The National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) has newly revised rules so that owners of modern performance cars take their machines drag racing without worrying about being disqualified for being too quick. Folks with a Tesla Model S Plaid or Dodge Challenger Demon can breathe a sigh of relief at the track.
The change is that 2014 model year and newer vehicles can now run as quick as 9.0 seconds in the quarter-mile and/or a 150-mile-per-hour (241-kilometer-per-hour) trap speed without being disqualified. Previously, the NHRA safety and speed regulations required the driver to have a competition license and the installation of extra safety gear if the person went quicker than 9.99 seconds and/or had a trap speed over 135 mph (217.3 kph).
Gallery: 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon
The previous rule became a noticeable problem when the Dodge Challenger SRT Demond debuted because it was capable of clocking sub-10-second quarter-mile times on a prepped track. Later, the Tesla Model S Plaid was also capable of beating this time resulting in track personnel kicking out drivers who were too quick.
This isn't the first time for the NHRA to adjust this rule. For decades before 2012, the time for needing a competition license was 11.5 seconds. The governing body introduced the 9.99-second limit in 2012.
The new NHRA rules also affect vehicles from the 2008 to 2013 model years. They can now go as quick as 10.0 seconds and/or have a 135-mph (217.3 kph) trap speed.
To compete in NHRA's street-legal vehicle events, the model must be able to pass all highway safety requirements in the state where the driver is competing. Aftermarket parts are allowed, but the tires must be DOT-approved.
"I want to stress that these limitations are not restricted when it comes to the use of aftermarket bolt-on products and other modifications," Lonnie Grim, NHRA National Tech Director, said in the rules announcement. "This simply states that vehicles racing under the Street Legal guidelines do have to meet the OEM safety system requirements as noted."
As a new bonus, NHRA Member Tracks will hand out special decals to drivers who break the 13-, 12-, 11-, and 10-second benchmarks. If someone does a 9-second run and then submits an NHRA competition license application, they get a special sticker.