Hot New Video!! Drag Racing 101 – How to Cut the Perfect Light – Reaction Time .000 – Road Test TV

August 18th, 2012 by Road Test TV

Drag Race Christmas Tree

A trip to the drag strip will prove that a lot of people could use a drag racing tutoral.

Below is a brief explanation of the meaning of the starting line lights at a drag strip:

CHRISTMAS TREE: Name given to the lights at the starting line of the drag strip. At the top are two (2) Yellow staging lights, followed by three (3) Amber lights. Below the aber lights is the “Green Light”, followed by the nasty “RED Light.” 

PRE-STAGE INDICATOR YELLOW LIGHTS: These are the 1st Yellow bulbs that on top of the Christmas Tree that indicate to racers their front wheel(s) have entered the 1st staging lights at starting line and are now in the the “pre-staged” position.

STAGE INDICATOR YELLOW LIGHTS: These are the 2nd Yellow Lights on top of the Christmas Tree and indicate that the racers are fully staged and ready for a run. These yellow bulbs come on when the front wheels of a race car interrupt the 2nd light beam from a light source to the photo cells at the starting line. Once the racers front wheels move past this light beam, the timing equipment starts.

When both vehicles are fully staged, the starter will activate the Tree and cause the Amber lights to illuminate, prior to the Green light .

GREEN LIGHT: This is light that makes it happen. Once the green light is illuminated, the racer in that lane is free to make a run. When a Green light is shown in a driver’s lane, it indicates that a fair start was accomplished.

RED LIGHT: When a racer leaves the starting line too early, or, in some cases,  stages too deeply into the staging beams, the red light will illuminate in that lane.  A “Red light” indicates that the driver in that lane has been disqualified.   During competition, only one red light will illuminate, thus eliminating only the first offender.

“PRO TREE” or “NOT PRO TREE” – that is the question

When drag racing, two types of starts are available: 1) Standard .5ths Full Tree, or 2) Pro Tree:

STANDARD “FULL TREE“: Used in Competition, Stock, and Super Stock Classes, for which a handicap starting system is used to equalize competition. The three amber bulbs on the Christmas Tree flash five-tenths of a second apart in descending order, followed five-tenths later by the green starting light. A perfect reaction time on a Full Tree is .000.

“PRO TREE” START: All three amber lights in a racer’s lane illuminate at once before the green light comes on. This is called a “Pro start” system. Racers running in handicap categories get a countdown of one amber light at a time until the green light comes on. The Pro start system runs with a .4-second difference between amber and green lights, while the handicap system runs with a .5-second difference between bulbs.


The perfect light on a Full .5 tenths Tree is a .000.  A perfect light is rarely seen, but can be accomplished with a keen eye and a responsive vehicle.  The best way to accomplish a .000 light is to launch your vehicle when the third (3rd)/last Amber light on the Christmas Tree becomes “stale” and is about to turn off.  At this point, the “Green Light” below is about to illuminate and it’s time to go.  If you wait to launch your car until the “Green Light” illuminates, your reaction time will be a soggy .500.  Below is a video of a car achieveing the perfect .000 light. Enjoy.

10 Responses to “Hot New Video!! Drag Racing 101 – How to Cut the Perfect Light – Reaction Time .000 – Road Test TV”

  1. August 18, 2012 at 12:45 pm, STEALTHNV said:

    Nice vid…What’s all done to the car?


  2. August 18, 2012 at 12:50 pm, 123MRCHANGITO said:

    He got skills


  3. August 18, 2012 at 2:12 pm, DragRacingLife said:

    He is the man! Buy that guy a beer!


  4. August 18, 2012 at 3:03 pm, roadtesttv said:

    Renntech Tune, Airbox, Pulley and Short Tube Headers.

    Thanks For Watching!


  5. August 18, 2012 at 3:06 pm, G8GTJav said:

    Good job. Leave on the last yellow. If you see green, your late.


  6. January 31, 2014 at 3:27 pm, STIRKDAWG said:

    Takin’ a saw to that tree, huh?


  7. April 29, 2014 at 11:43 pm, Chris Bocook said:

    Good driving , I wanted to show my son what to expect and that was perfect.
    Thank you


  8. May 03, 2014 at 12:15 am, yanick Rioux said:

    my friend is in the most fastest in the world , 0.002 , this guy is real
    fast COME ON, 0.000.. something, thats fucking fast , peace out my friend
    is one of the best


  9. May 20, 2014 at 9:35 pm, jon doe said:

    I have always left on yellow.


  10. July 14, 2014 at 8:15 pm, Doosterify said:

    You just wasted my time. The video title is how to cut a perfect light. It
    should be called, watch this guy cut perfect lights but we won’t teach you
    anything. A-holes.


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