Announcement

Chad Finley is back and “super happy” to be part of the Strutmasters team

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Chad Finley returned to action at the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series after nearly seven weeks away from racing. Finley finished 15th at the North Carolina Education Lottery 200 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Before the race, Finley expressed his eagerness to get on the track.

“It feels like forever since I’ve been back in the Truck Series,” said Finley. “So I’m eager to get to the track this week and get down to business,”

Finley secures crucial marketing partnerships

After securing a number of marketing partners, the Michigan native has taken the wheel of the Chad Finley Racing (CFR) team’s No. 42 Chevrolet Silverado. The North Carolina Education Lottery 200 was his second race of the season.

Finley credited his sponsors for making everything possible.

“I’m super happy to have the support of Strutmasters.com, Air Lift Company and Auto Value Certified Service Centers a part of my Charlotte debut.”

Right at home in Charlotte

Charlotte was an ideal location for Finley to make his return. Charlotte Motor Speedway is just a quick 45-minute drive from the Chad Finley Racing team headquarters in Mooresville, NC. The race presented a solid opportunity for Finley & Co. to get back in the water.

“Everyone wants to run well at Charlotte, including us,” added Finley. “It’s important race because it’s in the backyard of where a lot of the teams are based, and the race certainly draws a lot of attention for those reasons. But for us, we want to draw attention for ourselves this weekend with our on-track performance and not necessarily where we come from.”

Finley made sure to credit his crew’s role in readying the truck for the upcoming races.

“Bruce and the guys have worked methodically on our No. 42 Strutmasters.com | Air Lift Company | Auto Value Certified Service Centers Chevrolet Silverado to make sure we can go out there and be competitive. A top-10 run would certainly feel like a victory for us and give us some much-needed momentum into the summer.”

Shortened season for the best

Chad Finley is the son of former NASCAR driver and ARCA winner Jeff Finley. The elder Finley now serves as team principal.

Although outside circumstances caused the team to adjust their expectations for the Truck Series this season, Jeff Finley said that the decision to skip some events was for the best.

“We’ve could have gone out and run every race this season,” explained the elder Finley. “But it would not have been up to the standard we set forth every time we leave the shop and head to the race track.”

“Chad Finley Racing prides itself on putting competitive equipment with an opportunity to run up front,” he continued. “Now, that we’re able to pick and choose our races and we’re confident in our capabilities and look forward to the chance to showcase that not only at Charlotte but in future races no matter who is behind the wheel.”

A whole host of new sponsors

The team was able to secure primary marketing partnerships with Auto Value Certified Service Centers, Air Lift Company and Strutmasters.com for the race.

Strutmasters has been an industry leader in suspension parts and air to non-air suspension conversion kits since 1999. The company has recently been aggressively expanding its racing partnership portfolio.
Finley’s team also earned support from Northsidetowing.net and XLT Engineering as well for the race in Charlotte.

After a top 15 finish, it would appear that Chad Finley is back and ready for more action.

Look: Carolina Collector Auto Fest Gallery

By all accounts the 2019 Spring Carolina Collector Auto Fest was a smash success.

Car owners got to show off their prized automobiles, and some even made a sale. Unlike many car collector shows, the Carolina Collector Auto Fest was not limited to cars of a certain era or type.

Everyone’s Welcome at the Carolina Collector Auto Fest

Everyone was welcome. The result was a vibrant mix of cars and people and a little something for everyone.

Guests from near and far enjoyed browsing an outstanding collection of classic automobiles along with food, music and plenty of fun.

Vendors also had a huge presence at the show, with all sorts of interesting car parts, folk art and brand paraphernalia.

A Great Day for Everyone

All in all, it was a great day for all in attendance. Some folks made some money, others won some prizes. However, nobody walked away with an empty stomach thanks to all the delicious food options on site!

The Strutmasters team is already gearing up for the next one this fall. Stay tuned here to be the first to know any new information!

Check the gallery below to see some of our favorite photos from the Spring 2019 Carolina Collector Auto Fest!

