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A racer looking to match a Mopar® drag car against an elite NHRA Sportsman in competition has at least one thing in common with a street-legal driver — both are required to obtain certification before taking the wheel. Here are the steps needed to secure an NHRA competition license.
This test won’t be at your DMV. While strapped in the cockpit, racers are blindfolded and must shut off their car to prove they can control the machine even with obscured vision.
Drivers must make a half pass (stage, launch and a short pass), three moderate runs with increased speed and distance, and two full runs. Original time slips must be provided and passes must be single runs.
Two licensed drivers from the racer’s competition class must witness the tests and sign the license. The reasoning: those who drive are best qualified to judge who’s ready to run.\
BILL OF HEALTH
Racers must receive a complete physical to make sure they can handle the g-forces and negative g-forces behind the wheel.
It’s simple for a Sportsman to upgrade to a Pro license. Only one moderate pass and two full passes are required. “You can get it done in a day, which is what’s so awesome,” says aspiring Top Fuel racer Ashley Sanford.
Racers are charged a license fee, must be an NHRA member and must compete at least once every two years in their class to maintain a valid license.