Kauai Raceway Park  |  Home of Kauai drag racing

FAQ’s

COMMON FAQ’S


What is GIRA?

The Garden Isle Racing Association, incorporated in 1999, is a not-for-profit corporation which promotes safe Motorsports and responsible street driving. GIRA hosts NHRA-sanctioned drag racing at Kauai Raceway Park in Mana. GIRA races include classes for street-legal cars, imports, Jr. Dragsters, and professional race cars.

How much does it cost to race?
Race entry fee :

  • Jr’s $15 -$25,
  • Pro ET and Top Gun Members $55 non-Member $85
  • Street ET, Bike ET, Sport Compact, Muscle V8, Super Pro member, $35 Non-member $55

Gate  Entry $12 and kids 12 yrs  & under free – No refunds or rain checks. Military Discount Available when Military ID is shown.

I’m not a racer – can I still come out and watch?
YES! We love spectators & they are always welcome at GIRA events!

There is a Gate  Entry Fee of $12 & kids 12 yrs  & under are FREE – No refunds or rain checks. Military Discount Available when Military ID is shown.

Do I need to be a GIRA/NHRA member to race?
No, you do not need to be a member of GIRA or NHRA to come out and race. However there are added benefits to becoming a GIRA member. You can read about them on our Membership Page.

When & how often are there race days?
We race once a month. Check out the current Race Schedule !

How old do I need to be to race?
You must have a valid driver’s license to participate in racing. We also offer a Jr. Dragster class for ages 8-15 years of age. Please find more info about Jr. Drags here.

How do I know what class to race in?
There are several different classes, including Motorcycles! Please read about the Race Classes here & Contact Us for any additional guidance. New racers are always welcome!

Is Alcohol sold or can I bring my own?
NO! Possessing or consuming alcoholic beverages while on the grounds at Kauai Raceway Park is never permitted.

Can I bring my pet/animal?
NO! Animals are never permitted on the grounds at Kauai Raceway Park. This is for everyone’s safety.

How can I keep up to date with GIRA info?
Please Follow us on Facebook and/or sign up for our Newsletter!


RACER FAQ’s

What is the NHRA?

The National Hot Rod Association was founded 1951 to get racing off the city streets and highways and into safe, organized venues. Now in its fifth decade, the NHRA is the world’s largest motorsports sanctioning body with more than 85,000 members, 144 member tracks, 32,000 licensed competitors, and nearly 4,000 member-track events.

What is Drag Racing?

Drag racing is a race between two cars accelerating in a straight line for ¼ mile on a closed race course. NHRA sanctioned drag racing includes classes for slower street cars that cover the ¼ mile in 20 seconds and achieve 75 MPH and classes of extreme race cars that cover the ¼ mile in a standing start in 4 seconds and achieve 330 MPH. All cars are subject to thorough technical inspection to insure the safety of all participants and races are run in strict compliance with safety standards.

What is Street Racing?

Street racing is any illegal demonstration of unwarranted, flagrantly excessive speed on public roads. Street racing may involve several cars racing each other, perhaps in an organized fashion, or perhaps completely impromptu. Street racing may also involve just a single car whose driver is trying to see how fast he can go. Street racing is the bane of all motorsports supporters since it gives us all a bad name.

What is NHRA Jr. Drag Racing?

Jr. Dragsters are half-scale dragsters powered by five-horsepower Briggs & Stratton engines that produce speeds up to 85 mph, driven by 8 to 17 year olds.

RACING TERMINOLOGY

Breakout: A racer running quicker than he or she “dialed in” his or her vehicle. Unless your opponent commits a more serious foul (e.g., red-lights, crosses the centerline, or fails a post-race inspection), the driver who breaks out loses. If both drivers break out, the one who runs closest to his or her dial-in wins.

Burnout: spinning the rear tires to heat and clean them prior to a run for better traction.

Christmas Tree / Tree: The electronic starting device between the lanes on the starting line. It displays a light countdown for each driver.

Deep stage: to roll a few inches farther into the beams after staging, which causes the pre-stage lights to go out. In that position, a driver is closer to the finish line but dangerously close to a foul start.

Dial-in: The time you pick as your handicap. You want to run as close to this time as possible without going faster.

Elapsed time / ET: The time it takes a vehicle to travel from the starting line to the finish line. ET doesn’t include reaction time.

Eliminations: Vehicles race two at a time, resulting in one winner from each pair. Winners continue in tournament-style competition until only one remains.

Full Tree: used in classes with a handicap start. The three yellow bulbs on the Christmas Tree flash consecutively .5 seconds apart, followed .5 seconds later by the green starting light. A perfect reaction time on a full Tree is .500.

