How a Top Fuel Dragster Works

NHRA Top Fuel dragsters are the fastest-accelerating vehicles on the planet, reaching ...

NHRA Top Fuel dragsters are the fastest-accelerating vehicles on the planet, reaching speeds in excess of 330 MPH in half the time it takes most cars to reach 60 MPH. Team Speed Society driver Leah Pritchett holds the current elapsed time record for the sport, blasting through the 1,000 foot track in just 3.658 seconds at 329 MPH earlier this season.

Top Fuel cars, or “fuelers” as they’re often called, rely on billet-machined versions of Chrylser’s famous Hemi engine to create an estimated 10,000 horsepower. Currently there’s no way to accurately measure the output of a top fuel engine, so the actual number of horsepower on tap isn’t known, but some pretty smart minds came up with the 10,000 horsepower estimate.


Check out this piece from Car and Driver TV that drives into the inner workings of a top fuel car and how they manage to reach such insane speeds in and lay down such brutally quick times on the track, time and time again. The video features David Grubnic, who is now the tuner for Team Speed Society’s own Clay Millican, who has qualified #1 two times so far this season at NHRA stops in Houston and Charlotte.

Thanks to the great team at C&D TV for putting together this segment to give race fans an intimate look at how these land-based missiles do what they do!

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