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Form of motor racing in which two contestants race side by side from a standing start over a straight quarter-mile strip of pavement. Winners go on to compete against others in their class until only one is left undefeated. There are three main classes of vehicle: (1) the Top Fuel Eliminator (called a rail or slingshot), a lightweight, long-chassied vehicle with wide rear tires that is fueled by a special mixture, such as methanol and nitromethane; (2) the funny car, a high-performance copy of a late-model production car that uses special fuel; and (3) the standard production car, a modified version of a gasoline-powered production car. The Top Fuel class is the fastest, followed by the funny car. Drag racing is most popular in the U.S.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on drag racing, visit Britannica.com.