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2002 Nissan Maxima Drag Racing

Since the purchase of the Max and being involved with, I initially become more and more interested in racing my "old farts" 4-door sedan. I had never raced at a drag strip before and found it quite interesting to try and cut a tenth off of a run. After a few events I eventually stopped going more out of lack of opportunity than anyting. I never really ran the car with mods on it at the track to see how it would do either. The information below details my exploits....

Beech Bend Raceway - 03/08/2003

What a nice clear day! Prior to leaving for the event, it was nice and cool. By the time I got to the track, it was 66 degrees and there was at least a 10mph headwind again. This time, I semi-race prepped the Maxima. Air pressure was lowered in the front to 25psi and I opened up the air intake just a bit. I did not remove the spare or anything else. I did notice the air filter was FILTY, but there was nothing I could really do about that at the time. After some prior research, I changed my launches by torque-braking to appx 1300-1500 RPM instead of 2300. Unfortunately, even this did not stop my traction problems! I did very well with my reation times as most were in the .5-.6 range with one .8. Unfortunately, the one .4 red light was during the Import Shootout portion of the day during round 2.

Results? I did set a new best-time with a 14.908 on the very first run. Afterward, I ran 15.0-15.1's all day. My best 60' time was in the 2.3+ range which was quite crappy considering my 2.20 my first time out. I had a total of 14 runs and can only remember 3 losses. My wins that I remember were against a 2nd-Gen modded Eclipse, Modded VW Rabbit on NOS, Modded Integra, 4th-Gen Maxima, Supercharged Ford Excursion, Turbo-Diesel Dodge, and Modded Civic (I don't remember who else "fell victim"). Losses were to a modded Civic with slicks that was totally stripped, a modded Subaru running 13's, and a modded 4th-Gen Maxima 5sp.

Next time? Well, hopefully I will have better tires that actually get traction. I expect to have a ECU problem resolved via warranty work, and I should have my lightened flywheel pulley and my WarpSpeed exhaust put in along with a new air filter or possibly a completely new intake. For some additional information on this event, see: Beech Bend Import Shootout.

Beech Bend Raceway - 11/16/2002

It started as such a nice day....Wait, what am I thinking? It was a gloomy day with temperatures ranging from 32-40 degrees and a 10mph wind (and some snow flakes). I did not really care since this was to be my first time drag racing. End result, lots of fun while freezing my butt off. Being a total newbie at this, I did not race-prep the Max at all. I had between 1/2-2/3 a tank of gas too. I "shoulda" been at 1/4 or below, removed additional weight (spare tire, jack, etc), lowered tire pressure, and removed the front of the factory air intake. Of course, I did not. I have definately learned a lot from this experience (some afterwards, some during). I know not to launch at 2300 RPM due to tire spin (found out afterwards I should be around 1300), manually shifting is difficult and my best times were with the car in "3". I also know I am horrible at reading the tree as my reaction times show. I know what to do and will definately do better next time. The track was also in very bad condition from what I was told. The domestic V8's had eaten the starting line pretty well and the previous days rain followed by the cold definately did not help. There were a lot of people who have raced there before that were complaining about their low numbers due to the track.

So, how did I do? Not too bad IMO (considering). Of the Nissans and Infiniti's I went with, I had the fastest times running a 14.924 with a 2.208 60'. Definately an improvement over my first run of 15.715! Highlight of the day was me beating a '95ish Mustang GT with slicks who could not get into the 14's. For some additional information on this event, see: Beech Bend Nissan Meet.


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