Article by Anthony Alaniz. Photography by Joel Chan (PhotosWithJoel on Facebook).
Drag Week is a time when some of the fastest cars in the country come together to settle old rivalries and create new ones. Feelings are hurt and egos are stoked only to crumble like the Roman Empire.
Cars of all delicious flavors and creeds come out to the event as drivers violently race their way to the top of their respective classes. This is where drivers are made and legacies are lost. This isn’t a fancy-pants event waiting to hold your hand through the minefield that is competitive drag racing.
Drag Week isn’t a place to slowly wade in the shallow end of the pool with water weenies on. Race is the equivalent of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, but instead of a bucket you’re thrown into the Arctic Ocean with a block of concrete tied around your ankle.
Sink or swim, baby.
Drag Week is hosted by HOT ROD magazine, and has grown over its 10-year history. This year, the event started on September 7 at Tulsa Raceway Park in Tulsa, Okla., where the drivers assembled before traveling to a handful of tracks throughout the event, wrapping up back at Tulsa Raceway Park five days later.
The event is a culmination of the drag racing culture that HOT ROD vehemently covers. It is a time when fans and enthusiasts can get together, off their asses from behind their computer monitors where they’ve been spouting horsepower numbers and ETs on forums, finally prove who has the fastest set of slicks on a national stage, and run what they brung—as the saying goes.
While this event does bring out some of the baddest cars around, there are rules. And rules must be followed. Those competing must drive their cars to the event. No trailer queens here, nope. They then must drive to the other tracks in the series without a support vehicle. Not only must these beasts be ready to race and complete some damn fast times, they also have to be ready to get stuck in traffic.
Which is really the ethos of HOT ROD. The term grew out of modifying cars for speed. In the 1930s and 40s when the verbiage became commonplace, hot rods weren’t some track-prepped race car. They were light, heavily modified beast machines that settled their differences on the street. Drag Week just gives today’s hot rodders and racers a safe place to air their grievances.
We covered all that we could of the expansive event while we were there. There are just so many awesome cars—and awesome people behind the wheels of those cars. We got a slew of coverage for you to salivate over.
We give you a behind the scenes look into what’s up with Drag Week. Consider this the equivalent to a backstage VIP meet-and-greet with [insert favorite musician, artist, up-and-coming, actor here]
Go here for some sweet action highlights from some damn close races. Those with heart conditions or who may be pregnant should reconsider.
This is in depth coverage of the heads-up event from the end of the event.
We, of course, had to give some special attention to those representing our neighborhood at the event. This is for you. With love.
If broad overviews aren’t for you, don’t worry. We have some great vehicle features for you to get your grubby little fingers on. We’ve featured Matthew Frost, Larry Larson, and Tom Bailey’s cars already, so go there. Go there now. We also have a sweet father and daughter highlight coming down the pipe. So if sentimental moments are what you’re looking for, we can’t guarantee this will be the piece you need, but it’s a good start, we guess.