This is for informational purposes only, rules take presidence!!!!
Quick explanation: courtesy staging is simple and as amateur racers we should abide by it:
After your burnout, roll up to the line, light one bulb on the tree. Do not light the second bulb until the car in the other lane has at least lit one bulb. They can roll in and light both bulbs if you already have one lit but nobody should light both bulbs until the other car has one lit.
What happens is if you light both bulbs, the other car only has a certain amount of time to get staged. I think its 10 seconds but whatever it is, its not a lot of time especially if you dont notice the other car is already up there. So good sportsmanship is to only light one bulb until the other car is in position with his one light lit. Now you can either wait for him to light the second bulb at this point or light your second bulb. That doesnt matter you just dont want to put the other guy on the clock.
Here is a cut and paste of how they explained it on a corvette forum but same stuff applies to us, pay attention to the autostart stuff too. That is used for us:
Bracket racers appreciate this courtesy so lets do us all a favor and abide by this “unwritten rule”. Remember we are all doing this for fun.
Autostart will be activated when one driver has lit both their pre-stage and stage bulbs, and the second driver lights their pre-stage bulb. When three sets of stage bulbs are lit, a timer in the computer will begin counting down. The un-staged driver will have 10 seconds to fully stage their car. Failing to stage the car within the 10 seconds will result in a disqualification of that driver. Once both drivers are fully staged, the tree will start automatically between 1.2 and 1.7 seconds. The starting line official will not override the autostart, which used to be the case when one or both drivers wanted to deep stage.
We will still allow deep staging; however will no longer hold the tree for a deep staging driver. This means if a driver wishes to stage deep, he/she must get in and stage first. Since Raceway Park will no longer hold the tree, there is no longer a need to write “DEEP” on your car as it will not be acknowledged. If you must go deep be aware when the tree has all four sets of stage lights on, you are on the 1.2 to 1.7 clock (see above).
Racers are expected to be courteous to their opponents as we have always been. Drivers should wait until both have lit the pre-stage bulbs before fully staging. If you intend to go deep, since it is no longer written on your car, please advise your opponent that you wish to do this so that you each can factor this into staging.
How do you handle staging? What is the courtesy or rule regarding who stages first? This question comes up every now and then.
Different drivers will require a different amount of time to stage their cars. Some are naturally slow stagers. This means they want to delicately place the car in the same spot every time so they are careful to “bump” into the right spot. When matched against an opponent that is not a slow stager, this can be a disadvantage as if the opponent stages quickly, it puts a little pressure on you to stage quicker so you don’t get caught by surprise by the tree.
Here the tree shows the car staged with both sets of lights on for this C3 belonging to Bob Hollingshead
It is okay to approach the tree 1st. Try not to light the first set of lights until your opponent has a started to approach the tree. The generally accepted courtesy is to light up the first set of lights and wait for your opponent to do the same. Once both drivers have the first set of lights on, usually the first one in lights the second set but either one can do it.
If your opponent is going to deep stage, try not to light the second set of stage lights until your opponent has deep staged (deep staging means the driver rolls forward until the 1st set of lights are turned off and only the second set remain on). Sometimes the track officials are not aware the driver is going to deep stage and may start the tree before the Deep stage is completed (this is rare but it has happened).
Side note about deep staging from sgcuda@LXForums:
“As far as deep staging, probably an explanation of it along with pros and cons should be brought up. The staging beams are designed to line up the front tires of the cars usually within 4-6 inches of each other, depending on tire diameter, wheel stagger, ride height, and maybe a couple of other factors. You have some room to move your tires a little foward or back without effecting the beams. The timers start when the stage light goes out.
Deep staging is the practice of rolling forward enough to turn off the prestage light. The thought behind this is you are closer to the finish line than your opponent. Since you have almost no rollout (the movement of the tires to turn both prestage and stage lights out), your mph in each given distance will be slower than your opponent, but your ET should be quicker. Heavy cars with a lot of rotation can benefit from this because it cuts down reaction time (the time when the light turns green to the time you knock out the staging lights). On the down side, a lot of red light starts can be contributed to this practice, especially as the cars become faster with mods.
Personally, I have always liked to stage as shallow as possible to basically “Get a running start” by the time the lights come down.”