Onawa Dragway Handbook 2021

2021 Onawa Dragway Handbook



Onawa Dragway’s Staff and Management welcomes you! To help you enjoy your participation at Onawa Dragway we have prepared this racer handbook that includes general rules and information covering drag racing events at  Onawa Dragway .

The International Hot Rod Association (IHRA) sanctions drag racing events at Onawa Dragway . The IHRA Rulebook is the primary authority in matters of technical inspection, safety procedures, and race operations, unless otherwise noted in these rules. Specific exceptions will be noted in this handbook. E.T. Bracket Racing at Onawa Dragway is part of the SUMMIT E.T. RACING SERIES in the IHRA Division 5. 

Release and Waiver of Liability Agreement Form must be signed when entering the facility by all drivers, participants and crew. A different colored wristband will be issued to drivers and only those with that band will be allowed to drive. Racers must display their wristband on the left arm.. Tampering with or transfer of wristbands = disqualification.

Compliance of Rules

Each participant expressly agrees that by entering a Onawa Dragway event, the participant will be bound by all of the decisions, rules and regulations of Onawa Dragway including all procedures provided for in the Onawa Dragway Handbook and by the decisions, and regulations which are applicable to a particular event, including those of the track and the track’s sanctioning body, IHRA. Onawa Dragway highly recommend you download a copy of the IHRA rule book. It can be found at: http://www.ihra.com/OnlineRulebook/. 

The participant also agrees that all decisions made before, during or after an event are final and may not be appealed or made part of the basis of litigation, and hereby agrees to this waiver from liability and will not bring any action against Onawa Dragway , race directors, track officials, the race track operator, track safety equipment/crew, event sponsors, and all other event officials for any loss, damage or injury caused by malfunctioning electronic or mechanical equipment whether caused by negligence or otherwise.

The rules and regulations set forth herein are designed to provide for the orderly conduct of racing events and to establish minimum acceptable requirements for such events. These rules shall govern the condition of all events, and by participating in these events, all participants are deemed to have complied with these rules. NO EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED WARRANTY OF SAFETY SHALL RESULT FROM PUBLICATION OF OR COMPLIANCE WITH THESE RULES AND/OR REGULATIONS. They are intended as a guide for the conduct of the sport of Drag Racing and are in no way a guarantee against injury or death to a participant, spectator or

Official. The track manager/race director shall be empowered to permit minor deviation from any of the specifications herein or impose any further restrictions. NO EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED WARRANTY OF SAFETY SHALL RESULT FROM SUCH ALTERATION OF SPECIFICATIONS. Any interpretation or deviation of these rules is left to the discretion of the officials. Their decision is final.


General Facility Information




  • Adults, $10 | Kids (11 and under), Free
  • Special Events: Check flyers, website or Facebook for special event pricing and weekend rates
  • Spectators should enter through the spectator gate .
  • Spectators are allowed to walk throughout the entire facility,however please park on the south side of the event center.
  • Parking is free.
  • Spectator vehicles are not permitted in the pit area. Our space is limited for racers please respect this. 
  • Guests must present a wrist band at the Gate for re-entry.
  • Rain Policy


If a rainout occurs within the first 2 hours of an event you may exchange your wrist band for a rain check worth the full entry price. If the rainout occurs after 2+ hours into the event and the event is not complete then you can receive a rain check for half credit.  Rain checks can be used for any Onawa Dragway controlled event. If you are unsure if it is an Onawa Dragway event please call the office for verification. No cash refunds given. Raincheck must be picked up before you leave the facility. You can collect your rain check inside the events center.


Credit Cards

  • Onawa Dragway accepts most major credit cards at the Gate and in the event center. No ATM on site.



  • Smoking is not permitted near the starting line or in bleacher seating.



  • Portable restrooms are available in the pit area. Indoor restrooms are located inside the event center 


Concessions & Merchandise

  • Concessions and merchandise are available in the event center . We have a full bar onsite also . 


Food / Coolers

  • Outside food and drink is not permitted. No coolers are permitted beyond the event center.


  • Guests can purchase ice by visiting the concession area.


Track PA System

  • Onawa Dragway broadcasts over the PA/speaker system during each event
  • Check the front gate or with an Onawa Dragway employee for the radio station. 
  • Keep the radio on to hear important announcements and call to lanes, etc.


