IHRA Rule Book — 2010 IHRA Rulebook
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The procedures and regulations set in this book shall be followed at all IHRA sanctioned events. These are a guide toward a universal racing goal, and interpretation will be made by the Director of Competition. His decision shall be final.


Adjustments may be made at any time if a particular combination is determined to have an unfair competitive advantage in a particular class.

IHRA reserves the right to determine the validity of any race or elapsed time in the event that the contestant deliberately attempts to discredit the run.

All drivers entering IHRA National or Pro-Am events must be IHRA members, have a current IHRA Competition License and number for the class entered, and driver must display his/her IHRA permanent number on vehicle. Violation may mean disqualification and loss of points.

In order to compete in an event contestants MUST prominently display IHRA Motorsports, IHRA Drag Racing Series, Pro-Am Divisional Tour and Selected Series decals on both sides of their vehicle, in addition to the Event decal.

ANTIFREEZE: Antifreeze is prohibited from being in the vehicle. Violations may result in disqualification at the discretion of the event director.

BREAKOUT: On any run of a handicap eliminator if both cars break out, the car breaking out the least will be declared the winner. If both cars break out the same amount, the “first-to-finish’‘ shall be declared the winner.

BURNOUTS: Limited to one across starting line for TF, PFD, PNFC, TS, TD, PS, QR and Top ET. Prohibited in all other classes. One warning will be issued at the discretion of the race director for any violation.

All pre-race burnouts are restricted to designated area, using water only. Race Director has the option to modify burnout regulations as conditions warrant. If a contestant’s car should break on a burnout, it is permissible to push it back if time permits. No additional crew members may proceed down the track to assist in pushing the entry back unless instructed to do so by an IHRA official. It must be pushed by IHRA officials and/or original down track “back-up” crew members only. The timeframe associated with waiting for the car being pushed back is determined solely by the starting line officials. If the entry cannot back up or be pushed back, it is not allowable to turn around on the track and drive back to the starting line. Crossing the center line during a burnout is not an automatic disqualification unless such action is deemed to be careless or hazardous to the vehicle in the other lane, in which case the director may, at his sole discretion, disqualify the offending driver from further competition in that event. Holding of cars in the water box prohibited unless approved by safety director. All water in burnout area to be put down by officials only.

BYE RUNS: Bye runs must be made in all categories. The driver must stage under the vehicle’s own power. The run must be completed for the driver to be declared the winner, except in the case of breakage during the bye run. Lane boundary line crossing and red Light disqualification rules do not apply on bye runs. Bye Run Winners do not need to stop at the scales or fuel check unless they elect to do so to have the run validated for lane choice, record setting purposes, etc. CHANGING CARS OR CLASSES: Once the competitor has completed the inspection process and has been classified, no changes of class or category are permitted. Entries may not change classes, eliminator categories or withdraw from competition after they have entered the staging lanes for qualifying or time trials. If a driver is entered in an eliminator and is defeated (or breaks), he may change to another eliminator (or car), only if Tech is still open for the class he wishes to enter. If Tech is closed for that class, he is out of competition for that event. If the event is rescheduled with qualifying open, class or eliminator changes are permitted. Advance notification to the IHRA competition department is mandatory.

A driver may qualify a car and then withdraw the car from competition, and enter another car providing Tech has not closed, and a qualifying session remains. When a driver switches cars, the qualifying position and any points earned by the first car are forfeited.

No competition vehicle may be used by more than one person during an event. If a competitor wishes to change to a different vehicle, it must be a new entry and not one that has been previously qualified by a different driver. No competition vehicle may be used by more than one person durang an event. If a competitor wishes to change to a different vehicle, it must be a new entry and not one that has been previously qualified by a different driver.

Once eliminations have begun, switching cars is prohibited. You must finish eliminations with the car you started with except as listed below.

All Competitors: If an event is rained out and qualifying is complete, you must compete with the car you qualified at the rescheduled event. This rule may be waived if there is an extensive amount of time between race dates with permission from the competition department. A contestant may not set records or qualify with one vehicle, then compete in eliminations with another vehicle.

CONTINGENCY AWARDS: Class and qualifying contingency must be verified immediately after final qualifying session. Winner and Runner Up contingency will be verified after the final round of eliminations. To be eligible for contingency awards, the following criteria must be adhered to:

1. Decals must be placed on both sides of the vehicle on a vertical surface unless the individual sponsor approves another location. Decals must be visible in IHRA official photo used for contingency verification. Failure to comply with this rule will result in loss of contingency for product in question. Non-visible areas are: running board surface, decklids, rear of vehicle and rear window.

