2015 Car Club Clash


cc0The Car Club Clash (formerly know as SC / GTP Club Clash) is a “Just for Fun” bracket racing event held two time per year at an Eastern Iowa drag-strip. The sole purpose of the event is to get together with other car owners who enjoy recreational drag racing. It is designed to be a family friendly competition as well as a time to enjoy our cars and make new friends. At the time of conception it was a Ford vs. GM competition between the Super Coupe Club of Iowa and the Club GTP of Iowa and was also open to all other T-Bird and Grand Prix owners and groups.

During the winter of 2001-02 the Iowa SC Club was contacted by the Iowa Pontiac GTP Owners Club and asked if we would be interested in putting together a Thunderbird SC vs. Grand Prix GTP drag racing event at one of the local drag strips. The Idea was to get together and bracket race our cars and the winner would take home a small trophy and the bragging rights. We thought, “WHAT THE HECK, WHY NOT.

After we did some checking with the two area drag strips, we decided we really couldn’t afford to rent out the track for the day. During our conversation with the track promoter at TriState Raceway, Bill suggested that we could use his track on an open “test-n-tune” day and they would be willing to set up and run our group on their timing system and help us run the event. He said he would also kick in a small trophy for the winner. Problem solved, that first race took place on April 20th 2002 at TriState Raceway!

cc1Following the first event, the president of the GTP Club and I talked about the event and came to the conclusion that because everyone had such a great time, we’d do a second one. We really didn’t want to wait a whole year so we planned to do one in mid to late June before it got too hot out. Do to some scheduling problems at TSR we made contact with Cedar Falls Raceway, and they said they would be glad to accommodate us.

The second event went even better so we decided to do a fall event. It was held back at TSR. During the first two years (2002-2003) we held a Spring, Summer and Fall event. The Spring and Fall events were held at TSR and the Summer event was held at Cedar Falls Raceway. We held only two events at CFR and decided that we liked TSR better. We also felt that the June date was too hot to have any good track times so we dropped it and went to two events after 2003.

The first rule is: you have to promise to have fun!!! If you are not going to have fun, stay home!!!!

Other than that, the event is set up as a bracket race. You will be given several hours during the morning to make as many passes down the quarter mile as you wish to determine what your vehicle is capable of. About 11:30 you will be called up to the starting line and you will make two recorded passes (qualifying runs). From those runs we will take your best reaction time and you will be paired with someone of approximately the same skill for your first round of competition. If you win, you move on, if you lose, you are free to continue making runs during the open “test-n-tune” sessions the rest of the day.

NOTE: If we have more than 24 cars, and if time and weather permits, we will also run a consolation bracket for those who loose in round one of eliminations.

Frequently Asked Questions

cc2In professional drag racing, the light turns green, you mash on the gas and the first car to the finish line wins. But in bracket racing, that isn’t always how it works.

Since the field of cars contains a wide range of E.T.’s, (Elapsed Time), each entrant is “handicapped” based on a time that he/she predicts the car will run. This is called a “dial in”. The person with the slowest elapsed time (dial-in) leaves the line first and the second car leaves at the line at the difference in the “dial-in” times. (Example: Your time:15.10 and the second car:14.10 … you would get a one second head start). The person who runs closest to their dial-in without going faster will most often win the race. If you go faster than your dial-in, you “break out” and automatically lose the race.

There is one other important variable in drag racing. It’s known as R/T (Reaction Time). If both cars run their predicted “dial in” both vehicles should cross the finish line at the same exact time and the race will be a tie, Right? Wrong!!! This is because two drivers will seldom have the exact same reaction time. So, if the guy (or gal) in the other lane happens to get off the line a hundredth or even a thousandth of a second faster, they win and you loose.

Upon getting to the track you will stop at the front gate and pay your entry fee. (Be sure you tell them you are with Club Clash). Then proceed to the pit area and unload your stuff. We all park in the same area and you don’t have to worry about your stuff.

The next thing you need to do is have your car tech inspected. The tech area is located in the NW corner of the pit area at the large semi trailer.

Club Clash practice opens when the track announcer announces that the staging lanes are open. At about 11:30 we will be asked to assemble in staging lanes 7 and 8 for our qualifying runs. We will make two back to back runs and then we will be paired based on reaction time.

