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Tesla Takes Down Not One, But TWO Dodge Demons!

Alright guys and gals, we are going to have a little lesson in “How the drag strip works”, since so many of the commenters on this video from our partner Jesse at BigKleib34 seem to not understand. There are a couple of very important factors that need to be addressed, and I’m going to try to explain them to the best of my ability.

First things first, because there seems to even be a debate about this in the comments: in the first clip, the Tesla does, in fact, win the race. Drag strips use sophisticated timing equipment to determine the winner of each race, and to my knowledge, it doesn’t award the “win light” to the wrong lane. However, I can see where there’s some confusion about why the Tesla won, and that is what I’m going to address.

Yes, the Demon does lay down a significantly quicker elapsed time. Even my 10 years old knew when I showed her the times that the Demon ran quicker. However, there are two reasons the Tesla was still deemed the winner. The one that is the easiest to explain is the driver’s reaction times. You can clearly see, watching the video in regular speed, that the Tesla left the line first. I have watched literally tens of thousands of heads-up drag races and I know that if the “holeshot” is easily visible to the naked eye, there’s at least a quarter-second or so difference in the reaction times. If you’ll notice, that just so happens to be the difference in their elapsed times, meaning the Tesla jumped out to such a large lead that the quicker and faster Demon just wasn’t able to reel him in, despite its obvious performance advantage.

There’s another factor at play that a lot of the commenters didn’t seem to understand at all, though, and I’m hoping to explain that in enough detail that you guys all understand a whole new type of racing. You’ll notice, as the cars are going down the track, long before they reach the finish line, the scoreboard has 11.00 displayed. This means these cars were competing on an 11.00-second index. An index is basically a target ET, a time the drivers aim for. However, the object is to get as close to the index without going under. If you run quicker than 11.00, you lose… UNLESS the other driver goes under the index by an even larger margin than you do. So, looking at this with the actual numbers from the race, the Tesla ran a 10.94, which is .06 (six-hundredths of a second) below the index. The Demon ran 10.69, which is .31 (thirty-one hundredths of a second) below the index.

That would be the reason the Tesla got the win light, and it wouldn’t have mattered which car got to the finish line first. In index style racing where both cars go quicker than the index, the only factor that matters is how far under the index each car went. Unless there was a redlight start, the car that went under the index by the largest margin loses, every time.