2. All decals and products must be on the entry prior to the first round of eliminations.


3. Any competitor attempting to falsely collect contingency awards for products not on the vehicle will forfeit all contingency for that event and may lose all claims for the season. All components included for contingency verification must be functional and accepted for use in the category / eliminator for which the claim has been submitted.

4. Decals must not be altered or overlaid without permission of sponsor.

5. Sponsors may have additional requirements. Specific information is available in contingency central on ihra.com or by contacting the IHRA contingency department at the corporate office.

6. As a courtesy, some sponsors provide contingency decals to IHRA that are available in the tech trailer. Available decals are distributed until tech is closed for the competitors class. All decals must be on the competitors vehicle prior to first round of eliminations.

Not all decals are available through IHRA.

7. IHRA is not responsible for unpaid claims. The driver/owner must contact the manufacturer direct. IHRA may assist under certain circumstances.

8. Mandatory decals - IHRA decal and Series sponsor decals.

9. Competitors may not display their sponsor’s product from their pit space unless their sponsor is part of the IHRA contingency program. Competitors may display sponsor banners, product catalogues or promotional brochures from their pit space.

10. Competitors who attempt to claim awards for multiple products from different companies, connected in series on the entry, will be denied. (Ex. 2 ignitions systems, fuel pumps , etc.) CO-RIDERS: Riders allowed in vehicles running 14.00 (8.75 1/8 mile) or slower. Rider must comply with same safety guidelines as the driver.

DAMAGED CARS: If a car is damaged or has a minor problem after it pulls into the staging lanes, the car will be permitted to make the run (at the Race Director’s discretion), but repairs must be made before the next round. NOTE: The damage must have occurred in the lanes Or on the track, and not before the car pulled into the lanes. An unsafe car will be disqualified.

DIAL-INS: No dial-in may be changed after the entry has left the head of staging, unless approved by the race director. Dial-ins may not be changed in the case of a re-run. At any event with functioning scoreboards that display the “dial-in” any racer “staging” his car has accepted that dial in, right or wrong.

Vehicles competing in Super Stock and Stock categories are not allowed to “Dial-In” slower than their established IHRA National Index.

During eliminations, vehicles of the same class will be run “heads up” with no breakout in Super Stock and Stock. In Top Sportsman and Top Dragster, you may not dial more than .10 slower than the slowest official qualified entry. Lane choice in TS and TD will be based upon the lowest dial in.

DUAL INFRACTIONS: In the case of dual infractions on a competitive run, the car making the worst infraction will be disqualified. If infractions are of an equal rank, the first infraction shall be disqualified. In cases where both opponents in a race have mechanical difficulties prior to the start, every effort will be made to determine a winner and a loser of the contest. When possible, this includes the allowance of a reasonable time period for the contestants to make adjustments and repairs, then to complete the race. This rule also applies to cars making single runs.

ENGINE SIZE: All contestants in weight to cubic inch classes must claim exact inch displacement of engine used. No allowances will be given for over bore or extra weight.

If engine size is changed during a race, the competitor must report to the technical department supervisor before a run is attempted.


In situations where multiple boundary lines are utilized, the line directly adjacent to the competitors racing lane will be used for reference.In determining lane boundary crossing violations, it is considered a disqualification when any portion of a tire touches the painted line surface. Contact with guard railing, barriers, or any other track fixture (i.e. “Christmas tree,” “A frames,” timing equipment, cones, foam reflector block, etc.) is grounds for disqualification. Decorative painting on the track surface does not constitute a boundary violation. Intentional crossing of boundary lines to leave track or to avoid depositing debris on strip is not grounds for disqualification.

In situations where a driver is making a single run in eliminations, he is considered the automatic winner once he stages under power and receives the start (see also: Bye Runs). Lane boundary line crossing and red light disqualification rules do not apply on single runs.

LANE CHOICE: All set qualified eliminators will determine lane choice for the first round by qualified position. After first round, low ET of previous round will determine lane choice for all Pro classes. (In event of a “missed” ET, most previously recorded ET will be used.)

In Top Sportsman and Top Dragster, lowest dial in determines lane choice for all rounds of competition. In all of the non-qualified (All Run) eliminators, lane choice and run order will be determined by coin toss or competitor agreement once the entries are placed on a ladder sheet, (Super Stock and Stock-all rounds, Hot Rod, Super Rod, and Quick Rodafter 1st round.) A competitor has until the signal is given to start the burnout, to declare which lane he chooses.

All Professional class cars shall alternate lanes on qualifying sessions as per run card.

