Because of the wide diversity of vehicle types involved in sand drags, it is difficult to prescribe appropriate safety rules that apply to all vehicles. Therefore, the following is intended to provide a general overview of safety requirements.  For a complete listing of all safety regulations specific to your vehicle type, it is strongly recommended that you purchase an NWSCA rule book.  For more information on buying an NWSCA rule book , click here .

Throughout the following safety regulations, vehicle types have been designated as follows:

Type 1 - Dragsters, Buggies, and Odyssey type vehicles
Type 2 - Pickups and 4WD vehicles
Type 3 - Quads

Except were otherwise stipulated, all safety rules apply to all vehicles.


AXLES Vehicles running 4.0 seconds and quicker with Swing Arm Suspension must have C.V. Joints. (NO U-JOINTS WITH CROSS TRUNIONS ARE ALLOWED.)
BATTERIES All batteries must be securely bolted down and any battery installed inside the drivers or passengers compartment must have a cover.  No rubber straps or cords allowed.
CHAIN GUARD All chain driven vehicles must have a chain guard.

Type 1 and Type 2 must be equipped with a chain guard that is 180°, 3/16" steel, or 1/4" aluminum minimum.  It must be wide enough to cover the width of the entire chain.

Type 3 must have a guard designed to prevent any part of the rider's body or clothing from coming in contact with the chain or sprockets when the rider is in a normal riding position.  The clutch assembly must have at least half of the side surface covered. The guards must be of steel or 1/8" aluminum unless otherwise stock equipped and firmly mounted.  Fiberglass or plastic fenders do not constitute a chain guard.

Type 3, Quads, require guards and/or bodywork that will prevent the driver's foot from coming in contact with the ground or the vehicles tires.

Type 1 and 2 vehicles require drivers to wear a long-sleeved shirt or jacket, full length pants, and shoes.
The following conditions require the driver to wear a one (1) - layer minimum fire suit: 1. If the vehicle is front motored and does not have an adequate firewall separating the driver from the engine.
2.  If the driver is closer than 24" to the radiator.
The following conditions require the driver to wear a two (2) year layer minimum fire suit, including fire resistant type gloves, boots, and full face type helmet or Funny Car type mask with goggles. 1. If the vehicle uses a fuel other than gasoline.

Type 3 vehicles require the driver to wear a minimum of a long-sleeved shirt or jacket, full-length pants, socks, Motocross type racing boots (mandatory).  In addition, all Junior, PeeWee, and Mini brackets require gloves.  NOTE:  Type 3 vehicles going 4.00 seconds or quicker require full leathers, including gloves.

Nylon suits or jackets are strictly prohibited for drivers running 6.00 seconds or quicker.

DRIVE-LINE RINGS Type 2 vehicles running 6.0 seconds or quicker must have drive-line rings installed on all drive shafts to support the drive shaft in the event of U-joint failure.  Rings must be 1/8" x 1" steel or 1/4" x 2" aluminum with a maximum of a six (6) inch diameter.
DRIVE-LINE SHIELD A drive-line shield is mandatory when U-joints are used in an exposed drive-line.  Any drive-line exposed to a driver must have a minimum of 180° shield the full length of the exposed drive-line.  It must be made of 1/8" steel or 1/4" aluminum and must be securely mounted.
EXHAUST SYSTEMS Exhaust must be directed out of the car and away from the driver, tires, fuel tank, and track surface.  No flexible pipe is permitted.
EYE PROTECTION See Helmets and Eye Protection
FASTENERS All nuts, bolts, and component parts on the vehicle's suspension system, chassis, and running gear shall be secured with either lock washers, locknuts, or cotter keys.  Width of the nut is to be equal to the diameter of the bolt or stud.  There should be at least one (1) full thread showing through the nut.
FIRE EXTINGUISHER A 2-1/2 point minimum dry chemical or CO 2 extinguisher is mandatory in all competing vehicles and must be securely mounted within easy reach of the driver and must be equipped with "quick release" mounting brackets.
FLOORBOARDS Floorboards are mandatory on all vehicles where necessary to keep driver's feet within the frame of the vehicle.  May be made of expanded metal, screen, aluminum, or steel.  Must be securely mounted.
FRAMES Frames will be inspected for safety and appropriateness.
FUEL Eliminator and Sport Brackets:  Drivers using any fuel other than gasoline must have a proper fire suit.  Nitrous Oxide is not defined as a fuel but is permissible.  Junior/Pee Wee/ Minis Brackets:  Pump gasoline is the only fuel allowed. NOTE:  Any vehicle may be inspected at any time for illegal or improper fuel.
FUEL SHUT-OFF A fuel shut-off valve is mandatory on all gear or vane-type pumps.  It is also a requirement on any vehicle utilizing a pressurized fuel tank.  The shut-off must be accessible to the driver while in normal driving position, and without having to unfasten seatbelt or shoulder harness.
HELMETS AND EYE PROTECTION Regulation NHRA or SEMA approved helmets are required for ALL drivers.  They must be properly fastened.  Eye Protection (face shield or shatterproof goggles) is mandatory.  Eyeglasses or sunglasses alone are not adequate.  Face shields must be fully snapped down.
KILL SWITCH All cars started by other than the driver from the driver's position must have a positive ground attached to the coil or magneto to prevent starting when the engine is being tuned over for reasons other than to start the engine.