After taking a short break for lunch we will begin eliminations. Based on your pairings you will make a pass down the track. if you win you move on to round 2. If you lose, you are eliminated. (Note: if we get more than 24 cars, we will also have a consolation bracket). This process goes on until only one competitor is left and declared the winner.

The Club Clash event is open to any Ford Thunderbird, Mercury Cougar, and/or Lincoln Mark Series vehicles of any age. If you are a “Challanging Club”, your vehicle needs to meet that club’s model restrictions.

cc4You don’t have to be a member of any club or owners group to come out and race at the Club Clash. Everyone is welcome. In fact, any person who owns a Ford Powered Vehicle can come out, but only the vehicles mentioned above can race for the trophy or prizes.

If you want to race, the only thing you have to do is show up, pay your track fees and pass a very basic technical inspection that is based on the NHRA rulebook and Iowa DOT safety Inspection laws.

In our case the tech inspection process is quit simple and very painless. Your tires have to have good tread, you must have working seat belts, the windows must close, you must have a coolant overflow tank, and the battery must be firmly mounted. In addition, if your car runs E/T’s under 13.00 seconds in the ¼ mile you will need a Snell 95 or newer rated helmet. If you have an aftermarket supercharger or if you run under 11.49 you will also need a Fire Retardant racing jacket.

Track entry fee is $50 dollars. This is collected by the track and we do not charge any other fees in conjunction with the event. NOTE: If we decide to add any other events into the weekend (such as a Dyno Day or Event Banquet) that will be added on as a separate fee for only those who will attend. You will be responsible for your own lodging and food during the event. However, Last year we had several event sponsors, who donated to the event. Because of these donations, we were able to offer a discount to the track entry fee and we also paid the top three places in the T-bird finishing order a cash prize. We also supplied every entrant with a free Pizza dinner after the event.

At this time, we are still working to secure a few more sponsorships for the 2008 events. We hope to be able to offer the same things as last year and also increase the payouts. We also hope to be able to offer some tow money to help defray some of the travel costs for our out-of-state participants.

Motel room costs vary, but if you don’t mind Motel 6 or Super 8 you can get a reasonable rate in Cedar Rapids. There are several nice, clean and safe hotels in the area that are easy to get to and close to some decent places to eat.

This will vary a little bit depending on how many cars show up on any given day. In the past, most participants have been able to make between 12 and 20 passes without any difficulty.

It is a 95% chance that we will be providing lunch in our pit area with Burgers, Brats and Hot Dogs. We will also have several types of chips and munchies.

The track also operates a concession stand and has all of the basic stuff including pop, water, coffee, tea, Burgers, Tenderloins, Hot Dogs, Fries, Nachos, Chips.

That depends!!! It depends on the condition of YOUR car. Most of the cars that compete at Club Clash never experience any problems relating to the Wide Open Throttle racing. On the other hand, if your car has “lots of miles” and hasn’t been particularly well maintained, you may experience some problems. Although we would love to have everyone come out and enjoy a day at the track, racing their car, if you have any question as to whether your car will suffer ill effects, please don’t chance it! But remember, on the off chance that you do experience a parts failure, we have a large group of competent people to help you fix it and get you back on the road.

ONLY ONE ……… Because we set the event up as a bracket race, you are racing against your dial-in and when you are paired with another car, the start is staggered so that you should both reach the finish line approximately at the same time. We also try to match you with someone that has approximately the same skill level, so it should be a good race for both drivers. Remember, we’re not racing for big money or “pinks” …. It’s all about having fun!!!

On the odd chance that you would want to race a “Match Race”, YES, TSR will be able to accommodate that.

Anyone who would like run a Match Race a.k.a. a “grudge match” or “Heads Up” can do so. All we have to do is tell them in advance and they will set up the tree and scoreboard accordingly.

But please, if you want to run a Match Race, the bet needs to stay between the interested parties. These types of races should not be considered a part of the Club Clash event format.

Don’t forget ….
…. to mark you calendar so you won’t forget about our next club meeting!!! See our Upcoming Events page for the date, time, driving directions and the location maps.

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