Holeshot: when a driver reacts quicker to the Christmas Tree to win a race against an opponent with a quicker E.T.

Interval timers: part of a timing system that records elapsed times at 60 and 660 feet.

Pre-stage: to position the front wheels about seven inches behind the starting line so the uppermost small yellow lights atop that driver’s side of the Christmas Tree are glowing.

Pro Tree: used in heads up professional racing. All three large amber lights on the Christmas Tree flash simultaneously, followed four-tenths of a second later by the green starting light. A perfect reaction time on a Pro Tree is .400.

Reaction time: the time it takes a driver to react to the green starting light on the Christmas Tree, measured in thousandths of a second. The reaction-time counter begins when the last amber light flashes on the Tree and stops when the vehicle clears the stage beam.

Red Light / Foul Start: Indicated by a red light on the Christmas Tree when a car has left the starting line before the green light.

Sixty-foot time: the time it takes a vehicle to cover the first 60 feet of the racetrack. It is the most accurate measure of the launch from the starting line.

Stage: Positioning the front wheels right on the starting line so the second row of small yellow lights are on. Once both drivers are staged, the calibrated countdown (see Christmas Tree) may begin.

Trap: the final 66 feet to the finish line where speed is recorded.


 

RACERS & MEMBERS

Kauai Raceway Park – Front Gate to Finish Line

1Show up early. At the gate get into the right side lane for “Racers”, pay your entry fee, and get your “tech card”. You’ll need to pick a “car number” to identify yourself.

2The speed limit in the pits is 5 MPH at all times.

3Alcohol is prohibited in the pits at all times for everyone: drivers, crew and spectators.

4Find a spot in the pits. The pits get full later, so don’t hog up a ton of spaces.

5Remove any loose items in your car, and fill out your tech card. Write your car number on the passenger side of the windshield in white shoe polish. Make sure your numbers and dial-in will be visible from the tower.

6When the announcer calls for tech inspections, drive to the staging lanes before the tower.

7Usually, even a modified late model car can pass tech . You will need a Snell 98 helmet, closed shoes, long pants, and a shirt to race.

8When the announcer says time trials are open, drive to the staging lanes. Once you are in the lanes, stay with your car.

9Don’t run your AC. Water condensation drips onto the race track.

10When it’s time for the cars in your staging lane to pull forward, a track official at the front of the lanes will direct you. Watch the track officials at all times for proper direction.

11After you have been paired up the track official at the water box will check to make sure your windows are rolled up, helmet and seat belts are on, and if it is after dark, your lights are on.

12Don’t start your burnout until directed by an official. Make sure you are all the way on the track and facing directly forward.

13Go AROUND the water. You don’t want to get near the water unless you have slicks. It will get into your tread, be thrown into your fenders, and drip all the way down the track.

14Do a short burnout to get the dirt off of your tires and heat them up a bit. Hold the brake with your left foot, and goose it with your right for a couple of seconds. Don’t do a John Force-style burnout spinning the tires through and past the starting line, forcing you to back up.

15Line up for the starting line. Cars with racing slicks should line up right in the middle of the track. Cars with street tires should line up outside the groove, either to the right or left.

16Pull your car toward the staging beams. They are about 25’ before the tree itself. Watch other racers to find where they are located. When you get close, the top set of lights (pre-stage) will come on.

17Now, slowly creep forward about 7 more inches until the next set of lights comes on (staged). (It is considered a courtesy to wait until your opponent has pre-staged before you stage.) If you backup at the starting line you will be disqualified.

18As soon as you and your opponent are both staged, the three large, yellow lights will count down to start the race. Go when the last, bottom yellow comes on! If you wait to see the green light, you will get a terrible start!

19If you feel things get out of hand, massive wheel spin or whatever, just back off for that run! There’ll be others! Also, if it’s your very first time down the track, you might not want to give it 100% the first time. The track is a lot slicker than most roads, so be aware and be careful.

20Stay in your lane all the way down the race track.

21If you are bracket racing, don’t lock up your brakes at the end of the track in an attempt to not “break out”. Locking ’em up is dangerous

22Since the track’s turn offs are on the right, the car in the right lane has the right of way. Never turn in front of another car if you are in the left lane.

23Drive up the return road, park in your spot in the pits, and walk to the bottom of the tower to get your time slip. There are a lot of people and kids walking around the pits, so go slow.

24During time trials you can see how fast your car runs. Before elimination racing starts you must decide on your dial-in time and write it on your windshield.

Winning at ET Bracket Racing

Cars are separated into “brackets”: Pro ET for the really fast race cars, Muscle v8 and Sport Compact are for the fastest street cars, and Street ET is for the rest of us. Since each of these categories contains a wide range of cars, you are handicapped based on a time that you predict you will run. This is called your “dial in”. The racer who runs closest to their dial-in, without going faster, wins the race. If you go faster than your dial-in, you “break out” and automatically lose the race.

