|Created by||Rich Christensen|
|Presented by||Brett Wagner|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Executive producer(s)||Ray Iddings|
|Running time||30 minutes (with commercials)|
|Original run||Feb. 18, 2008 – Aug. 16, 2013|
Pass Time was an American game show airing on Speed. In the show, two contestants competed against each other and "resident expert" Kenneth Herring, attempting to predict the pass times (the elapsed time from a standing start until crossing the finish line 1/4 mile or 1320 feet away) of a series of drag racers. Pass Time was hosted by Speed personality Brett Wagner, and Paige Simpson served as the show's "car wrangler". Simpson rarely speaks on-camera during the show, although she was the only one to speak on-camera in a 2011 promotional ad for the show, giving directions to Wagner and Herring. The show last aired on August 16, 2013, the last day of Speed programming before the change in the U.S. to Fox Sports 1.
Before each run down the drag strip, or "pass", each racer and his or her car are displayed to the contestants, who are then permitted to each ask a single question about the car or driver, such as the size or power of the engine, the type and size of the tires, and the driver's previous experience.
After all questions have been asked, the contestants secretly enter their predictions of the car's elapsed time to the nearest 1/100 of a second (the thousandths digit on the track's display is ignored). The car then makes its pass, following standard drag racing procedure (burnout, staging, and start using the Christmas tree). The contestant whose prediction was closest to the actual time wins increasing amounts of money as the game progresses; in addition to the scores being displayed on the contestants' podiums, host Wagner physically hands the winning contestant $100 bills.
Occasionally, a driver will commit a foul (other than red light starts, which are ignored), or their car will break down in some way as to make a pass impossible or unsafe. These events are collectively known in-show as a "catastrophic failure". When this happens, the contestant who enters the slowest time wins the money.
Ties for individual passes are awarded to the contestant who locked in their time first. In the event of a possible tie in total winnings at the end of the show, contestants are asked to record a guess for the speed of the car in the final pass, with the show win being awarded to the closest guess.
If a contestant correctly guesses the time of a run exactly, the contestant wins a cash bonus. The bonus does not count towards the score, and is the contestant's to keep, regardless of the outcome of the show.
At points in the show's run, minor tweaks have been made to the gameplay, such as allowing contestants to wager double-or-nothing on specific passes.
Round 1 consists of three passes, worth $100 each.
Round 2 consists of three passes, worth $200 each. The second pass of round 2 is called the "Combo Round", in which two drivers make a pass simultaneously; the contestants must predict the combined time of the two cars, and must direct their one question to one driver only. If the contestant guesses the correct lane during the combo round, he or she gets and extra $100 that is not part of the game winning pot.
Round 3 consists of two passes, worth $300 each. In a rule change added during the show's run, the first pass of the third round became the "Go Big" pass, where any contestant has the option to gamble on the pass, doubling the money gained from the pass if they win, but forfeiting $300 of their previous winnings (or all of it, if they have less than $300) if they lose.
The final round consists of one pass, worth $500. At the end of this round, the player with the most money wins the game; the other contestants must then hand over their winnings, except for bonus money, to that player, for a total of $2,000. Even if one player has mathematically won the game prior to the final pass, all passes are played out, as a contestant who exactly predicts the time on this pass, but still loses the game, collects the bonus, which he keeps.
Commonly used terms
- "All motor" – no "power adders" such as nitrous oxide, supercharging or turbocharging will be used to supplement gasoline and ambient air
- "Back half car" – the rear suspension has been substantially modified for drag racing, usually involving weight transfer improvements and "coil-over” highly adjustable shock absorber spring towers at easily compressible rates.
- "Big block/small block" - when speaking of Detroit's "Big Three" V-8 engines from the 1950s and up to the late 1990s, big blocks range customarily from just under 400 cubic inches of displacement and with larger bores and increased strokes of the crankshaft might approach 575 cubic inches. Small blocks have less room inside the engine block for such oversized crankshafts, connecting rods, and pistons, having initial unmodified sizes ranging from well under 300 cubic inches to a maximum of just over 425, with the most well-known size around 350-360 cubic inches, depending on manufacturer.
