spinning, release the brake and roll the rest of the burnout until the tires start to stick.



Remember that your car is a machine and it will be damaged if you abuse it. Every car is different and may take different techniques and precautions in order to avoid damaging the engine and other driveline components.

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Now that you know how to perform a burnout out the only thing left before your next race is to get the proper threads for the occasion. At our online store, you can find everything from hoodies, shirts, hats, etc. to make your racing wardrobe complete.

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