Do you have what you need?


March 2005

How many of you racers have added some more horsepower over the winter. Or, if your class rules now allow a lighter minimum weight, how many of you have taken advantage of it?

Either way, you will (hopefully) be going quicker and faster in 2005. So, how many of you will be impacted by any new SFI Specs or NHRA (or IHRA) rules, corresponding to your increase in speed, and/or quicker elapsed time. This may be a good time to review the safety items that you may be required to have this season, the ones that you may not have needed last year.

Let’s start out with the basics. To keep this easy to understand, let’s use the same ET (or MPH) breaks that are in the NHRA or IHRA Rulebooks for 2005.

Starting at 14.00 ET or slower, this is what you will be required to have. Nothing. As long as you have a radiator overflow container and your vehicle is in good condition (steering, brakes, tires, etc.) and you are wearing long pants, you are ready to race. Here’s one I bet you didn’t know. If you are running 14.00 or slower, you are allowed to take along a “co-driver” (passenger) as long as the passenger is at least 16-years old.

Now let’s move on into the other ET categories. If you are running between 13.99 and 12.00, you will be required to have the following:

Item ET Comment
Drive shaft loop 13.99 (8.59) For drag slicks only
5 or 6-point roll bar 13.99 (8.59) For convertibles only
5-point safety harness 13.99 (8.59) For convertibles only, SFI Spec 16.1
Helmet 13.99 (8.59) Snell 90 or greater
Drive shaft loop 13.00 (8.14) For “street” or DOT tires

At IHRA tracks, you won’t need the drive shaft loop for a drag slick equipped car until 13.49 ET.


Now we are getting serious. Here is what is required if you are running between 11.99 ET, down to 11.00 ET.

Item ET Comment
5 or 6-point roll bar 11.99 (7.49)  
5-point safety harness 11.99 (7.49) SFI Spec 16.1
Flywheel shield 11.99 (7.49) SFI Spec 6.1 or 6.2
Flywheel & clutch 11.99 (7.49) SFI Spec 1.1 or 1.2
Driver’s jacket 11.99 (7.49) SFI spec 3.2A/1

At IHRA tracks, the above items are not required until 11.49 ET. In addition, at 11.49, IHRA you will also be require a fire extinguisher and a shield for the automatic transmission, SFI Spec 4.1.


The next level is going to be 10.99 ET down to 10.00 flat.

Item ET Comment
Full roll cage 10.99 (6.99) For convertibles only. Also required for any car running 135 MPH or faster.
Harmonic balancer 10.99 (6.99) SFI Spec 18.1
Aftermarket axles 10.99 (6.99)  
Axle retention device 10.99 (6.99) Sometimes called C-clip eliminators
Auto trans shield 10.99 (6.99) SFI Spec 4.1

For IHRA tracks, at 10.99 you will also need a Class D Competition License.


The next ET break is for cars running between 9.99 ET down to 8.50 ET.

Item ET Comment
Flex plate (auto trans) 9.99 (6.39) SFI Spec 29.1
Flex plate shield 9.99 (6.39) SFI Spec 30.1
Full roll cage 9.99 (6.39)  
Window net 9.99 (6.39) SFI Spec 27.1
Master battery cut-off switch 9.99 (6.39) Also required for any rear mounted
battery relocation.
NHRA competition license 9.99 (6.39) Class 4, Category C
Chassis certification 9.99 (6.39)  
Drivers jacket & pants or suit 9.99 (6.39) SFI Spec 3.2A/5
Neck collar 9.99 (6.39) SFI Spec 3.3
Gloves 9.99 (6.39) SFI Spec 3.3/1

At IHRA tracks, you won’t be required to have the roll cage and window net until you run 9.00 ET, and at 8.99 ET, IHRA requires you to have a Class C competition license.


I hesitate to get into anything running under 8.50, but here goes.

Item ET Comment
On-board fire suppression system 8.49 Minimum 1 nozzle on driver and 1 one
nozzle on engine.
Chassis certification 8.49 Spec 25.4 or 25.5, less than 3600#
Chassis certification 7.49 (4.49) Spec 25.1E, 7.49 (4.49)& quicker
Chassis certification 7.49 SFI Spec 25.2, 7.50 & slower
Chassis certification 7.50 - 8.49 SFI Spec 25.5, less than 3600#
NHRA competition license 7.49 {4.49) Class 3, Category C
Parachute   150mph or Faster

At IHRA tracks, a Class B license is required at 7.99 ET to 7.50 ET, and below that, a Class A (Pro Stock) IHRA license is required.

Correct chassis certification has been very confusing lately, what with the different chassis combinations, vehicle weights and also with a somewhat convoluted “start date”, based on the existing chassis certification expiration date. This is where you need to chat with your chassis shop. They should know the Specs and requirements. Also, this list is to be used as a guide only, and not as a “Tech Sheet”.

Full Details

2005 Rule Changes

My Thunderbird Project