Failure to run your assigned lane will result in loss of that qualifying run. (For rescheduled event Time Trials, where only one time trial is given before going into eliminations, lane choice and run order will be done randomly by a card system.)

BYE RUN AND LANE CHOICE PROCEDURE: (Pro Am and Sportsman National Events): The procedure for selecting the bye run in the non-qualified classes (HR, SR, QR, TS, TD) will be based upon the best winning reaction time from the previous round. A tech card will be selected at random for the bye run in round 1. If there is not a bye run in the round, the competitor selected will have lane choice except in TS and TD in which the competitor with the quickest dial in will continue to have lane choice. If there is a tie it will be broken by the best package. If still a tie, it will be the competitor who recorded the time first.

MULTIPLE CLASSES / CARS: No car will be allowed to enter/race in 2 classes, including ET at Nitro Jam Events. A contestant cannot drive in more than two classes at the same event. Note: IHRA class cars may also run ET Bracket race at Pro-Am Events.

NUMBERS: Permanent Numbers required for all entries at all National Events. Numbers must be a minimum of 4” high. It is mandatory that your IHRA competition number be clearly visible on all appropriate sides of your vehicle. Shoe polish or any other temporary process is not acceptable. If your vehicle has additional numbers visible on the car, they must be covered entirely prior to competition. (A line across the number is not acceptable.)

Failure to abide by this policy may result in loss of qualifying attempt or elimination round.

PAIRINGS / LADDERS: Category pairings are based upon established IHRA “Ladder” charts; qualifying elapsed times determine positions. PS, PFD and PNFC will use the IHRA pro ladder. (Example 8 car field, 1 vs 8, 2 vs 7, 3 vs 6, etc., 16 car fields-1 vs 16, 2 vs 15, 3 vs 14, etc.,) In all sportsman classes a modified ladder is used in which the top 1/2 of the field is matched against the lower 1/2. (Example: 16 car field - 1 vs 9, 2 vs 10, 3 vs 11, 4 vs 12, 5 vs 13, 6 vs 14, 7 vs 15, 8 vs 16.) Example: 32 car field - 1 vs 17, 2 vs 18, 3 vs 19, 4 vs 20, etc.) In situations where fields are not filled, such as 14 cars entering a 16 car field, a 14 car ladder will be used, not a 16 car ladder. All Run fields randomly paired 1st and 2nd rounds. Once established, ladders are not changed except as noted for required rescheduling. Any discrepancy listed on the qualifying sheets must be rectified before the start of the next qualifying session or it will stand as posted.

In all random pairing classes, the practice of parking at the rear of the staging lanes and selectively pulling in behind or beside specific competitors will not be tolerated. All competitors must enter the lanes upon arrival at the rear of staging.

IHRA reserves the right to “randomly shuffle the competitors at the rear of staging area to ensure that fair competition is being adhered to.

QUALIFYING/ALTERNATES: All classes must qualify during the officially assigned times at all events. These qualifying time periods shall be issued by the Race Director, and may be amended by him at any time, before or during the event.

All qualifiers must have a valid elapsed time recorded in order to be placed into elimination competition. A valid elapsed time consists of accepting the green light, crossing the finish line under power and going through scales and fuel check if required. In “All Run” fields, the event director has the option of placing non-qualified entrants into the field. No class changes are permittedafter a competitorhas mad a qualifying attempt in SS or Stock.

If a competitor in a qualified field improves his qualifying position and fails to stop at the scales, he will be removed from the qualifying order entirely.

In the event of a tie for a qualified position, the car with the highest speed will be given the highest position. If a tie exists for speed also, the first car turning the qualified time shall be given the highest position.

Alternates will be admitted in all qualified fields (only for first round) at Nitro Jam Events.

Alternates will be seeded into the ladder in the place of the qualified car that was unable to make the call. If an alternate is seeded into the ladder, the alternate will have the ability to win first round money (no points) if he wins the round. Should the alternate lose first round, the first round money will go to the qualified car that was unable to compete. The qualified car will continue to receive first round points. See Alternates section under Points.

In certain situations, IHRA may determine the qualified field (at a national event) using a points system.

A qualifying session that has already been started does not have to be completed to count towards qualifying if it is interrupted. If a qualifying session is rained out or cancelled any runs that were completed up to that point will count toward qualifying, even if that session happens to be the final session prior to eliminations.

If only one professional qualifying session is completed prior to elimination for a qualified category, the field will be set on that session only. If only one qualifying attempt is available for a qualified professional category and it is not completed, then the qualified field will be set based on the current point standings.

