Track Hosts First and Last Races with Intermediate Stops at Norwalk, Indy and Byron
MARTIN, Mich. – It’s one thing to have a street-legal race car. It’s quite another to actually drive that car on city streets, which is the concept of HOT ROD Drag Week, a five-day competition that begins and ends this year at US 131 Motorsports Park. It is a grueling test of both performance and endurance that quite literally identifies the fastest legitimate street car in America.
Racers in nine different categories, all of them pre-entered in the most exclusive field in motorsports, will make five time runs at four race tracks with the quickest average time determining champions in the Unlimited, Ultimate Iron, Pro Street, Modified, Super Street, Street Race, Gasser, Hot Rod and Street Machine categories.
That’s the easy part. The hard part is that those same race cars must be driven from one venue to the next on specified routes without assistance from any support vehicles. That means dealing with potholes and winding roads, school zones and construction cones and, of course, traffic, overly roughly 1,000 highway miles.
Before COVID-19 interrupted a string of 15 straight championships a year ago, the undisputed “King of the Street” was Michigan’s own Tom Bailey and his twin-turbo 1969 Chevy Camaro which in 2019, between trips on country roads, highways and city streets that put almost 800 miles on its odometer, ran the standard quarter mile in 5.998 seconds at a finish line speed of 250.46 miles per hour.
Bailey’s remarkable Chevy, which has been rebuilt since almost burning to the ground during an exhibition appearance at this year’s NHRA Gatornationals in Gainesville, FL, was the first to break both the 6.00 second and 250 mph barriers during Drag Week.
The Lake Orion driver’s goal this time out is to win a fifth overall title while averaging less than 6.00 seconds for five quarter mile runs at US 131 (Sept. 13 and Sept. 17), Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio (Sept. 14), Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis (Sept. 1) and Byron, Ill., Dragway (Sept. 16).
In addition to class winners, there also are special awards for Quickest Chevy, Quickest Ford, Quickest Buick, Quickest Olds, Quickest Pontiac, Quickest Mopar and Quickest AMC plus Quickest Six-Cylinder, Quickest Four Cylinder and the Monte Smith Memorial Award to the quickest car on nitrous oxide.
Competition check-in is from 8 am until 1 pm on Sunday with a test-and-tune session from 10 am until 5 pm. Gates open for spectators Monday at 8 am with racing until 2 pm. Gates open Friday for the finale at 8 am with racing from 10 until 6 p.m. to conclude the event.
Spectator admission is $20 for adults on both race days. Children 12 and under are free with a ticketed adult.