HomeColumnsStarting LineThe Starting Line : Volume 1 - Issue 7

The Starting Line : Volume 1 – Issue 7

Motorcycle Drag racing Sportsman

The Starting Line is a biweekly column for our Sportsman drag racers brought to you by Schnitz Racing. Every other week we will feature a frequently asked question and have it answered by a panel of experienced sportsman racers, led by Ben Knight. Having questions answered by multiple racers will give our new racers several perspectives on the information they want. If you have a sportsman related question, submit it to editor@dragbike.com.

What is courtesy staging?

Dustin Lee

Courtesy staging is something I try my best to do as a racer. You have a pre-stage and a stage bulb when staging, and courtesy staging is when each driver takes a bulb . Lets say I pre-stage then my opponent pre-stages then I stage then my opponent stages. If you or your opponent just goes straight in the beams and turns their stage bulb on, it’s something that isn’t courteous. I call it double bulbing, and at some point you will find the one racer that does this to you. They are most likely trying to throw you off your game, and the best thing to do is not let it mess with your routine! Good luck and be safe!

Bob Carlson
Courtesy staging is when you wait for your opponent to pre stage before you stage or vise versa. Courtesy Staging is a MIROCK rule. Despite it being a rule, your opponent may not be aware and may go right in before you pre stage. Your opponent may be just trying to rattle you or likes to get right in and go deep. Just remember don’t pre stage until your ready, you won’t get timed out if you don’t pre stage. Time out clock doesn’t start until you pre stage, so just get yourself set before you pre stage, then go right in to pre stage and stage. I would practice this at least once in time trails so it doesn’t throw your game off if someone tries to mess with you. Don’t get rattled, stay calm, don’t even talk about it, if you show you didn’t like it, chances are, they will keep doing it to you or their buddies will.

Janie Palm

When staging your motorcycle, there is etiquette to follow; the first bike to the line pulls up far enough to light the PRE STAGE BULBS ONLY! Then WAITS for the other driver to do likewise. Then the first bike or second bike can move into the STAGE BULBS. Hence courtesy staging, be courteous to your fellow racer.

Ben Knight If you’re still fairly new to drag racing, then you may not know what “courtesy” staging is. You may have never even heard of it in the first place. Just to give you a quick refresher, when you approach the starting line you will break the first set of beams which simultaneously lights the two “pre-stage” bulbs on the top of the Christmas tree. Once you continue to roll forward you will then break the second set of beams which will light the two “stage” bulbs beneath the “pre-stage” bulbs. At this point you are now “staged” and ready for the tree to activate. The act of courtesy staging is when the first racer pre-stages (Racer X). Racer X then “waits” till the second racer (Racer Y) pre-stages. Once Racer Y has pre-staged, Racer X then proceeds to stage. Accordingly after Racer X has staged, Racer Y stages. So to sum this up, you basically take turns with the staging procedure. However, the main thing I like to express to racers is just don’t fully stage without the other racer being pre staged. You don’t have to necessarily go back and forth with the staging procedure, but be courteous and wait to fully stage until your competitor has at least pre-staged. Hope that’s clear as mud!

Boo Brown
Courtesy staging is when you have two bulbs to light and you wait for your opponent to stage one light before you go in and turn both on before they turn any on.

Jerry Turner

Courtesy staging means both racers take turns staging. Generally, there are not rules that require you to courtesy stage, but I have seen pro classes that require you to courtesy stage (courtesy staging enforced). I have also been to tracks where the operators will back out a racer if they don’t courtesy stage. Essentially, when staging, you turn on the first staging bulb or your opponent does and waits until the other racer turns on their first bulb. Then both racers in turn push in to turn on their second stage bulb. The opposite of courtesy staging is generally called double bulbing. Which is when a racer turns on the first and second stage bulb before their opponent turns on their first bulb. Sometimes this is just inexperience. Sometimes it’s gamesmanship on the part of the racer. Either way, it doesn’t mean you have to rush to stage, but you may have a limited time after 3 stage bulbs are lit. In my opinion, a good sportsman will always courtesy stage.

We’ll see you in two weeks for another addition of the Starting Line, in the meantime check out our column sponsor Schnitz Racing.


Volume 1 – Issue 1 : What is the best advice for someone going down the track for the very first time?

Volume 1 – Issue 2 : How do I decide what class to enter? Most tracks have a street class and pro bike class but I sometimes see streetbikes racing in the pro bike class with the bar bikes.

Volume 1 – Issue 3 : What is the difference between a bracket class and an index class?

Volume 1 – Issue 4 : What is the difference between a pro tree and sportsman tree? And what is the best technique for cutting a light?

Volume 1 – Issue 5 : What is rollout and how does it affect my ET??

Volume 1 – Issue 6 : Does a practice tree really help with your reaction time and do you have any tips to how to use it?

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