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Mike Salinas Makes Record-Breaking Pass Reaching 300 MPH at Eighth-Mile During Carolina Nationals

On Saturday evening, September 23, 2023, Californian Mike Salinas drove his Valley Services/Scrappers Racing Morgan Lucas Racing chassised, TFX Hemi-powered Top Fuel Dragster to the first wheel-driven speed over 300 miles per hour in an eighth of a mile. On a 1000-feet qualifying pass of 3.647 at 338.00 mph, Salinas clocked 300.80 mph in 2.936 seconds in the first 660 feet of the run to earn a $30,000 bonus posted by Phillips Connect Technologies awarded to the first driver to accomplish the feat. 

Many fans wonder to what kind of performance this run would equate in drag racing’s original competition distance for Top Fuel machines, a quarter of a mile. Since 2002, the performance of modern dragsters has been restrained through multiple rules revisions ranging from maximum nitromethane percentage to minimum rearend gear ratios to vehicle weight to timing management which restricts maximum engine RPM during the final 200 feet of a 1000-feet run.

Therefore, the only truly accurate theoretical numbers for quarter-mile speculation in 2023 must be created from the eighth-mile to quarter-mile acceleration curves and performance programs before all restrictions with the exception of the 3.20:1 final drive ratio limit which was implemented in 1991.

Using these criteria, Salinas’ 300.80 mph at the eighth-mile, with no further restrictions than the use of a 3.20:1 rear gear final drive ratio, converts to 362.51 miles per hour at the end of a quarter-mile. 

This story was originally published on September 25, 2023. Drag Illustrated

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