How to Drag Race Your Lexus

Drag racing a term this is not familiar to many Lexus owners.  However, Lexus owners tend to talk about a lot.  What is really drag race?  I would like to explore this topic a little.  Drag race is the easiest, because its a straight line run.  However, it still requires lots of practice.  Normally a drag stripe is 1/4 mile long, but some local tracks are 1/8 mile.  I personally prefer 1/4 mile especially for high rev  and turbo cars.  Big block engines and four wheel drive benefit much from the shorter track.  One thing nice about street legal drag is that you can take any type of cars, trucks, SUV and motorcycle.  Find yourself a track by asking around or do a internet search in your local area.  Beside the techniques involved in drag racing, but there is a huge component in reaction time and movement time.

This is a typical situation in most of the drag stripe.  There normally a entrance fee ($20) to race all day long.  Before the track allow you to drive at 80-120 mph at the terminal speed, they would need to inspect your car to be safe on the track.  So there will be a Tech Inspection before anyone are allow to race.  The tech inspection is a safety inspection.  As your car go faster, the safety requirement will be more strict.  Normally, there will be different class of race.  For example, all domestics or imports.  Depending where you go, there will be a nice crow waiting in line to race.

Here are some terminology and definitions adopted from Abilenedragstrip

Christmas Tree: The electronic starting device positioned between the lanes just ahead of the starting line.
Pre Stage: When your tires break this light beam, it's a signal that you are very close to the starting line.
Stage: Your front tires have reached the starting line. NOTE: The race typically will not be started until both drivers are staged. However, there is only a short grace period for staging. If you fail to stage in time, you will be disqualified (red light).
Countdown lights: Once the starter triggers the tree, these flash down at .500 second intervals with the green coming on .500 seconds after the last yellow.
Green: Get on it!
Red: Disqualified or foul


60' and 330' timers These give time and speed are various intervals on the track. Your 60' time is generally an indication of how well your car "hooks" - how much traction it has.
Alcohol Refers to Methanol when used as a motor fuel
Bracket A specific class defined by elapsed time or required equipment. Example: Electronics, Street Money
Breakout Running faster than your dial-in (you "dial" a 10.00, but run a 9.99)
Burnout Spinning the tires to clean them and to heat the rubber for better traction. Drag slicks work best at an elevated temperature. NOTE: Street tires DO NOT require a burnout. Typically, they will actually perform worse if heated. However, you are free to burn 'em down if you like. If you do not wish to make a burnout, you may drive around the water box.
Courtesy Staging The first racer to light the pre-stage bulb must wait for their competitor to light the other pre-stage bulb.  The first racer may then perform their final staging maneuver. 
Dial-In The ET that the driver or crew chief thinks that the car will run. It is posted on the front and passenger side windows.
Double Breakout When both competitors run under their dial-in.  The one that runs closest to their dial-in is declared the winner.
Doorslammer A full bodied car with doors
Eliminations The actual race. Competitors are paired up by two's, tournament style,  with only half coming back for the next round.
ET Elapsed time. The time from when the front tires leave the starting line beam until the front tires break the finish line beam. Reported to the thousandth of a second.
Heads Up Two cars racing with no handicap start. The classic drag race.
Hole Shot The better reaction time. The "hole" is the starting line.
Pro Tree The three yellow lights flash on all at the same time and the green lights .400 seconds after.
Reaction Time The time between the driver's reaction to the last yellow of the tree and the time the front tires leave the staging beam. It can also be thought of as how close you came to leaving on the green light. It is printed on the ET slip. An example: .531 
(.500 is a perfect light on a sportsman tree, .400 on a Pro tree.)
What this really means is that your front tire(s) left the stage beam .031 seconds after the green light came on.  Almost all tracks add in the .500 between the last yellow and the green. The reaction time is also a combination of the driver's reactions to the lights and the car's reaction to the driver's input.
Red Light or Foul Start The red light is triggered by leaving before the green. It can also signal a foul or disqualification, like failing to stage in the required time or breaking something.
Speed beam Your speed at the finish is calculated by measuring the time between when you break the speed beam and the finish line beam. The speed trap is 66' wide.
Sportsman Tree The bracket race tree where the 3 yellow lights flash at .500 second intervals and the green lights .500 seconds after the last yellow.
Staging Lanes Lanes marked off behind the burnout box area where the competitors are paired up for the race.
Time Trials A certain number of runs granted to each competitor giving each a chance to get their car ready for the race.
Top end Near the finish line (Usage: "I had 'em on a hole shot, but they caught me on the top end.")
Water box/burnout box A small area kept wet by track personnel to help cars with slicks perform their burnout

As you enter the stripe, there will be a track director and he will direct you to the lane you will be running.  Either its going to be a near lane or far lane.  Once you are in the stripe area, there will be a  water box.  If you do not have slicks, then you should drive around the water box and line your car in the same direction as the track.  Do a short burn out (if you car have enough horsepower to do it) to clean out some small rocks and dirt.  There will be another director instructing how far you need to move up to the laser beam.  Once you put his hand up as a stop gesture, that mean your car is in the pre-stage position (the first set of yellow, side-by-side lights).  If the other party line up as you just did, then the second set of horizontal yellow lights comes on.  Then there will be 3 Yellow/Orange countdown lights with half second intervals.  This is a critical time.  You should leave at the second Yellow/Orange countdown light.  Do not wait until the third yellow light or do not wait for green light.  You will loose lots of time if you wait for those two lights.  However, if you leave too early then you will be disqualify.

Techniques for Lexus Cars:
Most Lexus vehicles are mated with automatic transmission.  These are techniques I use on the Lexus.  I would turn off Over Drive function.  In older Lexus with 4 speed with overdrive off mean 3rd gear.  Once I am in the pre-stage area, I would have my left foot on the brake while my right foot will press the gas pedal until I see 3,000 rpm.  While pressing both pedals and wait for the countdown lights.  Simultaneously release the brake and press the gas pedal once the you see the second countdown light.  Once you gun your gas pedal and you see about 6,300 rpm and switch the overdrive off.  Basically you are shifting from 3rd gear to 4th gear.

Good luck and enjoy yourself.