For example, if you dial in 15.80 and your opponent dials in at 15.25, you would get a .55 second head start down the track. Whoever gets to the finish line first wins.

The staging lights measure how long it takes you to leave your staged position. This is called your reaction time. In bracket racing your reaction time is very important. Your ET is measured from when your car starts, not from the green light. So a fast reaction time can’t ever cause you to break out. If your reaction time is much better than the other driver’s you will probably win your race.

A perfect reaction time is .500, which is exactly when the green light comes on. If you get under .500, you “red light” and lose the race. If you take longer than .500, you will take longer to get to the finish line, and may lose the race.

Your reaction time is printed on your time slip. It is just as important to practice getting a good reaction time as it is a quick ET.

NHRA Rules Strictly Enforced

The GIRA will enforce all NHRA rules regarding competition cars and competition licenses. The GIRA tech inspector’s decisions are final and un-appealable. Don’t ask us to make exceptions. NHRA rules and procedures shall be paramount and in any conflicts with GIRA policy, NHRA rules and policies shall take precedent.

Infractions of any correctable rule regarding safety or compliance to NHRA regulations will result in a suspension of racing privileges until corrected.

Some common NHRA Rules are available here.

Re-inspections

In the event of repair or modification at the track after tech inspection approval, GIRA reserves the right and intends to re-inspect your car. If you make any modification to your chassis or safety equipment after your car is inspected, please bring that to our attention so you car may be re-inspected BEFORE running.

Oil Downs

1st occurrence: written warning;

2nd occurrence: $75 penalty;

3rd occurrence: $150 (per season) (09/12).

Bye Run Option

Any racer making a bye run may skip the run by notifying the starter in advance.

No Electronics

Delay boxes and throttle stops are not permitted in any classes.

Chase Vehicles

Chase vehicles are only allowed for Top Gun, Pro ET and Jr ET racers. All other cars must self start and return to the pits under their own power. Chase vehicles must be prepared to follow their race car promptly after the nearest / slower race vehicle crosses 1/8 mile mark. Chase vehicle cannot pass or overtake a race vehicle unless it is stopped and the race is completed or an emergency situation exists. hase vehiles must use emergeny flashers while on the track.

JR ET vehicles must use tow bars on tow backs (no tow straps) and no driver in car.  Exceptions must be approved in advance by Track manager or track safety coordinator.

Burn Outs

Only Top Gun & Pro ET racers may burn out across the starting line.

Promptness

Failure to be in staging when called may/will result in disqualification.

Staging

Seven (7) second rule:  After the first car has staged (and three (3) lights are lit on the tree), the second car has seven (7) seconds to stage, or may be disqualified (09/12).

Courtesy Staging- Please wait to stage until your opponent has pre-staged.

Return Road Courtesy

If towing slowly, please allow cars to pass on the return road to prevent their overheating.

Return Road Policy

The Speed Limit on the return road is 25 mph and 5mph in the pit area

At no time can towed Jr. Dragsters be passed on the return road. If following Jr Dragster you must remain back and maintain a minimum margin of100 feet.

Jr Dragsters should be hooked up and removed from the track turn-off as quickly as possible to avoid congestion and maintain a clear and safe area for arriving drivers and their crew.

Car Numbers

•Car numbers must be exactly 4 digits

•No letters are allowed. Car numbers must consist of only digits, 1234567890

•All car numbers must be clearly displayed on the front windshield and passenger side

•Top Gun should use their NHRA license number

The first digit identifies the class:

1xxx Bike

2xxx Jr ET

3xxx Street

4xxx Sport Compact

5xxx Muscle V8

7xxx Quick8 / Top Gun / Pro ET

9xxx Test & Tune

Protesting a Race Result

Any challenge to a race result must be made to the starter staff and/or track manager within 10 minutes of the completion of the race.  Only the losing driver, crew chief, or car owner have standing to challenge a race result. (Please, don’t just say, “This Sucks” or “This isn’t fair” or “I don’t like this.” Clearly say “I am protesting the result.”  We need to know the difference between just bitching about a problem and requesting action to review a decision.

A committee of four consisting of two GIRA Directors plus the track manager (Gary Long) and the timing equipment manager (Walt Barnes) will judge the protest. (In the event the track manager is unavailable, an additional GIRA Director may substitute. In the event the timing equipment manager is unavailable, an additional GIRA Director may substitute.)

The judgment may either A) uphold the original result, B) declare the race result void, or C) disqualify one of the competitors resulting in an automatic win for the other.  In the event of declaring the race void, it will be rerun as soon as possible.