Carolina Collector Auto Fest Gallery

All photos by David C. Straughan for Strutmasters, LLC.

Janette Thornley earns Strutmasters.com sponsorship

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World Championship Pro Fuel rider Janette Thornley spent much of the previous offseason lining up sponsors for her 2019 season. All that work paid off as she announced she would partnering with Strutmasters.com.

Winning Ways

Thornley has been prolific winner in her time in motorcycle racing. Following a three-year streak of championships, Thornley quit her corporate day job. Since then, she has focused full time on racing and has opened her own racing outfit

The Oregon native most recently captured a title in 2017. She won both the American Drag Racing League Pro Fuel Championships and the American Motorcycle Racing Association. Thornley won the NHRA Harley-Davidson Drag Racing Series Pro Fuel Championships in 2015 and 2016.

Why Strutmasters?

Thornley is part of Strutmasters’ growing portfolio of sponsored drivers. The North Carolina-based suspension replacement company has backed several high-profile drivers, like the NHRA’s Clay Millican and Johnny Pluchino. Company founder Chip Lofton took an interest in Thornley when he saw her compete in Gainesville.

“I saw something in Janette the day I met her in Gainesville,” said Lofton. “We have the same values and passions; chasing dreams, so I believe we have an exciting future together!”

The excitement has been mutual between the two. Thornley expressed her enthusiasm in a recent interview.

“I am honored to be selected by Chip Lofton of Strutmasters.com to represent his company through our racing program,” Janette said. “With my love for motorcycling, Chip’s love for racing, and our North Carolina base, this couldn’t be a better fit!”

Looking Ahead

Thornley is set to compete in 11 events during this season in both the AMRA and Manufactures Cup series. Her run starts in Bowling Green, Kentucky and finishes up in Valdosta, Georgia.

The Strutmasters blog will continue to follow Janette as she strives for another trophy to put up on her mantle. You can also follow her on her on her Facebook page.

Janette Thornley Career Highlights

2017 American Motorcycle Racing Association Pro Fuel Champion

2017 American Drag Racing League Pro Fuel Championship

2017 American Motorcycle Racing Association Lady Racer of the Year

2016 NHRA Harley-Davidson Drag Racing Series Pro Fuel Champion

2016 Female Racer Of The Year By Horse Power & Heels

2015 NHRA Harley-Davidson Drag Racing Series Pro Fuel Champion

5 Things You Can Expect at the Carolina Collector Auto Fest

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It’s finally here! The Carolina Collector Auto Fest is on this Saturday, May 18th in Roxboro, NC!

The event is set to be one of the largest gatherings of classic autos in the Carolinas this Spring. Under new management and in a new location, this year’s CCAF is set to be one of the best yet.

Let’s take a look at what you can expect when you visit the Carolina Collector Auto Fest:

Amazing Classic Autos

Let’s get the big one out of the way. This is what it’s all about.

The Carolina Classic Auto Fest is one of the best chances in the Southeast to see a bunch of incredibly beautiful and rare classic automobiles under one roof. The event features everything from road-run race cars like Dale Earnhardt Jr’s #88 Chevy to classics from every decade.

New to this year is the addition of newer (since 1990) cars as well as trucks and motorcycles!

Whether you’re looking to buy something or simply just looking, you’ll enjoy a rare chance to see some of the most beautiful machines ever produced.

Great Prizes (For Guests Too!)



With so many entries into the Auto Fest, there are lots of prizes to be given away.

There are 17 trophies to be given away in various categories. This year, participants will be divided into vehicles made after 1990, known as “New Kids on the Block” and “Classics,” vehicles produced before 1989.

Cash prizes will also be given away to participants. People with indoor spaces have the chance to win $1000. Participants with outdoor spaces can win $500.

Strutmasters founder and owner Chip Lofton will be on site to present the “Chip’s Choice” award to his personal favorite entry.

There are also tons of door prizes and giveaways that guests can win just for showing up! No entry into the Carolina Collector Auto Fest itself is required.

