Last week was the 2016 Hot Rod Drag Week where actual street legal drag cars compete at 4 different tracks over 5 days where each car competing had to drive hundreds of miles in between each track. This is by far the fastest street cars in the country, even though they look like full blown race cars which of course they are, they’re still street legal and can be driven on regular old country roads. But then when they get to the track they’re capable of low 6 second quarter mile times at over 240mph.
Even though there was a laundry list of cars in attendance in multiple different classes, the unlimited cars from Jeff Lutz and last year’s winner, Tom Bailey, were heavily favored to win. Both cars are ProMod Camaros with massive twin turbo V8’s under the hood producing as much as 4,000hp depending on what tune they’re running.
At the end of day one, it was looking like it was going to be a great week of racing between these two powerhouses. But that of course was just day one, there was a lot of miles and a lot of racing still to happen. See the runs ar the track are the easiest part of the entire week. It’s getting to each track that makes this event so difficult for the competitors. While these cars are technically street legal, they are in no way designed to be driven over long distances. It’s very common to have problems along the route and need to pull over and hopefully be able to fix the problem and get back on the road.
Last year’s winner, Tom Bailey, was plagued with problems right from the get go. After pulling a blistering fast first run of 6.24 @ 224mph over the quarter mile, the “Sick Second 2.0” encountered major engine problems. Engine builder Steve Morris, who’s responsible for some crazy powerful engines, happened to be on hand for the event and upon further inspection, he determined it would require a full teardown. Turns out there were significant burn marks on the cylinder sleeve of piston number one that was significant enough that Bailey was forced to withdraw from the competition.
So it was basically up to Jeff Lutz and his wicked fast Mad Max ProMod Camaro to win the event, and that’s exactly what he did. Although he also had his fair share of problems that almost prevented him from continuing also. Apparently during one of the journeys from one track to the next Lutz heard a noise that ended up being the spindle and bearings locking up on the passenger side front wheel. After being stuck on the side of the road for many hours he managed to get the part repaired and continued on.
He went on to finish with an average of 6.19 @ 240mph, which happens to be the quickest in Drag Week history. This is the second time Lutz has won the event, in 2014 he won in his 1957 Chevy Bel Air that went by the name “Evil Twin”. So we wanted to say congratulations on the win Lutz, we were pulling for you.