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Basic Safety Rules for Albuquerque Dragway

Dragracing 101 - Tech Inspection

Never been to the drag strip before? Here's what you'll need to know to pass the technical safety inspection.

Beginners Drag Racing Tips (Part 1):

What You Need to Know Before You Go to the track

Does Albuquerque Dragway make the safety rules?

The National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) establishes rules for every type of vehicle that can run down the quarter-mile. All NHRA member tracks must follow these safety guidelines. Each year, a new NHRA Rulebook is published with revisions and updates.


What do I need to come out and test or race?

The basic items needed to pass tech inspection for the typical street car include:

  • good tires

  • battery tie-down

  • radiator overflow catch-can

  • no leaking fluids

  • operable neutral-safety switch

  • working tail light for night racing

  • seat belts

  • fire jacket for any NON-OEM Turbo, Super Charger or Nitrous Oxide

  • valid state driver's license or NHRA competition license is required for all participants

  • Don't forget to wear long pants, shoes, and a shirt! No shorts, tank tops or sandals allowed.


What do I need to race my street bike?

  • Valid state driver's license or NHRA competition license is required.

  • NHRA approved full face helmet

  • denim or heavier pants

  • leather jacket or riders jacket

  • leather gloves

  • leather shoes that rise above the ankle

  • Full leathers if over 120 miles per hour

  • NHRA license if quicker than 9.99 seconds


Do I need a helmet?

Any vehicle that runs faster than 13.99 seconds, and all motorcycles and dune buggy-type cars, must have an approved helmet. Helmets must have a SNELL rating of 2015 or 2020, as well as those with an SFI rating of 31.1A, 31.2A, 41.1A, or 41.2A. (SNELL 2010 helmets expire on 1/1/2022). 


Can I use nitrous oxide?

Nitrous bottles must be vented to outside the driver compartment if it is mounted in the same compartment as the driver

Use of Nitrous Oxide will require the driver to have a minimum of 3.2A/1 fire jacket


What are some of the major safety items I will need as I go quicker?

The following is a list of major items that are required at specific ET's and speeds. This list is a guideline, and we recommend consulting a current NHRA rulebook for specific details, specifications, and diagrams. 


13.99 seconds (8.59 1/8th) 

  • Drive Line Loop with slicks

  • Approved helmet (Full face in open cars)

  • SFI 3.2A/1 Jacket in vehicles equipped with non-OEM nitrous oxide, turbochargers or superchargers

13.49 seconds (8.25 1/8th) 

  • Roll bar in convertibles

  • SFI seat belts in convertibles



11.99 seconds (7.49 1/8th) 

  • Steel Valve Stems

  • Arm Restraints (open cars)



11.49 seconds (7.35 1/8th) 

  • SFI 1.1 or 1.2 Flywheel / Clutch

  • SFI 6.1, 6.2, 6.3 or 9.1 Flywheel shield

  • SFI 3.2A/1 approved jacket

  • Roll bar

  • SFI approved seat belts

  • Drive Line Loop with street tires



10.99 seconds (6.99 1/8th)

  • SFI 4.1 Transmission Shield, or at 135 mph

  • Locking transmission dipstick tube

  • Aftermarket axles and axle retainers

  • SFI Harmonic Balancer

  • Roll Cage with altered floor pans, or 135 mph - Window net required


Important Note:  2008 and newer cars that still have the OEM braking system and air bag system are not required to have a roll bar or roll cage until 10.00. 

9.99 seconds (6.39 1/8th) or 135 mph 

  • NHRA or IHRA Chassis Certification

  • NHRA or IHRA Competition License

  • SFI jacket & pants 3.2A/5

  • SFI neck collar & gloves 3.3/1

  • Oil retension device (diaper)

  • SFI 29.1 flexplate / 30.1 flexplate shield (AT equipped cars)

  • Full Face Helmet meeting Snell or SFI specifications

  • Window Net on door cars

  • Roll Bar Padding 45.1

  • Master Cut Off Switch

  • IMPORTANT NOTE:  2014 and newer.  Must have OEM anti lock brakes and all air bags.  Good to 9.00 with no cage.  Driver must have a license, wear a SFI 3.2/1 Jacket, and Neck Collar. All other items are not required.


150 mph 

  • Parachute


Link for IHRA Licensing


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