The O.G. drag-and-drive event, the one that started it all — Hot Rod Drag Week — got underway Monday at the famed Darlington Dragway in South Carolina with a field filled to the brim of cars, truck, and even panel vans from all across the nation and around the world. Darlington, serving as ground zero for this year’s contest — comprising both the first and last day of competition — was the first stop among five in all, as the high-horsepower road show traverses the Southeast, visiting Rockingham Dragway, Bristol Dragway, and the Carolina Dragway.
Tom Bailey, a five-time overall Drag Week champion, brought his iconic Sick Seconds 1969 Camaro back on the 10th anniversary of its first triumph, and immediately rocketed to the top of the overall and Unlimited charts with a 6.750-second run at 203.07 mph. Bailey is trailed by a solid group of contenders, including Bryant Goldstone, who clocked in at 6.838, Devin Vanderhoof at 7.020, and Matthew Frost at 7.031. Those leaders at the top of the leaderboards, impressively, represent three different categories, suggesting this could be one of the more competitive and diverse Drag Week contests ever held. We won’t know, however, until the racers cover the 150-mile drive to Rockingham and beyond, to determine whose vehicle’s survive and continue to lay down laps, and who’ll find misfortune along the way.
We’ll have additional coverage later in the week, as the competitors trek to Tennessee and then begin making their way back through parts of North and South Carolina to their origin.