Power Tool Drag Races Wants YOU!

I present this to you without comment

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Power Tool Drag Races Wants YOU!

Have an idea in the back of your brain? Do you go into shiny-thing vapor-lock at the hardware store? Do you have niggling fears that the truth about the relative size and capacity of your reproductive organs will come out in a sordid manner if you do not prove their worthiness?

Well friends, worry no more, because do *I* ever have an outlet for *you*!!!

Build a Power Tool Drag Racer!

Increase your mojo! Impress the opposite sex! Get smelly, sunburnt people to buy you beer! Yes, building a power tool racer will provide you with all of these things and MORE!!

What’s a power tool drag racer, I hear you cry? My goodness people, crawl out from under the rock and visit http://
www.powertooldragraces.com! See the legacy of stunning and
wonderous creations from the finest in redneck engineering! Watch them career down our patented* 75-foot track to the applause and screams of children and adults scattering to get out of harm’s way!

It all happens SUNDAY SUNDAY SUNDAY May 7th, 2006, from high noon til we’re done!

Details on tickets, and Most Importantly, on HOW TO REGISTER YOUR RACER are at http://www.powertooldragraces.com

Have you built a racer before? Have you ever complained that you didn’t know who was racing next? Could you not hear the pit runner over the screamingly loud noises emanating from the end of the track? Did you piss and moan because we forfeited you because you were out back getting wasted with Ed because you had given up on ever knowing what was going on, race-wise, ever again?

Well my friends, this is our solution. Our registration software,
Buildersdb, is run by a punk kid in his bedroom out in New Orleans, and it pretty much makes all the pain of race day go away.
YES! Not only will you ACTUALLY KNOW WHEN YOU ARE RACING, but you will even know WHO WON and WHAT THEIR TIME WAS. As an added bonus, Simone gets to skip her yearly aneurysm, you won’t get yelled at by Dave if you breathe wrong and the announcers will actually know what to say next. Hell, they might even be accurate.

And ALL THIS from ONE five-minute session of tippy-tappying away on your little keyboard.

So, ALL of you enthusiastic builders out there, REGISTER FOR THE RACES.

Seriously, it takes five minutes and it’s super easy. If you Don’t Register, you don’t get to complain, so here’s your opportunity!

Visit http://www.powertooldragraces.com to get started! ]

Visit http://www.powertooldragraces.com/rules for all the rules for building a racer you’ll ever need in your life.

Holy smokes kids, sometimes it’s *almost* like we know what we are doing.

“Time is short so get to building….. I can build a Power Tool Drag Racing machine in one day….. Can you?”
–Steven Nelson, Seventeen-time PTDR participant and Token Redneck

Once more, questions, complaints, love letters and small bills can be directed to simone at qbox dot org.

*not really

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Simone Davalos
415 307 3482

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The Rules


Sign up for the PTDRMailing List
Join The Power Tool Drag Races Discussion Forum!
(this requires a free, short registration)

THE RULES (version 4.1, updated 3/31/2006 and subject to ongoing change)

Finish your machine before you arrive. Stay away from the liquor. Go faster than everyone else. Don’t Crash. Win money.

Machines in all classes are based on hand-held power tools (see caveat for “unusual designs” class). A hand held power tool is a machine intended for handheld operation by one individual. A machine primarily used on a stationary mount, or rolled on wheels, or used by a group of people is not a hand tool for the purposes of this event. Hand tools
might be electric (AC or DC), gas, pneumatic, hydraulic, cold fusion, steam or otherwise. Examples of hand tools are machines like belt sanders, angle grinders, Skilsaws, drills, chainsaws, weed wackers, vibrators, etc. Examples of things that are NOT hand tools are things like lawnmowers, floor sanders, generators, bench grinders, etc.

Hand tools used in the drag races can run on a variety of power sources, provided by either on-board or external sources. For external power sources, we will provide 40 amps of 120AC per lane. For DC, pneumatic, gas and other sources, you are on your own.

AC electrical cords will be 100′ long per lane, originating at the starting line. They will have standard Edison 3-prong connectors. You will be responsible for “coiling” the cord on the ground or laying it along side the track for your run. No spools or cord guides allowed, but duct tape will be provided so you can tape the connector together.
Tangles or poor cord feed is your responsibility.

Here are the details on the classes.

NON-RIDDEN (note significant changes to class definitions. These new rules are meant to better reflect what people actually build and want to build. We’ve eliminated “frame and drive mods” as the reckoning between classes as this proved a mess. Feedback requested)

*Super Stock* (Single engine. Limited mods. Non-ridden)
Super Stock machines are single engine power tools with no motor modifications or non-standard power sources (i.e. engine and power source needs to be box stock). Drive can be direct drive to track via the original blades, belts, etc, or via a custom gear/chain/tire configurations. Frames, wheels, guide rails, etc can be added as desired. Any motor or power type is allowed. But all “motors” must have originated in a hand power tool and be in their original form,
with original power source driving it. Be honest. If you are uncertain about the definition of a hand power tool, see above. No vehicles built from RC cars allowed, cause they are boring.

*Pro-Supercharged* (Multi-motor. Limited mods. Non-ridden)
Same as Super Stock class, except with more than one motor.