Great Food

Of course, it wouldn’t be a true festive event without great food to eat!

Fortunately, these days great food isn’t that hard to come by. The Carolina Collector Auto Fest will feature a variety of food vendors, so there’s sure to be something for everyone!

Fun for the Whole Family

The latest weather forecast shows a warm and mostly sunny day for Roxboro this Saturday. What better way to get out and enjoy it than to bring the family out for a day of classic cars, food and good times?

To go along with the classic cars, The Carolina Collector Auto Fest will also have classic music playing all day! Relive some of your favorites from “back in the day” while perusing fine automobiles with your friends and family.

You may also run into a few famous faces. Lou Santiago, the co-host of television’s CARFIX program, will be on site to present the award to the highest scoring Custom or Rat Rod. With Strutmasters becoming a household name in the world of racing, you never know who you might see!

Free Entry for Guests

In the past, the cost of a ticket might have given some people pause. This year, the Carolina Collector Auto fest has gone all in and made tickets free to guests!

When you arrive at 455 Lucy Garrett Rd in Roxboro, just walk right in! No need to buy tickets in advance or once you get there.

Free tickets means more cash to spend on food and fun!

The Carolina Collector Auto Fest will begin at 8 AM on Saturday, May 18th. Entry is free for guests. Visit the CCAF Facebook page for more information.

Acura MDX Owners: Replace Your Entire Suspension For Under $800

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The Acura MDX is one of the Japanese luxury automaker’s most popular vehicles. In fact, according to parent company Honda, the “Multi-Dimensional Crossover” is the best-selling three-row crossover of all time.

The MDX carved a unique niche in the crowded crossover SUV market. It was the first crossover to feature third-row seating. Although it is Acura’s most expensive SUV, the price tag has not deterred buyers searching for a unique combination of luxury, space and performance.

However, many MDX owners are finding that with time, the car’s active suspension system loses its ability to keep the car at the proper ride height. Owners report experiencing a bumpy ride, a sagging rear end of the vehicle, electronic malfunctions and more.

Let’s take a look at why these active suspensions have such a high rate of failure.

Why the MDX suspension fails

The Acura MDX features innovative suspension technology that was new at the time. The suspension in your MDX (models with the Sport package) uses electromagnetically-controlled ferrofluids to dampen the pressure of the car meeting the road.

In other words, it uses a viscous fluid that can be controlled by a computer to respond to changes in the road and driving. While this technology shows tremendous promise and provides a unique adaptive ride, like any new technology it has its kinks to work out.

Performance-wise, there isn’t much to complain about. The magnetorheological shock absorber was developed by Honda and Beijing West.

Ferrofluids are a non-Newtonian liquid, meaning they defy some of the laws of physics typically regulating liquids. They have a unique ability to change their molecular shape almost instantly. Scientists and engineers are finding all sorts of cool things to do with them, like make them dance:



This same ability allows a computer to take a reading from a height sensor and instantly adjust the shape and viscosity of the fluid. It does this with the help of a control module.

While the science is very sound, this is still new. As we learned with air suspensions, new technology gets refined as it gets established. The biggest issue with these suspensions is durability.

Do I need to replace my MDX suspension?

Due to their complex nature, use of fluids and moving parts, the lifespan of these suspensions is limited. They are almost guaranteed to wear out at some point. This will happen one component at a time.

Even if you don’t scoff at the nearly $1,000 price tag of an electronic strut replacement, you will eventually be replacing all of them. Other components, like the control module and height sensors, can also be costly to buy and install.  

From an ownership standpoint, it makes sense to replace everything at once. Knowing that everything is eventually going to wear out, it’s better to get it all done while you’ve got it on the shop floor.

If you notice any of the following symptoms, it’s probably time to consider replacing the suspension.

  • Your MDX takes too long to stop (but brakes are fine)
  • Overly noisy compressor
  • Fails the “bounce test”
  • Rear end sags down when car is stopped
  • Unable to maintain proper ride height
  • Leans or tilts to one side

But is replacing your OEM suspension the only option? Thanks to Strutmasters, the answer is a resounding NO!

