Alcohol will naturally absorb water from the air. This not only dilutes the fuel, but also adds to the corrosive effects of alcohol. After every race, the alcohol should be drained from the race car and stored in air-tight containers. A vented fuel cell is not considered an appropriate storage container.

The fuel system and carburetor should also be thoroughly drained and flushed of any residual alcohol. Some racers will add gasoline to the empty fuel cell and run the engine until they are certain the carburetor is filled with gasoline.

Other methods include removing the carburetor and flushing it with a cleaning solvent or lubricating aerosol sprays. Removing inlet and outlet fittings from the pumps, bypasses, etc. and lubricating the internals is also an acceptable practice. Whatever the method, maintenance on an alcohol system is crucial. If you ignore it, the system will fail.

7 Failing to use a high-flow air cleaner Race engines rely on receiving air as well as fuel, but are frequently starved by the use of thin, small-diameter air filters that are detrimental to their performance. If possible, use a filter that is 14 inches in diameter and 4 inches tall. If clearance is at a premium, get one with a recessed pan, which allows for deeper filter elements. Also, get a good-quality air filter. If you're constantly cleaning dirt from the surface of your race car, your air cleaner is struggling to filter the dirt and debris from your engine.

8 Deterioration of foam-filled fuel cells Modern military-spec foam-filled fuel cells are compatible with conventional fuels, racing fuels, and alcohol. However, alcohol can cause the foam to deteriorate and it must be renewed once a year. To check the condition of the foam, simply remove the cap and pinch it between finger and thumb. If pieces come away, the foam must be replaced.

9 Lack of proper linkage travel and return springs Make sure that the butterflies of the carburetor are fully open at wide-open throttle. Use a minimum of two good-quality return springs, preferably of stainless steel, and employ them, if possible, in two different places on the linkage. Ensure that the linkage and the return springs operate without interference throughout the full range of throttle travel.

10 Failure to use an adjustable pedal stop It's amazing to consider the large numbers of race cars that have no form of throttle-pedal stop, and it's inexcusable that so many are permitted to compete. Excessive loadings on the linkage, carburetor shafts, and butterflies can cause the mechanisms to distort and jam, and the consequences are usually grim. To avoid the inevitable, use an adjustable pedal stop. At the fully-open throttle position, synchronize the stop on the carburetor with the stop on the pedal.

11 Lacking the proper size of carburetor for the application Having the proper venturi sizes for a given application ensures that the carburetor generates sufficient air speed. Air speed creates the necessary depression (low pressure) to draw fuel through the metering systems and booster venturis into the air stream to be atomized. The Race Demon, which is equipped with removable venturi sleeves and boosters, overcomes most of the sizing problems.

12 Inadequate fuel cell venting If the fuel cell vent is too small, the fuel system can malfunction. In extreme cases, inadequate ventilation can cause permanent damage to the system. As the fuel pump draws fuel from the cell, it needs to be replaced by air. If the vent on the cell is too small, the pump will try to draw the fuel from the cell faster than the air replaces it. This can create a vacuum in the cell, distort its shape, and starve the pump and engine of the fuel it requires.