If only one qualifying session is completed prior to eliminations in TS and TD, all competitors will be permitted to run elimintions with the slowest dial-in being the maximum dial for the class.

If any reason causes a special “shootout-showdown” qualifying session to be canceled, Ets turned in the most previous qualifying session will be used for the special “shootoutshowdown” times.

In Super Stock and Stock Eliminators, IHRA will be taking steps to equalize the competitive field of the two eliminators. Any vehicle that exceeds its respective standard of -1.40 (1/4 mile) or -1.15 (1/8 mile) during qualifying will be required to submit the vehicle for inspection by the IHRA Technical Department. Upon completion of the technical inspection which may include an engine teardown, fuel sample check, and/or a visual inspection, the competition vehicle may have an increase in its horsepower rating or an adjustment to its standard. Competition runs made during class runoffs or eliminator rounds will not be included in the process. In Super Stock Production, when a competitor makes a run of -1.40 (1/4 mile) or -1.15 (1/8 mile) that competitor will have that amount lowered from their standard and will be in effect at the next event.

Example: a competitor who runs -1.45 under their standard will have their standard lowered -.05 and will be the new standard beginning with the next event.

REFUELING: Refueling is not permitted once the engine has been started for a competitive run, unless instructed to do so by an IHRA official.REINSTATEMENT: There is no reinstatement policy, even if the winning car is unable to return.

RE-RUNS: All runs will stand, except interruptions caused by electrical failure or weather. Incremental and speed variances have no bearing in determining an electrical interruption. If any “single” amber bulb is burned out on the competitor’s side of the tree, the race will be re-run. Track conditions, interference from the car in the other lane, etc will not constitute a re-run. Cars will run in the order they are paired. This includes qualifying and eliminations. Dial-in and lane choice will not change on the re-run.

RETURN ROAD: All contestants must keep their speed to a minimum on the Return Road. Violation will result in disqualification.

SCALES: On all qualifying attempts and record runs, each car in TF, PFD, PNFC, PS, TS, TD, SS, STK, and HR must go directly to scales and stop for weighing. Any competitor who bypasses the scales or fuel check on an official qualifying or elimination round, unless instructed to do so by an IHRA official, may be disqualified from the event.

All qualifiers, class winners, and record setters must report to tech immediately after Scales. All winning TF, PFD, PNFC, PS, TS, TD, SS, STK, and HR entries must stop at the scales at the end of each round of eliminations at Nitro Jam Events, Pro-Am Divisional and Record events. If winner fails to stop at scales, he may be eliminated. The scale operators decision is considered final. Bye Run Winners do not need to stop at the scales or fuel check unless they elect to do so to have the run validated for lane choice, record setting purposes, etc. Receiving a time card marked “lose” exempts a driver from weighing. It is the driver’s responsibility to present their entry for weighing.

Any driver with loose or illegal ballast will be disqualified from the event, as per decision of the technical department.

Note: A vehicle unable to weigh, because of an accident, etc., may be credited with a legal run, if so decided by the IHRA Competition Department.

STAGING: All race cars will be called to the Staging Area by the announcer. Only one call is required. Five minutes after the first call, any machine not appearing in the Staging Area will be subject to disqualification. Any car left unattended in the Staging Lanes may be disqualified. Once a car reaches the front of the staging lanes for a run, it must be prepared to fire and race. If one of the vehicles fails to start, it will be given 30 seconds to fire before being disqualified. If an entry loses fire, the head of staging or starting line official has the authority to not permit re-firing of the entry if there is not time or if it would be unsafe for the competitors, crew or spectators.

Note: If a car is properly equipped with starter, battery, etc., but will momentarily not start, one (1) chance will be given to start the car in the lanes; however, it must be repaired before the next round.

After proper staging and receiving the starter’s signal to go, it is not allowable to restage for a second attempt.

To be considered a round winner, the competitors Final Staging motion, using vehicle’s applied power, must be in a forward motion going from pre-stage to stage position. The car’s starter is not considered “applied power”. Once the vehicle is staged it is considered in the race. Staging must be made with the front wheels only. Rear wheel starts prohibited.

Failure to stage when so instructed by the starter or overstaging, or leaving the starting line before the timing system is activated, or leaving the starting line before the start system has been reset will result in no “E.T.” for that run, and possible disqualification.

Courtesy Staging - Mandatory in all sportsman classes. (TS, TD, QR, SR, HR, SS, and STK) Failure to courtesy stage will result in disqualification in eliminations at the discretion of the starter. Courtesy Staging - Both cars must Pre-stage before either car Stages. A car that accidentally lights both bulbs may be allowed to back up and re-stage correctly if time allows. If the tree is activated during this process and the entry is not re-staged he will be eliminated. The amount of time allowed for the second car to stage is predetermined by the “Auto Start” system, and not hurried because one car is already Staged. (see Starting System below).