A simple alternative

Rather than shell out thousands for a replacement suspension, consider just ending the problem altogether. Instead of a complex and costly electronic system, you can just replace the entire thing with a robust and dependable coil suspension.

At just $999, you can replace all four wheels of your MDX and kill the suspension warning light with this kit from Strutmasters. That’s more or less what it would cost to replace just one of your electronic struts!

Our engineering team has designed this kit to be simple and easy for anyone to install at home. With a proper jack and some tools you probably already have at home you can replace all four wheels in an afternoon. You don’t even need to worry about costly labor fees at the shop.

These struts have been tirelessly engineered to give you and your passengers the perfect ride. Strutmasters’ patented Glide Ride technology will have your MDX feeling brand new again.

Backed by a Limited Lifetime Warranty, we guarantee this new suspension will last as long as your MDX is on the road. That means once you install it, you’ll never have to spend your hard-earned money on your MDX suspension again.


Once you’re ready to convert, give our Suspension Experts a call at (866) 985-0387. They’ll make sure you get exactly what you need and have you riding high once again!

Consistent Clay Millican Moves Into Third Place Overall

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Clay Millican has yet to win an event overall in the 2019 season. However, heading into the Arby’s Southern Nationals he is right where he needs to be.

After a few very close calls, Millican is without a win on the season but is sitting in third place. The Drummonds, Tennessee native is just 66 points behind leader Steve Torrence. Only 34 points separate him and second-place Doug Kalitta.

Before the season there were questions about how Millican and his crew would adjust to the offseason shift. It appears those questions have been put to rest.

The Significance of Third Place

At third place, Millican is back where he finished last season, his best yet in the NHRA. With a building buzz around the driver of Parts Plus/Strutmasters.com dragster, that could be significant.

Millican outwardly recognized that the team’s third place finish last season was a stepping stone towards the ultimate prize. After early-season adjustments, Millican looks to be picking up right where he left off.

Sitting in third place with his team on a clear upward trajectory, Millican is brimming with his usual blend of sunny optimism and steely competitive confidence.

“We just have to maintain consistency going down the track,” Millican said. “If we do that, we’ll turn win lights on. If we can maintain consistency, that consistency will get us wins.”

Finding a winning formula

Millican and new crew chief Mike Kloeber are hoping to revive the winning ways of their IHRA days. It hasn’t taken long for the pair to start putting together some great runs.

“Mike was able to get a handle on what the car wants and needs,” said Millican. “That let us know as a group we can be thrown into the fire and get it done. They got through the fire together and it gives us confidence we can do this as a group.”

Kloeber is quickly learning the ins and outs of the more-than 10,000 HP dragster. The team struggled a bit early on. Millican placed 10th and 11th in the first two races of the season and was sitting outside the top 10 overall.

Since then, the team has been surging. There was the nail-biter of a finish in Gainesville. The top 5 finish in Houston. With every close finish, the confidence of the team grows.

Looking forward to Atlanta

Heading into the weekend, Millican and Co. will look to solidify their place at the top of the leaderboard. As they search for their first win of the season, expect Millican to kick everything into high gear.
It was at this point in the 2018 season that things started to pick up for Clay. If the team wants to prove to the NHRA world that they are serious contenders for the 2019 championship, a win would go a long way towards accomplishing that goal.

With periodic rain predicted throughout the weekend, Millican and Kloeber’s experience should pay off. However, in one of the most exciting NHRA Top Fuel seasons yet, anything can happen.

Make sure to watch Millican and others like Brittany Force, Antron Brown and Leah Pritchett at the Arby’s Southern Nationals. Check the TV schedule here to find all of the live broadcasts!  

Why Ford Expedition Air Suspensions Fail and How to Fix Them

strutmasters-ford-expedition

Since its debut in 1997 the Ford Expedition has been one of the world’s most popular full-size SUVs. Already one of the largest in its class, the EL series extended the cargo space by an additional 24 cubic feet. It accomplished this by extending the wheelbase by an additional 12 inches.

