Drag Racing Online: The Magazine

Volume VIII, Issue 10, Page


Do the stats get better as the season goes along?

Does a driver's qualifying position, elapsed time, mph, and reaction get better as the season progresses? I've wondered about this and maybe you have too. I graphed out the points leaders after Reading: Doug Kalitta, John Force, Jason Line, and Antron Brown.

Two of the stats you would think would be non-track and non-seasonal.  I would postulate that a team would improve (or at least not worsen) their qualifying position as the season goes along; the same for reaction times. It would seem that they would get better as the season progresses. Of course, theoretically, the reaction times at a track/event should be static in relation to other tracks...that technically isn't true.  

Roll-out seems to be different at each track, meaning the distance from the staging beams to the reaction time beams is off minutely from track to track. Hey, the earth moves, the tracks are built by humans, etc. I am just saying there may be valid reasons why this happens.

The other two stats that are track and season dependent are elapsed time and mph. As the NHRA tour heads to summer and Denver the trend is down for both elapsed times and mph. However, as the tour hits Reading and Dallas, the trend should be back up.

Keep the afore-mentioned in mind when looking at these stats. The blue zig-zag line on the charts are the actual stats and the black line is the trend line. The stats and charts are arranged so that the trend lines should point up...meaning getting better.

Click to enlarge stats

The charts pretty much speak for themselves. Doug Kalitta trends down slightly in all categories except for qualifying position. John Force trends down in all categories except reaction time...interesting huh?  Jason Line proves that the trend is your friend (just like the stock market). He trends up in every category. Antron Brown is pretty much static in elapsed time, up-trends slightly in reaction time.

What is the conclusion? Jason Line proved what I thought would be true in all the classes...up-trends in all stats. But one out of three is not a theory proved. What really matters is how the number one driver does in comparison to all of the other drivers. Also what matters in drag racing is luck: out pedaling the other guy, redlights, holeshots, crews, crew chiefs, tires, parts, and the list goes on. As the old saying goes, “That’s drag racing,” and that is why we like it!

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