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How to Calculate the G Forces in NHRA Drag Racing

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How to Calculate the G Forces in NHRA Drag Racing


In the sport of professional drag racing gravity takes on an entirely different meaning while accelerating these monsters down the track at speeds in excess of 330 miles per hour. The force exerted on the driver is known as G force. In this short journey down the track, the formula to calculate the forces exerted on the driver will be demonstrated. Next the forces exerted on the driver in the individual classes of cars. Then at the end of the quarter mile G force rears its ugly head again when the parachute is deployed to bring the monsters from their maximum speeds to a stop. In the end does this have an effect on the human body?

To calculate the average acceleration will be derived by converting miles per hour into meters per second. To do this, divide the miles per hour by .6. This will give kilometers per hour. Then multiply that by 1000. This will give meters per hour. This gives meters per hour, to convert this to meters per second divide meters per hour by 3600. At this point divide by the time of the run, this is the average acceleration. Next it is known that gravity makes things fall at a speed of 10 meters per second. Take the average acceleration divided by the time to complete the run and divide this total by 10 meters per second and this gives a number that represents a multiple of gravitational force exerted on the masses involved in the acceleration. This number is a multiple of the normal gravitational force exerted on everything on earth.

If the racer weighs 190 pounds and experiences 2.5 G’s their body would feel as if it weighed 475 pounds. This causes a big strain on the body. The exact physical response on the human is not exactly known because studys on pilots show that some can become accustomed to a little higher G force as when they first started the study. Over all it showed that a human would loose consciousness between 8 and 9 G’s. the space shuttle launches at about 3 G’s. Modern fighter jets pulling out of a hard dive can experience about 8 G’s. Under this kind force the blood pools in, usually the wrong, parts of the body. However, the human body can withstand high G’s for very brief periods of time. For instance the body can see 100 G’s for a fraction of a second.

In NHRA drag racing there are many classes of cars, in this essay the fastest six classes will be depicted here. The classes are as follows slowest to fastest; pro stock bikes, pro stock cars, top alcohol funny cars, top alcohol dragsters, top fuel funny cars, top fuel dragsters. The first will be pro stock bikes. Angel Savoie holds the current record of 194 miles per hour in 7.04 seconds. After calculating average speed with the formula previously discussed divide that by 10 meters per second and this gives a G force exerted on her of 1.28 G’s. This would make her feel like she weighed 153.6 pounds if her weight was 120 pounds. The next class is pro stock cars. The current record holder is Warren Johnson with a top speed of 205 miles per hour in a time of 6.07 seconds calculated out the G’s exerted is 1.41 G’s. Top alcohol funny cars are the next in line. The record holder Tony Bartone with a speed of 260.46 miles per hour in 5.549 seconds @2.22 G’s. top alcohol dragsters record holder Anthony Bartone with a speed of 277.94 miles per hour in 5.227 seconds @ 2.46 G’s. When nitro is added to the fuel things get crazy. The speeds and everything involved are greatly increased. Top fuel funny car record holder John Force ( his real name) has the record of 326.87 miles per hour in 4.731 seconds @ 3.19 G’s. this is more G’s than the space shuttle launching and even more G’s than a jet taking off an aircraft carrier. That brings us to the big dogs of the NHRA circuit the top fuel dragsters. The record holder Kenny Bernstein had a run of 332.75 miles per hour in 4.477 seconds @ 3.22 G’s

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