These vehicles sported advanced stability controls, a plush interior and a number of other features that made it one of the more comfortable cars on the road. One such feature is the Expedition’s air suspension.

In good condition, this air suspension worked like a charm. The Ford Expeditions of the late 00s and early 10s were celebrated for their responsive and comfortable air suspension systems. However, the lifespan of these systems has proven to be an issue.

For starters, like all air suspensions, the lifespan of the Ford Expedition is limited. It is guaranteed to fail at some point.

Let’s explore some of the reasons why these Ford Expedition air suspensions fail as often as they do:

The Ford Expedition is a big vehicle


This will surprise absolutely no one. The Ford Expedition is a huge car. That’s probably part of the reason you bought it.

While a car as big as the Expedition is very useful to hauling people and things, all that extra size means extra weight. The component charged with carrying all that weight is the air suspension.

Weighing in at just under 6,000 pounds, just keeping the Expedition off the ground is a monumental task. Add to that a few people and cargo and you are really asking a lot of your suspension to begin with.

The OEM air suspension in your car supports all this weight by using rubber air bags attached to the struts as opposed to mechanical coils. This flexible rubber is prone to being punctured, torn or simply just rotting out over time.

Expect the original suspension on your Expedition to work great until there are signs of trouble. Once those begin, there are a lot more on the way.

Parts that don’t last



While cars are typically built to last, there are several types of components that just don’t hold up over time.

One of these types is a moving part. Parts that move will rub against other surfaces or itself. This will eventually cause wear and tear and over time, degrade the component. This is true of almost any part that moves in your car, whether it’s a 360-degree full range of motion or simply just small vibrations over time.

Another type of component that is almost guaranteed to need service or replacement at some point is an electronic component.

If you own a computer or even just a smartphone you know how quickly technology changes. The computers of today will look like relics in three years. So imagine how outdated the tiny computers in an older vehicle must be.

In addition, electronic components have lots of tiny and fine connections that can slip or weather and wear down easily.

The third type of component that will wear out at some point is a component made of flexible materials. An example of this is the airbag.

The airbags in your Expedition are made of a rubber that, while durable, is prone to drying out and cracking. This is especially true if you live in an area that gets very cold or experiences drastic temperature shifts.

Unfortunately, the air suspension system in your Expedition features all three of these types of components. This practically ensures eventual failure.

Air suspensions are complicated and interconnected

Can you name all the components that make up your Expedition air suspension? If not, don’t worry. You’re not alone.

Air suspensions basically work like this:

A ride height sensor installed at each corner takes a reading of how high the corner is at the wheel. It then sends that information back to the control module. This module is a little computer that determines how much air needs to be pushed into the airbags.

Then, it sends a signal to a compressor to instruct it on how much air to generate and where to send it. Then the compressor switches on and pushes that compressed air through pneumatic tubes into the air bags. The air bags then inflate to suspend the car at the proper height.

It’s a long process. This cycle happens constantly while the car is in motion.

All of those little components need to be working together in perfect harmony for the system to function as intended. As you can guess, the likelihood of any one of them failing at some point is very, very high.

Furthermore, once one component fails, the others will work harder to pick up the slack. This will wear out the rest of the air suspension components even faster.

How to fix your Expedition suspension for good

On top of all of this, perhaps the biggest issue with these air suspensions is cost.

While replacing an airbag or even something major like the compressor might only run a few hundred dollars, your first repair is likely to be followed by more. And soon.

Truthfully, once the repairs start with an air suspension, they don’t really stop. The result is a system that will eventually cost you thousands to replace. On a car that might not have all that much time left overall, that’s not something many people are willing to spend, leaving them in a serious bind.

Fortunately for Expedition owners, there is an alternative to the expensive and complicated air suspension system.  You can replace the rear suspension in your Ford Expedition EL with sturdy, dependable coils for a little more than $300.