All Type 1 and 2 vehicles are required to have a kill or ignition cut-off switch.  Switches must be accessible to the driver while in normal sitting position and without having to unfasten the seatbelt and/or shoulder harness.  All vehicles running 6.00 seconds or quicker and having a steering locking device must have a separate kill switch.

All type 3 vehicles must have a positive ignition cut-off switch attached to the rider with a lanyard of rawhide, wire, or similar device (deadman switch).  Switch must be on the low voltage side of the ignition circuit.  Backed out idle stops are not acceptable.

ROLL CAGES/ROLL BARS All type 1 and 2 vehicles with non-removable hardtops (i.e. pickups, sedans, coupes, etc.) running 6.00 seconds or slower are not required to have a roll bar.  Vehicles with non-removable hardtops running 5.00 to 5.99 seconds require a roll bar.

All other type 1 and 2 vehicles require a full roll cage.

SCATTERSHIELDS All type 1 and 2 vehicles running 6.00 seconds or quicker are required to have an NHRA or SEMA approved 360 degree bellhousing or other approved device when available.  A 1/4" thick, six (6) inch wide, 360 degree minimum steel scattershield may be used when an approved device is not available.  This should extend at least one (1) inch in front of the flywheel and two (2) inches behind the back of the pressure plate.  All planetary-type transmissions must have an NHRA or SEMA approved blanket or shield.
SEATBELTS AND SHOULDER HARNESS All type 1 and 2 vehicles are required to be equipped with a quick-release safety belt and shoulder harness combination.  Belt must be fastened to the frame or suitable reinforced mounting with 5/16" minimum steel bolts in such a manner that all fittings are in the direct line of pull.  Belts must be bolted with at least one bolt on each end of the belt.  Under no circumstances are bolts inserted through the belt webbing acceptable for mounting.  Shoulder harness should be installed to prevent torso travel in a forward and/or upward direction.  All seatbelt/shoulder harness combinations should be a compatible nature and originally designed to be used with each other.

In any Type 2 vehicle running slower than 6.00 seconds, the stock factory type seatbelt/shoulder harness combination may be acceptable.

STARTERS All cars must be self-starting.  No push or pull starts.
STAGING DEVICES Any staging device must be rigidly mounted to the vehicle and must be at least 16 inches in length.  (If the vehicle stages with a body panel and/or tire, the combined area must be 16 inches.)  No electronic staging device, which is keyed to the starting or timing system is allowed.
THROTTLE All throttles must have a return spring attached directly to the carburetor (injector) throttle arm and must return to a closed position under any circumstances.  Toe straps are required on any vehicle running 6.00 seconds or quicker and on any vehicle modified or altered throttle linkage.  (Toe straps are not required on hydraulic or cable linkage.)
TIRES/WHEELS All added weight or equipment must be securely bolted or welded to the vehicle.
WHEELIE BARS All type 1 and 2 vehicles running 5.00 seconds or quicker and ALL type 3 vehicles must have a wheelie bar.  Other vehicles may be required to have a wheelie bar at the discretion of the NWSCA officials if excessive front end lift is observed.  All wheelie bars must be functional and safe as determined by the NWSCA officials.

On type 1 and 2 vehicles the wheelie bars must extend a minimum of 12 inches behind the rearmost point of the rear tires.  No aluminum wheelie bars will be allowed.  The wheelie bar must support the vehicle and driver.  The testing procedure will be to jack-up the vehicle by the wheelie bar with the driver in place.  Four bar construction of the wheelie bar is highly recommended.

All vehicles must pass a technical inspection prior to racing.  For more information on vehicle teching, racing fees, and track information, click here .

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Copyright Northwest Sand Competition Association
Last Update: November 02, 2001