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Variable-timing tree puts drivers to test

Updated: March 12, 2009, 2:37 PM ET
By John Schwarb | Special to ESPN.com

It was the most nerve-wracking eight- to nine-tenths of a second in NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing, that sliver of time after the combatants were staged and before the starting lights flew on the Christmas Tree.

Now imagine the tension with the moment about to be a full second, or 1.3 seconds, or eight-tenths -- and your hands are clenched at the starting line with no idea as to which one is coming.

That's the new wrinkle at the start line this season in the Top Fuel, Funny Car and ...

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