*Awful Awful Altereds* (Multi-motor. Open mods. Non-ridden)
Same as Pro-Supercharged, except that all motor mods and power source mods are legal. Whatever you can scheme to drive your power tool sourced motor is OK by us. If you are running an “esoteric” power source and need extra track time to set it up, please contact us so we can make arrangements and not bore the crowd while you do your thing.
208 single phase and 208 three phase will be provided at the line, but you will need to supply your own power cords. All motors in the AAA class need to be of clear and traditional “hand power tool” origin.

*Unusual Designs/Top Fuel*
This class is for those more liberal interpretations of “power tools” which have caused so much mumbling and grumbling in years past (particularly directed at jim and kimric). So if this year you feel compelled to make a rocket engine out of a propane soldering rig, or mount a double barrel shotgun on roller skates pointed backward down the track and fire it into a trash can filled with pig fat, we have a class for you. For this class (and ONLY this class) we are allowing a more flexible definition of “hand held power tool”. If your “tool” meets the vague criteria enumerated below, you are good to go.

1. A tool is a human built artifact that extends the capabilities of the human body and/or mind.

2. Power tools are those subset of tools intended to do some type of augmented physical or mechanical work, causing a useful and/or desired physical effect in the world.

3. Qualifying “tools” must have been in their original use hand-held. Tools originally intended for permanent mounting or wheeled operation are NOT hand-held power tools.

4. The potential energy which expresses itself as kinetic energy during the operation of the tool (i.e. during the race), can be carried with the tool, or by any desired manner of external sources and conduits.

5. The tool/vehicle ITSELF must travel down the track. (i.e. you can’t fire a nail gun down the track and claim the nail is the “vehicle” ). This means that the entire mass of the tool must start BEHIND the line (no prestaging of any part of the vehicle ahead of the starting line), and the entire mass of the tool must travel down the track and through the finish line. Mass lost during run towards the expression of kinetic energy is fine.

6. “Vehicles” at risk of lift off and audience collision will be encouraged to use a zipline. We will provide one if there is
interest. Contact us ahead of time so we can coordinate.

7. Anything that is not specifically prohibited is permitted.

Designs in this class are usually very fast and very dangerous. The top speed record is 88mph or 167mph, depending on which interpretation of the rules you believe. ALL entries for this class MUST announce themselves ahead of race day , and be inspected ahead of race day to make sure they will stay in the track and out of the audience. We also reserve the right to say “no, unsafe” at any time for whatever reason(s) we find relevant.

RIDDEN (kind of. . .)

*Funny Car* (Custom fabricated. Single-motor or multi-motor. Custom drive(s). One or more riders)

The Funny Car class is for custom fabricated machines that carry one or more rider(s) down the track, using one or more motors that originated in a hand tool as described above. You are free to develop any type of frame, drive system, seating posture you like. You can start from an existing “vehicle” and add the hand tool motor or start from scratch. The drive from tool to ground can be direct via the tool bit, or via a custom gear/sprocket/axle/tire/etc system.

*Sex Toys* (Ridden/Unridden)
We would hope this class is self-explanatory, but for those who find it ambiguous, suffice it to say that anything that can reasonably be claimed as a HAND-HELD sex toy, can be run (stock or modified), ridden or unridden. Use your imagination. But please, be careful . . .


The drag strip is 75′ of reasonably flat asphalt or wood track. There will be another 50 feet or so to slow down with added blankets and futons to help with the deceleration of the faster entries. Each lane for the ridden class will be 10′ wide with a three foot high barrier wall on the outside of each lane to keep you and your machine out of the audience. The lanes will be separated by the below described track for the unridden classes.

Machines in the unridden classes will run on parallel wood tracks 1′ wide with 2″ X 4″ rails on either side. We will make every effort to maintain the straightness and accuracy of this track, but expect some variation and bumps at the joints. This wood track will look something like this:

We will have a proper timing system with both elapsed and top speed measured and displayed. The starting line will be a flag “girl” (interpretation of “girl” to be at the discretion of the race organizers).


The entry fees are as follows until May 1st. After May 1st, the entry fees will go up, just like Burning Man. To reduce chaos, and embarrassing disorganization, we will NOT be accepting entries the day of the races.

Super Stock $30
Sex Toys: $30
Pro-Supercharges: $35
Awful Awful Altereds: $40
Funny Car: $40
Unusual Designs / Top Fuel: $45

We have set the entry fee above $0 so we can have real purses for the winners. What is a drag race without a good purse anyway?

Each racing team will get 2 free entries to the event. Additional tickets will be available at the regular door price of $15. Regular gate entries for spectating can be purchased at the gate the day of the races.


Each class will pay back 100% of entry fees for that class, plus some extra money we’ll throw in, so we can pay down to third place in each class this year. It will take around 15 entries per class on average to create a $500 purse for 1st place.

Special Mystery Prizes, awarded by special mystery judges for:

Most impressive engineering
Most pathetic engineering
Most dangerous machine
Most spectacular crash
Machine most likely to get its maker laid
And . . .
Machine most likely to get the most air time on TV
And of course, the rotating “Edsel Cup” for the fastest top speed run
of the day.


The pit area will have 120 volt power and some shop tools available, however we suggest you bring what you think you need. If you want a table to work on, you should probably bring it, but we will have some car hoods and other somewhat flat surfaces for you to work should you wish.

One Comment

  1. WTL says:

    That is just plain strange.

    But…. something I’d like to see. ;-)

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