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Battery Wars: If you race,
you have endured. . .

By Jok Nicholson

The constant noise and endless time spent dragging battery chargers around to keep your battery ready for the next round of competition. I decided to call as many experts as I could locate and see if all this work is really needed. We have all heard different stories on batteries, battery chargers, alternators and so forth. With the high demand for steady voltage now required by every type of drag car batteries are the heart and soul of where it all begins and sometimes ENDS!

We all know how important batteries are (especially if ours just went dead and the car wouldn't start before your first final round!) but do we know what we are buying and are we preparing it correctly. One of the experts I talked to was Chuck Anderika from East Coast Auto Electric and he made a statement that is as true as it gets, "It's useless to come prepared to race and not be prepared to win". This could be one of the best quotes that just about covers every aspect of racing. I don't care if it is the engine, the chassis, the tires, the fuel system, the support equipment or any other thing you use at the track. Prepare it to win and not just show up and the results will astound you.

My panel of experts are:

1. Tom Baker, Battery Service Corporation, Bensenville, IL, (630) 595-4244, , email:

2. Chuck Anderika, East Coast Auto Electric, Duryea, PA, (570) 457-0553

3. Jeff Turk or Brian, Turbo Start Racing Batteries, New Castle, PA, (800) 521-8600

I did call some other companies but they did not respond. For that reason, if you have a battery question or problem I recommend you call one of the companies that thought enough of our readers to answer my questions.

I asked all the companies the same questions. Some subjects they all agreed on and others they have their own opinions and reasons. I will do my best to give you their ideas and reasons and then you can decide for yourself.


Battery Experts: There are two basic types of batteries considered good for drag racers:

1. Sealed Valve Regulated Batteries or AGM (Absorbed Glass Mat) batteries. The Absorbed Electrolyte battery has only enough electrolyte added at the factory to soak the separators. Therefore, it is non-spillable by virtue of the fact all the electrolyte is trapped in the sponge like separator material. There is no "free" electrolyte to spill if these batteries are tipped over or punctured. Advantages of this type of battery are they can be operated in any position and are 100 percent maintenance free. Some examples of these batteries include the Optima, Odyssey, Pro-Volt and Holley's Annihilator.



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