These kits replace the complicated air suspension with simple, robust mechanical spring resistance. No computers, no sensors, no compressors, just simple springs.

So simple are they, in fact, that even an amateur mechanic can install them in as little as one hour per wheel. And you can do so with common tools you probably already have at home.

Don’t wait

To learn more about repairing your Ford Expedition suspension or to place an order, call (866) 685-7228, or (336) 915-2095 for Spanish. You’ll be connected with one of our Suspension Experts who will line you up with exactly what you need and answer any questions you may have.

Don’t wait any longer. Fix your Ford Expedition suspension the right way today!

Strutmasters Sponsors Johnny Pluchino in NHRA Debut

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Racer Johnny Pluchino announced on April 22nd that he signed with Strutmasters.com to launch his NHRA Mountain Motor Pro Stock career. The 2018 PDRA Pro Outlaw 632 world champion is the son of 2016 Extreme Pro Stock world champion John Pluchino.

The younger Pluchino will make his Mountain Motor Pro Stock debut at the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals in Bristol, Tennessee. He will also compete at the NHRA New England Nationals in Epping, New Hampshire in July.

“Pro Stock has been something I’ve had my eye on forever,” said Pluchino. “It’s my end goal, It’s what I’ve always wanted to race, It’s what I’ve been around my whole life, It’s what I enjoy the most. Everybody has their Top Fuel, their Funny Car, their Pro Mod – Pro Stock is it for me. It’s what I love.”

Strutmasters’ portfolio keeps growing

Pluchino is the latest addition to the growing portfolio of racers sponsored by Strutmasters, a North Carolina-based suspension part manufacturer.

The driver contacted Strutmasters owner Chip Lofton through Facebook. Lofton had been following the father-son team in their PRDA competition. An emerging sponsor in the world of drag racing, Lofton was happy to offer a two-race deal in the NHRA’s brand-new Mountain Motor Pro Stock exhibition racing series.

“One of the very best things about the NHRA is the unique family atmosphere the sport has,” said Lofton. “Johnny and his father are a great story, with both of them having won world championships in the last few years. It’s a great opportunity to get into a new racing series with a driver that has a big future in front of him.”

Pluchino says thanks

Pluchino expressed gratitude for the sponsorship and for the groundwork laid by his father.

“I’m able to accomplish my dreams because of Strutmasters.com and the program my dad’s put together,” Pluchino said. “Dad’s in the points hunt over in PDRA, so we’re going to leave him in that and I’m going to stick to the points hunt in Pro Outlaw 632. We’re going to be able to go out and put on a show at Bristol and Epping.”

A (not-so) new racing class

The new NHRA Mountain Pro Stock program is a quarter-mile race. It features cars sporting bigger engines than traditional Pro Stock cars. Not only will the class and race be new for NHRA fans, it will be new for Pluchino as well.

Prior to his NHRA debut, Pluchino has only ever made eighth-mile passes in a competitive setting. However, the driver is confident that the innumerable runs he has made in his Pro Outlaw 632 car have prepared him.

“To be completely honest, in a Pro Stock car everything happens in the first half of the run with the gear changes and everything,” said Pluchino. “The rest of it is holding on, getting the ‘chutes out and getting it stopped. I’m not saying that’s not a challenge, because of course it is. Things can go wrong, especially at 225 mph. I’m very aware of that. But I’m definitely excited for this new learning curve.”

Pluchino is a long time fan of racing. Therefore, he is well aware of the rich history that Mountain Motor Pro Stock racing has had in Bristol and Epping.

“There should be a lot of Mountain Motor fans at those races and I’m excited to interact with them,” Pluchino said. “I always have a lot on my mind, a lot that I’ll say, and I’m definitely one to speak my mind.”

The young racer already has accomplished career under his belt. Now withs putting dollars behind him, Pluchino is ready for the spotlight of the NHRA.

“If there’s a camera in front of my face or a fan in front of me,” said Pluchino, “I’ll make sure they know why I’m there and how I got there.”