Restricted Area

  • No spectators under the age of 16 are allowed in the following areas:
  • Area past the head of staging lanes
  • Burnout and adjacent areas
  • Dragstrip and shutdown area
  • Trackside areas between the retaining walls and primary spectator fencing



  • Animals must be kept on a leash at all times and in the owner’s pit area
  • Leashes cannot exceed 6 feet in length
  • Animals are not permitted on the starting line
  • Owners must clean up after their pets
  • Bring your pet at your own risk . Many pets can become agitated by the loud noises.
  • Owner is responsible for pet’s actions
  • Please be a responsible pet owner 


Media Credentials

  • Any news/magazine media outlet requesting access must contact the track for credentials prior to an event.


  • We do not offer WIFI at our facility. 


Racer general information

This information applies to all races and classes unless specified otherwise in race specific flyer or rules

Clothing & Safety 

  • All race drivers must wear the appropriate clothing and safety gear when racing. If you are unsure of what is required please visit the IHRA website and view the rule book starting on page 29 under Sportsman Safety and general guidelines. 
  • At all times the following is prohibited for race participants : shorts, tank tops, bare torso, flip flops, sandals, skirts / dresses.


Friday Night Test and Tune

  • This is the perfect time to come run your car to see what it is capable of . As well as a good time for anyone wanting to try drag racing for the first time . 
  •       Onawa Dragway wants to ensure a quality track for its test and tune customers in 2021. The following apply: 
  • Please check the schedule to make sure that Friday Test and Tune is available to the general public and not part of a weekend event . 
  • You will be given a run card during tech inspection. This run card will need to be presented at the back of staging before each run.
  • Cars will be divided by tires. Hard D.O.T. Tires will run seperate from drag radials and slick tire cars. 
  • Please do not come to the lanes until your group of cars is called. 
  • All drivers must wear long pants , closed toe shoes and a shirt that covers your shoulders.
  • Helmet :SN , SA , M or k 2005 or newer is mandatory on all entries 8.60  or quicker in the ⅛ mile 


Racers Under The Age of 18 

  • Racers under the age of 18 must have a current 2021 signed Minor Release/Waiver of Liability Form signed by BOTH parents or legal guardians (forms available at track ) as well as a valid driver’s license and/or IHRA license.
  •  In the case of a single parent (by means of divorce, death, or court order) or legal guardian (by court order), a court document showing sole custody must be provided and a written notation must be made on the Minor Release Form. 
  • This waiver will be held on file for the season. 


IHRA Competition License

  • Required for all competitors and participants with vehicles running 6.39 in the ⅛ mile or quicker
  • If you need to get an IHRA license, forms are available  in the tower or at http://www.ihra.com/. Please bring your completed form with you. NHRA license is acceptable, however, without an IHRA license, you may not qualify for all programs. 
  • This includes ALL participants during any event, including test & tune.
  •  We strongly recommend being an IHRA licensed driver. It gives you $100,000 in accident coverage if an accident happens on an IHRA Track. 
  • When competing in the Summit Super Series points your IHRA membership allows you to be eligible for the World finals in Memphis to compete for 20K.
  •  We recommend an IHRA competition number and membership for all racers.

Competition Number

  • All competitors must have a competition number on the race vehicle in order to participate.
  • Please consider not creating numbers that blend in with your vehicles paint scheme. It makes it difficult to read . 
  • Permanent stick-on numbers are recommended on the left side of the windshield and drivers  side window.
  • Digital boards Motorcycles/sleds and dragsters must either have a highly identifiable number on the vehicle or on a number plate.
  •  When competing for points Please make sure your X number is clearly visible and any other numbers are covered/ removed.  


Tech Inspection

  • Tech cards MUST be filled out completely and signed . Must be legible.
  • After filling out the tech card, if you are a street car please come to your assigned lanes tech will be done there. If you are a racecar please stay in your pit area and wait for a tech inspector to come by your trailer . 
  • A technical inspector will check your vehicle, give you a RUN CARD (when required), and write your number on your vehicle if needed.
  • Every vehicle must be inspected each time it comes to the track unless you have an extended tech sticker issued by Onawa Dragway 
  • Paint markers to write your dial-in can be purchased at the concession stand 


Time Trials

  • Racer should keep the wristband accessible on the left arm as you will need to present it to the staging lane officials before each run.
  • Racer is responsible to present (if required) run card/punch card at the back of staging prior to each time trial. 
  • Each class and group will receive time trials each day of competition. 
  • Time period for time trials will be communicated on race day by the race director/announcer with considerations for weather or incidents, etc.


