Drag Racing the 350z

Who drag races an automatic? Who drag races a car made for the twisties?

Is it wrong? Not to me!

I drove the hell out of her on the track and the street (legally, I mean).

The Z, as she was always called, was my first car love. I had owned several cars before The Z, but she was the first I loved. I was passionate about her. Ask me a question, I had an answer! And a smile. And always something else to say other than what you asked.

I owned an ’04 Nissan 350Z in Daytona Blue with a 5AT.

It sounds sac religious to some, but I don’t know how to drive a manual transmission. I don’t really want to learn either. Don’t hate.

The best part about an automatic on the drag strip – no missed shifts!!!
The triptronic transmission allowed to manually shift when I wanted. See, she was the best of both worlds.

There was a lot of work done on the car. Supercharger. Exhaust. Valve body. Plenum spacer. Pulley. Maybe a few other things.

She looked stock but sounded much much better. The whir of the centrifugal supercharger, the tiny chirp of the belt slip on start up, the exotic sound of the aftermarket exhaust — heaven on earth.

The excitement of a package being delivered to the porch that contained a present for the car is unmatched.

The selling of old parts (which in our case were gently used, hardly ever old) for new, the research into which parts to buy and from who – all aspects I miss from my previous life.

She was a thing of beauty. She was a sparkling Daytona Blue in the sun light. She was a “perfect for me” machine.

I loved being first at a red light on the street. I wasn’t racing anyone except myself. I loved the pull of the engine; the thrust of my torso being pushed into the seat. The adrenaline rush that came with every green on a stop light and drag strip Christmas Tree.

Do you pay attention to where the nose of your car is, at an intersection? A stop sign or stop light has some markings on the ground. Do you know where your tires are compared to that line? That is the vital staging requirement of drag racing. Lining up correctly with your opponent – staging – is the beginning of the thrill ride.

Sure you try to make racing all about you, but it is really about beating “the other guy” (gender neutral bc I wanted to best everyone).

Staging correctly is respectful to yourself and others. Staging in a timely fashion is expected and needed to keep the track night running smooth. Messing up staging will get you harassed by the track crew and disrespected by opponents. Do we all make mistakes when we are new? Sure. But after your first night at the track, don’t do it again.

Are my windows rolled up? Is my AC off in August heat in the midwest? Is my helmet on? Is my manual shifting engaged? Am I sweating like a pig in my fire jacket? Perfect. When I answer Yes to all, I am ready to race!!

The red lights pop on. The heart rate quickens. How is that possible? It is already beating out of my chest!! The yellow light brightens. Your foot slides from brake to gas pedal on second yellow. You pray to the car gods that you get a perfect launch reaction time of 0.00. Negative and you lost the race before it began.

You slam the gas pedal to the floor, keep the wheel straight, and try to remember to breathe.

When it is over. You gasp for air because you haven’t been breathing. Roll down the windows. Pick up your racing slip from the time keeper.

Now the big decision needs to be made.

Park the car near the bathroom and take a highly pressurized per break or get back in line to race again??

2 thoughts on “Drag Racing the 350z

    1. Thanks, Steve!! What did I miss that you would like to know more about? Does something need a more detailed description? Do you want to hear about the time I got stuck in the snow with my drag radials on instead of the snow tires that were sitting in my garage?! Bwahhahahhahaa!!!

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