What Makes Top Fuel Racing So Special? A Look Inside the Cars

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There’s no doubt about it. Top Fuel dragsters are a feat of modern engineering.

After taking off from the starting line, Top Fuel cars hit 100 miles per hour in less than a second. This makes the dragster the fastest accelerating anything on planet earth. Not just cars. It’s faster than anything else.

The engine distributes power to the wheels in just 15/100ths of a second. Literally the blink of an eye.

When they are accelerating, the drivers of Top Fuel dragsters feel G-forces that are comparable to an astronaut launching into space.

These cars are so fast, traditional braking systems do little to slow them down. After crossing the finish line, drivers hit a switch to deploy two parachutes. The wind resistance brings the car to a stop.

Top Fuel dragsters were built to do one thing: travel a short distance in a very, very short amount of time. To do that, they need to be extremely fast.

But what makes these Top Fuel dragsters so unique? Let’s take a look at what makes a Top Fuel car a Top Fuel car.

What makes Top Fuel top fuel?



The name “Top Fuel” doesn’t just sound cool, it refers to the fuel used by the dragsters. Regular old gasoline does not generate the power necessary to propel these cars as fast as they need to go.

For that, you need nitromethane.

Nitromethane is like gasoline that comes with its own oxygen. That means it burns much more easily than gasoline. This has a lot to do with its structure.

While nitromethane produces less energy by weight than gasoline, a cylinder can burn much more of it. This means more power for each stroke of the piston.

A standard gasoline engine needs nearly 15 pounds of air to burn one pound of regular gas. An engine only needs 1.7 pounds of air to burn a pound of nitromethane.That means you can push eight times as much nitromethane into a cylinder as you would be able to with gasoline.

The result, after some pretty complex mathematics, is an engine that triples its power. This is just due to the different types of fuel.

It may seem a little counterintuitive, but nitromethane actually burns a little slower than gasoline. Therefore, the engine of a Top Fuel dragster pushes burning fuel into the exhaust pipe. That’s why you’ll see flames coming out of the back of dragsters!

A seismic force



Anything that produces that much power is bound to rattle a few things around it.

However, Top Fuel dragsters take it to another level.

Fans are often given ear plugs at events and told to cover their ears by the PA announcer just before the race begins. But even with all that, fans are still in for a loud experience.

At full throttle, a Top Fuel dragster generates 150 db of noise. That’s about the same as a shotgun or jet engine. It’s loud enough to cause physical pain or immediate permanent damage.

And it’s not just the noise. These cars literally shake the ground.

At one point, the NHRA got a team of seismologists to measure the ground at the starting line. Two cars taking off from the starting line read a 2.3 on the Richter scale. That’s a small earthquake, for reference.

Don’t take our word for it



David “Grubby” Grubnic is a familiar face for anyone who follows drag racing.

Grubnic started out in the NHRA as a Top Fuel driver. In his stint behind the wheel he earned three victories, 10 number 1 qualifiers and finished fourth overall at one point.

In 2015, Grubnic switched from driver to tuner and immediately became one of the top in the sport.

Tuning for Clay Millican, Grubnic earned a third-place finish in 2018.

So it’s safe to say he knows his stuff. Here’s a wonderful introduction to everything that makes a Top Fuel car special, spoken by a man who knows as much as anyone can know about it:

As mind-boggling as everything in that video is, some of those figures are outdated. Today’s Top Fuel cars now regularly exceed 10,000 horsepower!

You have to see it for yourself

Top Fuel racing is literally the world’s fastest sport. The words and even the video on this page don’t do it justice.

While drivers like Clay Millican, Steve Torrence, and Brittany Force may be the faces we all see on TV, so much of the race happens in the garage between heats.

There is no way to really get it without seeing it for yourself.

All NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing series events are now broadcast on FS1. You can find a schedule of events here, so make sure to tune in at home to catch the action yourself!

Or even better yet, go to an event in person. You won’t believe what you’ve been missing.