Run for the Money 

  • If a run for the money is offered during time trials it will substitute for one of your time trials.
  • For example : during a points race everyone will receive one time trial . The next time trial all racers who want to do the run for the money will be assigned to specific lanes. All other entries will be assigned a different set of lanes . 
  • In the end everyone still gets 2 time trials but the winner of the run for the money gets the potential bye for 1st round plus the prize money .
  • The potential bye does not carry
  • This applies to each class offered for the event  


  • Dial-in must be located on the right side of the windshield and drivers  side window. This includes digital dial in boards.
  • Digital Dial in boards must be turned on before leaving  staging lanes and can not be turned off until after you have staged . If you are caught changing your dial in between the staging lanes and burnout box you will be disqualified. 
  • Your dial-in can be changed after each round.
  • Do not stage your vehicle until you check the dial-in boxes and scoreboard for your correct dial-in.
  •  If you stage on an incorrect dial-in or Cross Talk, you accept the error, and the race will not be re-run. By staging, you indicate your dial-in is correct and backing out after both vehicles are staged is not allowed. 
  •  Dial-in boxes are located between the burnout box and starting line can be viewed to ensure your dial-in is correct before approaching the starting line.
  • Once a pair of cars cross the staging lane ready line going to the burnout box, they can NO longer change the dial-in on their vehicle, unless the normal flow of racing is halted for more than 5 minutes due to rain, track clean up or an incident. The track manager/race director will communicate with the affected competitors that their dial-in may be changed.
  • Competitor may be subject to disqualification if dial-in changes are made without permission. In the event of a rerun, dial-ins may be changed between runs. 


Lane Choice 

  • During Time Trials and Eliminations (before laddered rounds). No one is guaranteed lane choice. 
  • Odd numbered lanes 1, 3, 5 are left lane
  • Even numbered lanes 2, 4, 6 will be right lane.
  • When called to the lanes we will fill lanes 1 and 2 first. When filled, we will cone them off and fill lanes 3 and 4, then moving to lanes 5 and 6.
  • Once we start pulling cars, if we get to the end of lanes 1 and 2 and there are cars left in a single lane, we will pull out of the next set of lanes to create pairs. For example 2 cars are left in lane 1, staging will pull from lane 4 to create pairs. This also applies to finishing pairing for lanes 3 and 4. When pulling lanes 5 and 6, these two lanes will be pulled until there are no longer any pairs. 
  • At that time, if there are cars left in a single lane the first car gets lane choice.
  • A ladder will be created at the round of 8 cars and will be determined by reaction time. This ladder will be followed until the completion of the event. Lane choice will go to the better qualified car at the time the ladder is made. 


Staging lanes/ driver readiness

  • Listen to the PA system/radio station for your call to the lanes
  • Once you’ve entered the staging lanes, do not switch lanes, stay with your vehicle, and keep phone off
  • Running a streetcar – MAKE SURE YOUR AC IS TURNED OFF
  • When your lane or class is next, be ready to race: helmet on, seat belt fastened, windows up, ready to fire when instructed


Deep Staging

  • Deep Staging is allowed with the courtesy word “DEEP” written on the vehicle window so that the competition and the starter can see it.
  •  It is the responsibility of the driver to get in deep without holding up the other competitors.
  •  It is NOT the starter’s responsibility to throw the starter switch any differently than normal.


Starters Authority 

  • The official starter has the final starting line control of each race as it is being conducted.
  •  After proper staging and receiving the starter signal to go, it is not allowable to restage or a second attempt.
  •  Failure to stage upon the starters instructions is grounds for disqualification.
  •  Any driver leaving the starting line before the start system is activated, or is instructed by the official starter will have his/her time voided from the run. 
  • If both vehicles leave the starting line before the system is activated, then both vehicles will be disqualified.
  •  A racer will have 15 seconds to pre-stage after the opponent has pre-staged, if not, it is grounds for disqualification at the discretion of the starter. 