Suspensions

Violating any track safety rule, e.g. hazardous driving in the pits, consuming alcohol while racing, or reckless driving during staging, will result in immediate disqualification from the event. No further runs of any kind will be permitted at the event. Repeating such behavior will result in suspension of racing privileges for the remainder of the season.

Violating any track conduct rule, e.g. abusive behavior or fighting, will result in immediate disqualification from the event and ejection from track grounds.

Violating any other track rule or procedure, e.g. excessive burnouts, burnouts across the starting line for slower cars, non-gentlemanly staging, or intentional delays, will result in a warning for the first occurrence, and disqualification of the run for subsequent occurrences. Disqualification of the run during time trials will constitute losing your place and going to the end of the line. Disqualification of the run during eliminations will result in an automatic loss.

Intentional misrepresentations to track officials, e.g. concealing violations of NHRA rules, misrepresenting eligibility for points, will result in immediate disqualification for the event. No further runs of any kind will be permitted at the event. Repeating such behavior will result in suspension of racing privileges for the remainder of the season.

NO DOGS OR ANIMALS ALLOWED in Kauai Raceway Park

Hot Pits

•No one under the age of 14 allowed in the hot pits.  Jr Dragster racers may enter the pits when their respective class is called up.  Jr racers must remain near their cars.

•Covered shoes must be worn in the hot pits at all times.

Pits

•Children under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult (AT ALL TIMES) when in the pits, this includes visits to other pits and bathroom breaks. Children are no longer allowed to roam in the pit area unsupervised.

•Please remember to take your trash with you when you leave.  A $50 fine may be assessed to those who leave trash behind.

PLEASE SHOW SPORTSMANSHIP!  DISRESPECT OF TRACK OFFICALS AND OTHER RACERS WILL NOT BE TOLERATED.  INAPPROPRIATE BEHAVIOR MAY/WILL RESULT IN EXPULSION FROM THE TRACK AND POSSIBLY FUTURE GIRA EVENTS.

GIRA track officials reserve the right to suspend or expel any person for just cause without warning.

Here is a quick overview of the general guidelines set by the NHRA and enforced by GIRA. This brief guide is no substitute for the NHRA rulebook.

General Rules

•Drivers must wear a Snell 98 approved helmet.

•Drivers must wear long pants, full coverage shoes, and shirt with sleeves.

•Drivers must have a valid driver’s license.

•Street cars must have a current Hawaii safety inspection and insurance card.

•Batteries must be securely bolted down.

•No more than a total of 12” of rubber fuel line is allowed in the entire fuel system.

•No worn or damaged tires.

•If the battery is relocated, you must have an external kill switch clearly marked ON/OFF on the back of the vehicle that will cut off electrical power and shut off the car. Cars running an alternator must be rewired to shut off the engine.

•Any car on slicks must have a driveshaft loop, C-clip eliminators and long wheel studs.

•Aftermarket rear axles required with a locked rear end.

13.49 and quicker

•Convertible’s must have a six-point rollbar.

11.99 and quicker

•All drivers must wear an SFI-approved jacket.

•SFI-approved (dated 2 yr exp.) five-point harness required.

•Six-point rollbar required.

•Manual transmissions require an SFI-approved (dated, exp. depends on clutch type) bellhousing.

•Steel valve stems required with tubeless tires.

10.99 and quicker

•10-point rollcage required.

•Full-bodied cars with an unaltered firewall, floor, and body may use just a six-point rollbar.

•Automatic transmissions require an SFI-approved (dated 5 yr exp.) transmission shield.

•SFI-approved harmonic balancer required.

•Aftermarket rear axles required.

9.99 and quicker

•Drivers must have an NHRA Competition License.

•Medical exam must be complete on the NHRA form before attempting any licensing passes.

•10-point rollcage with serialized NHRA sticker (3 yr exp.) and SFI-approved (2 yr exp.) window net required.

•Multi-layered SFI-approved firesuit required.

•SFI-approved neck collar mandatory.

•Parachute required above 150 mph.

•Automatic transmissions must have SFI-approved (dated, 5 yr exp.) flexplate and shield.

GIRA is a not-for-profit corporation governed by these bylaws.

GIRA implements best practices for non-profit board. GIRA Directors receive training about the duties and responsibilities of non-profit Boards of Directors. The training is available online here.

Meet your GIRA Directors

Tony Ricci – President

Gary Saiki– Vice President

Mary Kealoha – Treasurer

Marci Lach –Secretary

Gary Long – Director / Track Manager / Senior Tech Inspector

Jesse Kealoha-Director & Tech inspector

Bill Turk-Director