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Discussion Starter #1
I've been to the drag strip and seen where classes are divided into "Box" or "No Box". Can someone tell me how the box helps drivers launch with an advantage? I don't doubt that they work else there would be no reason to make the two classes for drag racing. I know it's a timer that allows you to set in a "delay". What I don't get is how does the driver use this delay to his advantage? Help please.
 

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it's a Delay Box... If you have a trans. brake you hit the Delay box and nail the apply the throttle, the box actually has a timer and deactivates the trans brake after the designated time.
Not using one requires the driver to manually disengage the trans brake at the tree.

Using the box you can cut a perfect light every time a lot easier. Very important for bracket racing.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Frank I appreciate you trying to explain how it works but something is missing here. Actually I already suspected that's what was happening but what I don't get is how starting a timer helps you start the car on time. It seems to me that starting the timer requires the same accuracy as releasing the button on the trans-brake. Like if you start the timer 0.1 seconds late doesn't that make the timer 0.1 seconds late also? How does the timer correct for your error?
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
As I was writing my second post above I think I have the answer to my question. Somebody tell me if I'm wrong. Using the "Box" will not guarantee a perfect light every time. I believe what is happening is the timer is variable. Let's say the tree is 0.4 seconds between lights counting down. So the first yellow lights and it's a "heads up" to get ready to activate the timer. So with 2 yellows and a greeen to go, you have 0.4 seconds to prepare to activate the timer. On the second yellow you activate the timer and there is 0.8 seconds to go to green. If you hit the second yellow light perfectly and your timer is set for 0.8 seconds then you start exactly at the right time (assuming zero roll out). So what is needed is practicing until you figure out your actual delay between wanting to go and actually crossing the starting line (roll out). Let's say your reaction time plus roll-out is 0.3 seconds. That would make you 0.3 seconds late. So you would set your timer for 0.5 seconds delay. The advantage is once you figure out your maximum reaction time you can set the timer to compensate for it. Many people try to just leave on the last yellow light and that can be pretty good if your reaction time is 0.4 seconds. But for people whose reaction time is like 0.28 seconds they have to guess on how to wait the extra 0.12 seconds to get the 0.4 seconds needed after the last yellow. So in that case the timer would be set to 0.68 seconds or slightly more to allow for margin of error. Did I get that right?

Warning ! If you don't understand this you are probably not a genius. :)
 

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The advantage of a "box" is to be able to react more consistently to the first yellow on the tree & adjusting the delay in the box rather than moving your spot on the tree, moving the car on the starting line, changing launch rpm, etc (which all effect ET).
Taking into consideration your reaction to the tree, the time in the delay box, the reaction of car when delay box releases trans brake, rollout of the tires through the lights, you can add or subtract thousandths of a second to the box.
Lets say I have 1.000 second delay in the delay. I believe when I let go of the trans brake button that I was spot on when I should have let go of said button but the light went red. I get my time slip & it says I was -.018 too quick. You would think then I would add .018 to make it perfect but in my opinion I would add .023 trying to leave a few thou cushion.
That is if everything happened perfectly.
Hope this helped.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
You can certainly do it that way if you want but in my opinion you are defeating the advantage the box offers. The real advantage the box offers is letting you use the yellow light as a warning light to get ready for the next yellow. The difference of course is it's easier to anticipate the following yellow light than trying to react to the first yellow light. By trying to react to the first yellow light you are essentially trying to launch on a "pro tree" system. The whole advantage comes from getting ready to release the launch button exactly when the next yellow light is lit.
With a pro tree you must react instantly and consistently. When using the second (or even 3rd) yellow light to react it's easier to predict when it will light and you are trying to release exactly when it lights. You will be more consistent when releasing "on" the light rather than trying to react to the first light like with a pro tree.
If I had the box I would probably even release on the 3rd yellow light because you can learn a rhythm to the 0.4 seconds.
 

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That is the problem, the word "predict".
When you predict or anticipate the light you will be inconsistent or red a bunch.
Walk around the pits & find someone with a practice tree & try your theory. Most racers are more than happy to show you how its done. Most delay boxes have practice trees built into them.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
You need to think about this a minute. Why do you think beginners want to use the full tree instead of the pro tree? Simply because it's easier to anticipate the final yellow than to launch at the instant you see a yellow. It almost puts beginners on an even plane with the pros. Anticipating the next light is much easier than reacting to the first light you see.
I have a practice tree on my cell phone. I am much more consistent with the full tree than with the pro tree.
 