  • Go to your assigned lanes when called by the P.A. System. 
  • Only winners or buybacks return when called. 
  • We try to run eliminations on a “round-robin” basis after the third round, which means winning racers must return immediately to the tech lanes when called to be laddered or directly to staging for the next round of competition. 

Elimination Round – Bye Criteria

  • First round elimination bye is determined by the Racemaster randomly choosing a chip, dice, cards or by using the best reaction time. 
  • Racers will be eligible for only one bye in a race. If all remaining racers have received a bye, the criteria to select the next bye will be the best reaction time in the previous round of eliminations. 
  • The only exception is a laddered race where a racer may have received a randomly selected bye in the first round and the ladder determined an additional bye.
  •  In the event that the track runs a dial for dollars, then that winner would sit on the bye for the first round .


  • The general manager will decide if a re-run will happen.
  •  Refusal of the re-run is a forfeit. 



  • The 1st round losers may buy back into competition in the Summit Super Series ET points races as well as other races when posted 
  • Buybacks will be paid for in the staging lanes when you are called for round 2.
  • Any participant that makes a pass (accepts the tree) without having purchased the buyback run, will be disqualified immediately from the event and possibly  have 25 points deducted from season points totals if applicable.
  • The 2nd round buybacks will race buybacks and winners will race winners.
  • Buybacks will be in specific lanes to themselves and winners to their own specific lanes 
  • Please listen for the call .
  • If an odd number of buybacks, a winners will pull forward and mingle with the buyback competitors.  


Class Pairings

  • All classes unless advertised differently will have random pairings first round. 
  • Track manager/race director reserves the right to use a deck of cards, poker chips, dice or other means to set pairings in the first round.
  • All classes will be laddered starting when there are 8 cars or less unless otherwise posted  


Double Entry

  • Double entries in the same category are not allowed during IHRA Summit SuperSeries points races
  • Double entry is allowed during IHRA Summit SuperSeries points race  if you enter two different categories. 
  • Double Entries are allowed in non points race events. This includes same category entries.Double entries will be called to the lanes first . Single entries will be called second. Please communicate to staging that you are double entered.

Accutime Cross Talk Tree (CCT)

  • If your class has a Cross Talk tree, the top bulb on the starting tree will flash on in both lanes at the same time, then continue down in the slower vehicles lane. 
  • The bulb will remain on for the quicker vehicles, then count down, as normal. 
  • If you DO NOT wish to have the tree Cross Talk to your lane when you are the quicker vehicle, place an “N”  with a circle around it behind your DIAL-IN to deactivate. 
  • No reruns, as the final responsibility is that of the racer to  make sure that the stager knows you have an N for no cross talk .
  •  CCT applies only to Top  and Box. 


Breakage Policy

  • During a competition event If you break before the first round please see track managers for instructions.  
  • If it is a test n tune night please speak with the general manager to see if you qualify for a credit.  


Trophies / Payout

  • Trophies will be handed out in  the Tower or winners circle.
  •  Every intention will be made to present payout checks immediately after the event is completed.Area to be announced.
  •  Racers will be required to fill out a W9 before receiving payout.
  • We will send 1099 forms to those winning $600 or more per year. 
  • Reporting amounts below $600 is the responsibility of the racer. 


Rain Policy Competitors


Friday Events/ Weekend Test & Tune:

  • If rain or other occurrence halts racing and you have two or more punches on your run card you will not be eligible for a tech credit.
  •  If you have one punch you will receive 50% tech credit.
  •  If you have no punches on your run card you will receive full tech credit.


Weekend Events:

  • If rain or other occurrence halts racing ANY time before the completion of the first round of eliminations for your class, racers will receive 100% credit of entry fee and there will be no payout. This race may or may not be rescheduled.


Summit Super Series Points Race/Midwest Index Shootout 

  • If rain or other occurrence halts racing after the first round of eliminations for your class, points will be awarded from that point in the race. Guaranteed payout per class based on car count for that day’s competition will be divided among the remaining racers and no entry fee credit will be issued. In the case of a trophy only class no trophies will be awarded that day. 
  • If rain or other occurrence halts racing during a round of eliminations for your class and racing cannot continue then the last completed round of eliminations will be used for payout and points purposes.
  • In both of these cases the event will be considered completed.


