What is a Drag Strip, you ask?  Racers Dating answers your questions.

A drag strip is more than a straight-line quarter mile strip of asphalt. There are actually several parts to a drag strip.

Pre-Stage beam: A light beam-to-photocell connection in each lane that triggers the small yellow pre-stage lights atop the Christmas Tree. The pre-stage lights signal to drivers that they are close to staging, approximately seven inches behind the starting line.

Stage beam (starting line): This light beam-to-photocell connection controls the starting and timing of each race. It triggers an independent lane timer for elapsed time and will trigger the red foul light if a driver leaves too soon. A race cannot be started until both drivers are fully staged.

Guard beam: A light beam-to-photocell connection located 16 inches past the stage beam that is used to prevent a competitor from gaining an unfair starting line advantage by blocking the stage beam with a low-installed object such as an oil pan or header collector pipe. If the guard beam is activated while the stage beam is still blocked, the red foul light is triggered on the Christmas Tree and the offender is automatically disqualified.

Christmas Tree: The noticeable electronic starting device between lanes on the starting line. It displays a calibrated-light countdown for each driver.

Interval timers: Interval timers are part of a secondary timing system that records elapsed times, primarily for the racers’ benefit, at 60, 330, 660, and 1000 feet. The eighth-mile speed light, located 66 feet before the 660-foot mark, is used to start the eighth-mile speed clocks in each lane; those timers record speed for the first half of the run.

Speed-trap and elapsed-time beams: The first of these light beam-to-photocell connections is located 66 feet before the finish line and is used to start the speed clocks in each lane. The second beam, located at the finish line, shuts off both the elapsed-time and speed clocks in each lane and triggers the win-indicator light. The 66-foot speed trap is where speed is recorded.

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