Whether it’s your first time or you’ve been around the block a few times, you’ll find the ins and outs of Penwell Knights Raceway at Caprock Motorplex right here.



  1. Gates will open @ 11:00 AM
  2. Time Trials @ 2:00 PM
  3. Drivers’ Meeting @ 3:30 PM
  4. Racing @ 4:00 PM


Gates open @ 5:00 PM

Racing @ 6:00 PM – Midnight


General Tips

  1. If you don’t know, ask!  Everyone at the track knows what it is like to be a first timer.  After all, nobody was born here.
  2. If you know an experienced racer, go with them.  If not, then go to watch your first time.  Pay the extra money, and get on the pit side.  It’s definitely where the action is.  When you are ready to try your luck, we do have “test & tune” days. This is a great time for newbies to get out and try it without being under pressure.

Front Gate To Finish Line Drivers

  1. At the pit gate, pay your entry fee, get your “tech card” and helmet rental if you don’t have your own at the Swag Shack.
  2. Find a pit spot.  The pits get full later, so try not to take up to much space.  Remove any loose items in your car that could blow out on the track, and fill out your tech card.
  3. When the announcer calls for tech inspection, be open, listen, and go where you are told.  If you don’t understand ask someone.
  4. After you have confirmed that someone else has not already taken the number you prefer, write your car’s number on your passenger side window where it will be visible to the tower.
  5. When the announcer calls for staging lanes to be open, pull into your proper lane.
  6. Once you are in the lanes, stay with your car.
  7. When it’s time for the cars in your staging lane to pull forward and be positioned to race, a track official at the front of the lanes will direct you.  It is very, very important to pay attention!  Watch the track officials at all times for proper direction.
  8. After you have been paired up out of the staging lanes and pull up next to the timing tower, be ready to go.  The track official at the water box will check to verify your car, truck, or motorcycle is ready to run.
  9. Go through the water box.  Do a short burnout to get the dirt off your tires and heat them up.  This will give your race car better traction.  Hold the brake with your left foot, and goose it with your right long enough to get your tires spinning.
  10. When you are told to, pull your car toward the staging beams.  They are not located next to the Christmas  tree!  Watch other racers to find where they are located.  When you get close, the top set of lights (pre-stage) will come on.  Now, slowly creep forward until the next set come on (staged).
  11. Find the yellow light just above the green, and concentrate on it!  Go when the last yellow comes on!  If you wait for the green, you will get a terrible RT (reaction time)!
  12. Stay in your lane at all costs.  If you feel things get out of hand (massive wheelspin or whatever), just back off for that run!  There will be others!
  13. Proceed up the return road, and stop to get your ET slip.  Now is not the time to read it, wait till your next turn in the pit area.  There are a lot of people (kids) walking around, so GO NO FASTER THAN 5 MPH when returning to this area!

Bracket Racing…Another Form of Drag Racing

In most professional forms of drag racing, the first one to the finish line wins.  However, in bracket racing, that isn’t always how it works out.  Our events are separated into “brackets”:  Box (electronic) , No-Box (non-electronic), Street Slick, Street Radial, Motorcycle, and Junior Dragsters.

Since each of these categories contains a wide range of E.T.’s, you are handicapped based on a time that you predict you will run.  This is called you “Dial In”.  The person 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.

The staging lights also measure how long it takes you to leave your staged position.  This is called your reaction time.  On test-n-tune nights, it isn’t a big deal, but in bracket racing it is very important.  You must be consistent in your launch (via reaction time) and your car must be consistent in the eighth mile or quarter mile (via dial-in).

Your reaction time is usually expressed as a number indicating how long you leave after the last amber light comes on.  A perfect reaction time would be (.000), which is exactly when the green light comes on.  If you get under (-.001), you “red light” and lose the race.

Dragstrip Etiquette

  1. Don’t start your burnout until directed by an official.  He’ll usually give you some sort of hand signal.  Also, make sure you are all the way on the track and facing directly forward.
  2. Don’t do burnouts in the water with treaded street tires.  Water gets into the treads and tracks all the water to the starting line.  This makes the drivers with slicks very angry.  It won’t help you’re 1/8 or 1/4 times either.
  3. If you are bracket racing, don’t lock up your brakes at the end of the track in attempt to not “break out”.  Locking ’em up at this speed could be very dangerous.
  4. Makes sure your numbers and dial-in (if applicable) are visible from the tower.
  5. Make sure you get in the right staging lane, and make sure that you don’t attempt to run in a class where your car would not be appropriate.  Ask if you are unsure.

Tricks and Tips

Some of these tips are best used by people who have been to the track a couple of times and know what they are doing.  If it’s your first time, just take a look around and see what the other people are doing.

In an automatic, you usually don’t gain anything by shifting the automatic by hand.  Let the computer do it for you.  You may want to put it in “D” instead of “OD”, but it probably won’t make that much of a difference.

Driver Checklist For The Day

  1. Car (DUH)
  2. 1/2 tank of gas. We sell VP fuel if you need it
  3. Pen (to fill out your tech card)
  4. White shoe polish, paper towels, and windex (If you need to change dial ins)
  5. Proper clothes for the day’s weather
  6. Sunscreen
  7. Ice chest (If your ice melts, we have more in the concession area)


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