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What you want to do is compare two cars at the

**same**speed and see which one applies the greatest motive force (torque) to the ground. If you make that comparison (integration) over the range of speed seen during the race then you will see which will be the winner. Since we're just talking about the difference between torque and HP then let's assume gearing is completely optimal for both cars.

Take two identical cars with CVT's and run one of them at the torque peak and the other at it's power peak. Conservatively, the power-peak rpm will be something like 30% higher than the torque-peak rpm. So at the same

**speed**, the HP car is using 30% deeper gearing because of the engine's greater speed ... thus factor in a 30% increase in rear wheel torque due to the multiplication factor of the gears. Of course the

**engine**torque of the HP car is less at it's power peak than that of the torque car but that's typically only about 10% and doesn't make up for the advantage gained by the lower gearing in the HP car. Torque at the rear wheels translates into force and force causes acceleration. Therefore the HP car wins because it's always putting down

**more**torque at the rear wheels at the same speed as the torque car.

Sure now pick me apart with real world gearing and all but my point about HP vs TQ remains true. A good drag racer is going to optimize his gearing for his engine anyway.