Article by Anthony Alaniz (Anthony_Alaniz). Photography by Joel Chan.
What makes Drag Week such an exciting time for drivers and enthusiasts alike is the feeling of grassroots racing. While there are sponsors, the big boys rarely make a showing. This is done with bloody knuckles and late nights on the garage floor wondering what the hell went wrong and questions about one’s sanity are debated amongst the voices in your head.
Driver Tom Bailey, who was the 2013 HOT ROD Drag Week Winner, accomplished quite the showing prior to this year’s event.
Strapped in his 1969 Chevrolet Camaro, Bailey was dialing in the car at a Tulsa Raceway Park test and tune. During the run, Bailey ran a 6.52 at 226 mph quarter mile. This bests his previous record-holding runs at last year’s Drag Week.
Now that is freaking fast.
Under the hood of his Camaro sits a 621-cubic-inch big-block Chevrolet motor built by Steve Morris Racing Engines. Additional power comes from the twin turbochargers that are strapped on, probably against their will, and fearing for their lives.
Bailey’s Camaro makes over 2,500 horsepower and somehow puts it all to the ground in a quite graceful fashion.
While a 1969 Camaro may not be as desirable as a 1967, plenty of them find second lives on the track, like Bailey’s.
Christened "Sick Seconds” 1969 Chevy Camaro, Bailey’s car became quite famous during the 2013 Drag Week. Then, it was the first car to run in the sixes in all five days, recording the fastest pass in Drag Week history, clocking in at 217 mph. It also recorded the fastest pass for a street car at 6.7 seconds, driving over 1,000 miles to the event before going 6.78 seconds at 217 mph.
On his website, Bailey says, "This is not a race car that is street legal. It is a street legal car that can also race.”
It will be exciting to see how Bailey competes in the 2014 Drag Week that is already underway. Will he be able to record another lightening-quick six-second run? We can only hope he can. The Camaro looks anything but street legal, but we know we would sure want to drive one on the street.