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I guess I'm not good @ explaining this.
All I can say is go to the track & ask the drivers that are using them & I promise you 99% of them will say they go off the top bulb.
Thats where the term "top bulb racers" comes from.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Well there's nothing wrong with your explanation. I'm just guessing and you know what you are talking about. My logic still tells me I would do it my way. Hopefully I would learn to do it right sooner or later. :) The one advantage I can see doing it your way is it allows the driver more time to prepare for the launch after releasing the timer.
Thanks for the lesson.
 

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series60 is 100% correct. For 99% of racers it is much more consistent to react to the tree than anticipate. When you have a delay box you launch off top bulb and let the box do the work. Let go of the button and hold on. No one using a box goes off of the second or third bulb. Forces the racer to react to the flash and removes the distraction of the bulb coming down. Delay box and cross talk lets the quicker car go off the opponents top bulb. Not only removes the distraction of the tree coming down but removes the distraction of the opponents tree. You enter your delay, your RT and your opponents. Allows you to go off you opponents top bulb and allows you to abort and then take a second shot on the tree off your top bulb. Yes an advantage.

Why do you think beginners want to use the full tree instead of the pro tree? Because they are clueless and are eaten by the sharks.

Easier to anticipate than react? I will give you two examples.
We hit the tree and were .10 red. What would do? Try to relax and put in your head don't go red? That will result in a red or a 100+ light. I drop the launch RPM by 100-200 and just hit my spot. Which is easier and more executable?

Second example. We hit the tree and were .040. Your method is to perhaps slap your face or down a red bull prior the the round to go .0XX I either raise the rear tire pressure 1-2 lbs or raise the launch RPM 200-400 and just hit my spot on the tree.

It's much easier to react to the tree and adjust the car than keep the car the same and adjust the driver.

I always react to the tree, pro 500 or sportsman weather I'm using a box., trans brake, foot brake, deep stage, top, middle, or bottom bulb or a combo of the tools.

In a street 2015 392 Challenger, foot brake, off idle , second amber. REACT to the tree.
In a 12.00/ 11.50 Firebired bracket car. foot brake at 1800rmp,deep stageed, off third amber on a sportsman or flash on a pro 500, REACT to the tree.
In a 9.50 Corvette, foot break at 1800 RPM deep staged on the 3rd amber. REACT to the tree.
Same car off the trans brake, shallow at 3000RPM and again REACT to the tee.

JimRam2, I know you are retired and doing this for fun but I really suggest you find a good bracket racing school to confirm my post here. Most of the folks have no clue on how to hit the tree. A little education will give you a huge advantage.

Good luck with your bracket racing.

series60, for the most part set up for a .020 light. If I have a hitter and feel I need to I set up for a .00x, Likewise if I have a "fodder" I set up for a ,040. I hold a lot and always have the ability to scrub an drop down to dead on,
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Where you been? :grin2: That's the kind of info I was looking for when I started this post. :thanks:
It's obvious I was just curious and completely ignorant about the box but after writing the first post I decided I can figure this thing out myself. Guess my theory was all wrong.
By the way, yes us beginners are clueless and get eaten by the sharks but once in a while we get a win and it's fun.
Thanks again.
 

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I've been on vacation. I officially retired as of July and work 3 days a week with weekends off. I now have the time to get back to racing. I finally got back to the track after more than 2 years off and more than 3 1/2 years since I was in the 'vette. I am very lucky to be able to race again.

We are all learning stuff as bracket racing is very difficult. There is always new things to learn. I am blessed to have a great instructor and was on the phone with him for almost and hour doing post race analyst of my first time back in the saddle. I gave away the farm in the semi finals and want to improve.
 

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just applying a little computer logic here... wouldn't it be more accurate to "tap" a button with every yellow light and allow a computer to calculate an average .4 to the tapped ambers. that way the computer can throw out any taps that are way off and still calculate a .4 delay between each light? versus a single button release.

JUST FYI - not a racer...
 

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just applying a little computer logic here... wouldn't it be more accurate to "tap" a button with every yellow light and allow a computer to calculate an average .4 to the tapped ambers. that way the computer can throw out any taps that are way off and still calculate a .4 delay between each light? versus a single button release.

JUST FYI - not a racer...
On a sportsman 500 or pro 500 tree the increments are .500. Someplaces have a pro 400 which is a .400 increment.

The auto start drops the tree at a random intervals .000 to .2 and depends on the track. If deep is honored auto start is disabled and the starter holds the tree then manually drops the tree at different intervals.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Kazman congrats on your recent retirement. :cheers: My retirement anniversary is in October (20 years). It's great you are back to having fun racing again. :thumbsup:
 
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