Top Fuel Dragster Facts Quiz

Estimated Completion Time
3 min
Top Fuel Dragster Facts Quiz
Image: Bob Harmeyer/Getty

About This Quiz

Top fuel dragsters are some of the most powerful machines on the planet, generating power and speed that push against the upper limits allowed by the laws of physics. This top fuel dragster quiz will amaze you with its raw power.
The engines in top fuel cars are based on what well-known production engine?
flathead Ford
Chrysler Hemi
Although they produce astonishing amounts of horsepower, top fuel engines are based on factory 500-cubic inch Hemi engines.
Chevrolet LT1

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The 14:71 designation of a top fuel supercharger is a remnant of the labeling system GMC once used for what?
superchargers for diesel engines
GMC's diesel engine superchargers were named for the number of cylinders and the displacement of each cylinder, such as a 4:71 for a four-cylinder engine with 71 cubic inch per cylinder. More advanced superchargers got higher numbers even though the engines don't actually have 14 cylinders.
superchargers for aircraft engines
intercoolers for turbocharged tank engines

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How much horsepower can a top fuel dragster produce?
between 8,000 and 10,000
It's impossible to precisely measure a top fuel dragster's horsepower output, but estimates put it between 8,000 and 10,000.
about 5,000
just under 20,000

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What notable feat did racer Eddie Hill accomplish in the 1980s?
He was the first driver to hold speed records for the quarter mile distance on both land and on water.
Hill already held the quarter-mile speed record on water when he set the land record in a top fuel dragster in 1987.
He was the first top fuel driver to reach 300 mph.
He won six NHRA championships in a row.

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Who was the first person to win three NHRA top fuel championships?
Shirley Muldowney
Muldowney won her championships in 1977, 1980 and 1982.
Don Garlits
Joe Amato

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Who has the most top fuel wins in NHRA history?
Tony Schumacher
Schumacher's 80 wins gives him a solid lead.
Bennie Osborn
Kenny Bernstein

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What is the official distance of an NHRA top fuel race?
1/4 mile
1,000 feet
The top fuel distance was reduced to 1,000 feet from the traditional quarter-mile after the death of Scott Kalitta in 2008.
1/8 mile

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What percentage of a top fuel dragster's fuel is nitromethane?
85 percent
100 percent
90 percent
The percentage has shifted due to NHRA rule changes over the years, but as of 2016, it's 90 percent.

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What year was the first NHRA top fuel champion crowned?
1958
1964
The NHRA first broke down its points championship into six divisions, including top fuel, in 1964. Jack Williams took the first championship.
1974

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What is a top fuel engine block made from?
stainless steel
cast iron
aluminum
Top fuel engines are made from aluminum.

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Who was the first driver to reach 330 mph at both the quarter-mile and 1,000-foot distances?
Spencer Massey
Tony Schumacher
Schumacher topped 330 mph on the quarter-mile in 1999, then did it on a 1,000-foot track in 2012.
John Force

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What was the fastest top speed ever recorded by a top fuel car on a 1,000-foot track?
323.76 mph
332.75 mph
Spencer Massey reached a speed of 332.75 mph in August of 2015.
358.42 mph

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What is the minimum weight of a top fuel car?
1,950 pounds
2,100 pounds
2,320 pounds
The NHRA adjusts the minimum weight from time to time to limit speeds for safety reasons, but as of 2016 the minimum weight was 2,320 pounds.

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True or false: the ignition timing is slowed part of the way through a top fuel run to reduce rpm and reduce the chance of engine failure.
1
The timing is reduced at about 7,900 rpm, which reduces top speeds slightly but helps save the engine.
0

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How many Gs of acceleration does a top fuel driver experience?
more than 4 Gs
In the first .5 second of a top fuel run, the driver endures more than 4 Gs of acceleration.
6 Gs
just under 8 Gs

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Nitromethane is such an effective racing fuel because…
It naturally lubricates engine components.
It's relatively inexpensive compared to gasoline.
It contains oxygen, which the engine needs to create ignition.
Nitromethane's oxygen content helps with ignition, which would otherwise be limited by the amount of air that could be forced into the cylinders.

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How much fuel does a top fuel dragster burn per second during a race?
.5 gallons
.9 gallons
1.2 gallons
1.2 gallons per second is faster than you can pour gasoline out of a fuel can -- the fuel system is basically a fire hose of nitromethane.

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How loud are top fuel cars?
90 decibels
120 decibels
150 decibels
A precise measurement is hard to come by (not many sound meters can even register sounds this loud), but 150 decibels is a reliable estimate.

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How long is a top fuel dragster, from front spoiler to rear wing?
30.5 feet
A dragster is just over 30 feet long.
40 feet
22 feet

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What are the bellhousing and intake valves made out of in a top fuel engine?
carbon fiber
aluminum
titanium
Titanium components can sustain serious punishment, a necessity in a top fuel engine.

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About how much does a single run down the track cost a top fuel team, counting fuel, tire wear and engine components?
1000
3500
5800
Including practice, qualifying and elimination rounds, $5,800 per run adds up fast.

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How much does the diameter of the rear tires change during a top fuel run?
8 inches
The tires expand from a 36-inch diameter to a 44-inch diameter under the force of the wheels spinning.
12 inches
18 inches

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True or false: top fuel cars use heavy-duty transmissions adapted from military tank transmissions.
1
0
Top fuel dragsters don’t have transmissions at all, just a clutch.

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How much horsepower does it take just to drive a top fuel supercharger?
150
500
700
The supercharger is just a huge, belt-driven air pump, and it takes 700 hp to drive it (some estimates suggest it might be as high as 900 or 1,000).

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How long does it take a top fuel team to rebuild an engine?
40 minutes
A top fuel engine is rebuilt after every single run, so teams have to get it done in 30 to 40 minutes.
90 minutes
2 hours

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How many amps do the magnetos in a top fuel engine deliver to the spark plugs each time they fire?
0.5
0.8
1.2
At 1.2 amps per spark plug, the total amperage delivered by the magnetos is not far short of an arc welder.

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What weight lubricating oil does a top fuel engine use?
40W
50W
70W
Special 70W racing oil keeps the engines components lubricated. It's quite a bit thicker than the 10W-30 in your street car.

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About how fast is the air being pushed out of the supercharger into the engine moving?
60 mph
100 mph
250 mph
The supercharger generates more than 60 psi boost pressure and shoves air into the engine at an estimated 250 mph.

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How many spark plugs are there per cylinder in a top fuel engine?
1
2
It takes two spark plugs per cylinder to reliably ignite the enormous amount of fuel getting pumped into the cylinders.
4

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How much chrome-moly tubing is welded together to build a top fuel dragster's frame?
100 feet
250 feet
250 feet of tubing is bent, angled and welded to create the rigid frame. As strong as it is, the frame isn't painted because stress cracks have to be re-welded so often.
450 feet

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You Got:
/30
Bob Harmeyer/Getty
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