“Deep-staging” is prohibited in QR, SR, HR, SS and STK, and will result in disqualification.

Dual “Deep-staging” in QR, SR, HR, SS and STK shall result in disqualification of both offenders. In final round, both cars will be re-run. In all other classes, deep staging is permitted but not guaranteed. Deep staging is the sole responsibility of the driver. Special allowances for deep stagers do NOT need to be made by the starter and/or starting system.

STARTING LINE ACCESS: All professional crew members must display the proper starting line credentials,to pass the head of staging during competition rounds. PS are limited to a maximum of 6 crew members. Nitro teams are limited to a total of 9 crew members. All drivers and crew members must follow the instruction of security officer/s.

Failure to comply may result in fines or disqualification and loss of restricted area access.

Once a car is Pre-Staged in any class, all crewmen must be back behind the designated cones or line. Pro drivers may watch other pro runs from “Pro Viewing Area” only.

STARTING SYSTEM: At all IHRA Nitro Jam Events, Pro-Am events, and Team Finals events, the tree will utilize a blinder with the top bulb exposed. The top bulb will be turned directly toward starting line. Cones (glare reduction covers) will be placed on all bulbs. The “Rollout” at all National Events, Pro-Am Events and Team Finals events will be set at 11 1/2” for Pre-stage and 11 1/2” for Stage, with 7” between the beams. This will be set using a wheel 22” in diameter. “Auto Start” will be used in all classes at National Events and Team Finals events. It will also be used at Pro-Am Divisional Events when host track is equipped with “Auto Start” system. Once both cars are pre-staged and the first car stages, the second car has a predetermined amount of time to stage before the tree is automatically activated. This predetermined amount of time is referred to as “Time Out”. If the second car fails to stage before the system “Times Out”, it will be given a red light. The time out for each class is as follows:

Autostart Staged Staged
Settings Minimum to Start Total
Professional Classes 0.5 0.3 7
Top Dragster 0.6 0.9 10
Top Sportsman 0.6 0.9 10
Super Stock 0.6 0.9 10
Stock 0.6 0.9 10
Quick Rod 0.6 0.7 10
Super Rod 0.6 0.7 10
Hot Rod 0.6 0.8 10
ET Bracket/Team Finals 0.6 0.9 10
Junior Dragster (10-17) 1.0 0.8 15
Junior Dragster (8-9) 1.0 0.8 15

All C-44 Timing Systems Stage to Start will be 1.7 for all classes.

1. Stage Minimum is the amount of time tire breaks the beam to begin Auto Start.

2. Stage to Start is the amount of time both cars are staged to begin Auto Start countdown. Accutime programming may add an additional .2 for variance.

3. Total is when one car is pre-staged and staged, and the other car is only pre-staged, this is the amount of time left before tree activates.

In the Auto Start system, the tire must be in the stage beam for a minimum amount of time before the Auto Start begins. This “Staged Minimum” in Pro classes is .5 seconds and in Sportsman .6 seconds and Junior classes it is 1 second.

During eliminations, any sportsman vehicle starting a run before the tree is activated will be automatically disqualified. If both leave early, both will be disqualified. In final round, both cars will re-run.

In professional categories, if both competitors leave before the timing system is activated, the driver leaving first will be disqualified. If the race director is unable to determine who left first, both competitors will be disqualified.

NOTE: The Auto Start does not activate until two Pre-Stage lights and one Stage light have been lit. If one side has both Pre-Stage and Stage lights lit, the Auto Start will not activate until the second driver Pre-Stages.

TESTING: Testing is prohibited at Nitro Jam Event facilities the week of the event. The Sunday prior to the National event is the last day testing is permitted.

TOW VEHICLES: See specific class regulations. All crew members, passengers, etc., must be in a seated position completely inside all vehicles. Crew members hanging on, standing or seated in unsafe places in the tow vehicles is prohibited. Exceptions to tow vehicle guidelines may be made upon documented written requests submitted to the IHRA Competition department.

VEHICLE IDENTIFICATION: A car is identified by chassis, not engine and body.

WARM-UPS: All vehicles when started for warm-up or testing procedures must have a qualified driver in the entry prior to starting the vehicle and be entirely within the confines or the participants designated pit area.

These rules and regulations are intended as a guide for the conduct of the sport and are in no way a guarantee against injury or death to participants or spectators. These rules express no implied warranty or safety in any way.