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Soft Draggin’

A review of Pro Racing's
Drag Sim Software

By Dave Koehler

Jeff figured that because I am the author of the Nitrous Master software and have been tinkering with performance software since floppy disks were actually floppy, that I should do a review of Pro Racing's Drag Sim racing software.

In the pits

Drag Sim, as the title suggests, is software that can simulate your vehicle going down the drag strip. Some old timers might suggest that this virtual draggin’ is folly and the real results come at the track.

Well that's true, but what if you could get a good idea if that gear change someone in the pits recommended would help or hurt your vehicle without spending the money and wasted time? Wouldn't that be worth something? I think it would.

The best way to see what software can do is with an example. When you open the program you see the screen shown in photo 1, with all kinds of options to choose and buttons to click. At first it might appear a bit daunting but don't worry. Punch some buttons. If you make a mistake the program will let you know and you can back out of the error. The software includes an excellent manual that's written in racer speak so there's no excuse not to read it.

Click on image to enlargeOn the right side you'll see a graph displaying the run down the track. Also on the right side of the screen are two other accessible tab areas-- the run table which has the vehicle ET and performance, track incremental times and the engine power curve over the distance covered, and the Pro Data which breaks down the whole run piece by piece. I will show you these later when I have finished modeling a car.

On the left side of the screen you will see all the different areas of a drag car you need to address. You can change most anything, including the engine power curve. I chose to build a good old street/strop Camaro.

Click on image to enlargeThe Car

The first step is to click on the area next to the word Vehicle. Click on the down arrow to get to a dropdown list and choose the Camaro. This will autofill the blanks about weight, wheelbase, etc.

Click on image to enlargeThe Engine

Step 2 is to choose an engine. I went for a 454 street engine. I figured I would just pretend this is a street car that might see some drag strip action from time to time.
You will see in the engine section a button called HP Curve. This opens up another screen that you can use to input a full dyno HP curve, or just to change the basic settings to more closely match what you have.

Click on image to enlargeThe Trans

Step 3 is choosing the transmission, which is a no-brainer. I chose the Turbo 400. The program will allow you to put in any type of clutch, torque converter stall, manual or automatic with any gear ratios you desire. These choices are helpful if you have a ProStock type transmission in your daily driver. Don’t laugh. Someone out there probably does this very thing. In this same section you will be choosing your rear gear ratio. In this case I chose a 4.11:1.


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