- "CFM" (cubic feet per minute) – refers to the maximum intake flow capacity of a carburetor (e.g., 850)
- "Clutch mods" – The car builder may have modified the clutch to introduce some slip at lower rpm with lever weights to lock the transmission input shaft to the flywheel speed as the engine reaches a pre-selected optimum (this is done to limit power application at starting line). Also, on drag motorcycles, a typical modification is an air shifter—compressed air is used to instantaneously change gears as the driver presses a thumb button
- "Dana" – a rear truck differential assembly commonly used in drag racing applications due to its reputation for durability in truck applications from the "Big Three," and commonly found in Chrysler Corporation applications.
- "Daily driver" – a driver's claim that the car is used regularly "on the street." Front brakes, turning signals, wiper blades, headlights, and license plates will be visible.
- "Ford 9 inch" – a Ford rear differential assembly used from 1957 to 1981 Ford cars and trucks. It is commonly used in street and racing (drag, oval, and road) applications due to its reputation for durability, regardless of vehicle manufacturer.
- "Full furniture" – the car has not been lightened through the removal of seats and interior components
- "Gears" – refers to the final drive ratio, which is typically around 3.0 for production automobiles, and up to 7.0 for high-performance cars (the number refers to the number of engine revolutions for each rotation of the driven axle).
- "Hair dryers"- the car has a turbocharger, due to shape and sound of a turbocharger roughly resembling that of a hair dryer
- "Kachunka chunka" - refers to the sound of an engine with a loping idle from a long-duration camshaft. Such a camshaft will make more power in the higher RPM ranges than a smoother-running shorter-duration camshaft.
- "Laundry" – a braking parachute
- "Moly" – refers to a chassis constructed of high strength alloy steel in the chassis tubing—commonly containing just less than 1% molybdenum
- "Powerglide" - a two-speed GM automatic transmission used in production vehicles from 1950-1973, commonly used by drag racers
- "Shimmy" and "shake" - unintended lateral acceleration resulting from excess power being applied in too low of a gear. This results in the driver needing to temporarily reduce power until the car regains traction. The driver will have a higher elapsed time as a result. This term is commonly used when one contestant selects a much higher elapsed than the others, they are "hoping for a shimmy or a shake" to result in the car having a higher elapsed time.
- "Sleeper" – a car where numerous and substantial modifications are deliberately concealed, so as to mislead observers into assuming that it is a much slower car. Easily visible use of hood scoop, roll bars (mandatory 11.00-11.49 second cars; roll cages required in cars faster) or fenderwell removal are common modifications that are not performed.
- "Spray"/"power-adders" spray is usually nitrous oxide injection, but some drivers may inject methanol, and far more rarely, ethanol or nitromethane to supplement the gasoline use. "Power adders" include superchargers and turbochargers as well.
- "Stall speed" or simply "stall" – the maximum rpm that the engine can reach when a car with an automatic transmission (in gear) is not moving. Builders often tune this number by varying the size of the fluid clutch connection. A typical stall speed for a production automobile would be below 1,700 rpm-—for a racing automatic transmission car, it might easily exceed 3,500 rpm, thus rendering the cars wildly inappropriate for street use where engine speeds rarely exceed 2,000 rpm. A high stall speed converter is also referred to as "loose."
- "Street slicks" – DOT street-legal tires with minimal longitudinal grooving, providing less traction than full racing slicks, which are usually wider, softer, and stickier.
- "Throttle stop" – Some high-horsepower cars have electronic or mechanical devices that reduce the amount of fuel and air available to the engine at the start—with full power becoming available at a preset time, rpm, or distance. They are commonly used to prevent the engine from overpowering tire traction (smoking the tires, which could result in a loss if the opponent does not make the mistake) or the car breaking out in bracket racing (which in normal drag racing is a loss unless there is a red light).
- "Turbo 350" or "Turbo 400" - two of the largest members of the GM Turbo-Hydramatic three-speed automatic transmission family produced from the mid-1960s through the early 1990s.
- Wheelie bar - a device at the rear of a car designed to limit the amount the car's front end can rise during hard acceleration.