Specialty Events

  • If over 50% of the days activities are completed, the event will be considered completed and no credit will be given.
  • If rain or other occurrence happens the race may or may not  be rescheduled for completion.  

Tech Card/ Entry Fee 

Non Points races 

  • Ran as Box / No box /Jrs
    • Entry fee is  $60 Box / $60 No Box / Jrs $40
    • Buybacks first round only Box $30  / No Box $30 / Jrs $20
    • Payouts are 65% of entries collected at the gate and divided between Winner 50% / R/U 25% / and Semi  12 1/2 %  to each ( unless otherwise decided and discussed with Manager Gary Harper before semi round) 


Specialty Events

   Payouts and Entries will be listed on Flyer 

Summit SuperSeries points races 


All tech card pricing includes car and driver per race: 

  • Top ET                $100    Buy Back $50 
  • Mod ET               $75      Buy Back $40  
  • Sportsman             $40      Buy Back $20    
  • Jr. Dragster          $40      Buy Back $20
  • All other races will have tech card/ entry fees listed with the race flyer on Facebook and our website. www.onawaracing.com


 Top ET Class

  • ⅛ mile 
  • ET Break 0 – 9.00
  • Designated as “electronics permitted” E.T. handicapped classes.
  • Computer, delay boxes, trans brake, line lock, automatic shifter, shift timer, starting line and or “high side” rev limiters permitted,Data rcorders allowed. Stutter boxes prohibited.
  • Acutime Crosstalk Tree will be active. 
  • Any other attachment prohibited. 
  • Delay box may only display delay amount dialed in; analog or digital display permitted. 
  • Inspectors must be able to identify all direct wiring clearly.   

Payout Top ET

    • Winner $2000
    • R/U      $800
    • Semi    $300
    • ¼’s       $125
    • ⅛’s       $75 ( 33 cars or more @round2)

 Mod  ET Class

  • ⅛ mile
  •  All run  No ET Break
  • Designated as  no “electronics permitted” E.T. handicapped classes. 
  • Computer, unless OEM stock, and Stutter boxes – PROHIBITED
  • Trans brake, line lock, automatic shifter, starting line and or “high side” rev limiters permitted.
  • Data recorders permitted for 7.49 and quicker 
  •  Any other attachment prohibited. 


Payout Mod ET

    • Winner $1000
    • R/U      $400
    • Semi    $200
    • ¼’s     $75
    • ⅛’s     $40  ( 33 cars or more 2nd round ) 


Sportsman Class 

  • ⅛  mile 
  • ET Break 7.50 & Slower    
  • Designated as “electronic prohibited” E.T. handicapped classes
  • Permitted are Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) computer
  • Data recorders, delay boxes, trans brakes, automated shifter (unless OEM), throttle stops and stutter boxes prohibited. Two wheel line locks only are permitted on non drive wheels only . Single stage high side rev limiter permitted.  Starting line rev limiter prohibited.Must not effect down track RPM in any way. Crank trigger is prohibited unless OEM distributorless ignition. Slicks are permitted and mufflers are optional.
  • See IHRA Rule book for full details 


Payout Sportsman 

    • Winner $400
    • R/U      $200
    • Semi    $60


Jr. Dragster 

  • Racers age 7-18 years only . Classes will be combined for competition.
  • Beginner: Ages 7-9  11.90 & slower ET limit
  • Advanced: Ages 10-17    8.90 & slower ET limit
  • Master: Ages 12-17  7.90 & Slower ET limit  
  • Driver must follow the IHRA rules when selecting their dial in . 
  • All classes are handicapped, 0.500 full tree, dial-your-own eliminations. Breakout rules apply.
  • Non-compliance of rules will follow the consequences per the 2021 IHRA  Rulebook.
  • Registered points Racers may qualify to compete at the 2021 IHRA ET Team Finals
  • Class is qualified by reaction time in time trials and laddered starting round one. Sportsman ladder.
  • Time Permitting – A gamblers race or 2nd race can be ran if there is interest . 


                  Payout Jr Dragster

    •    Winner     $200
    •    R/U          $100
    •     Semi        $25




*******All Other races will be listed on the specific flyer and posted on webpage and Facebook

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