Home to Shirley Muldowney's first NHRA national event victory in 1976, the fastest Top Fuel mph ever recorded (Tony Schumacher 336.15 in '05), and Frank Hawley's emotional victory in the late Darryl Gwynn's dragster, National Trail Raceway in Columbus, Ohio, has brought out the best in the Midwest since the Rader family broke ground in 1963.
The Super Chevy Show series made its annual pilgrimage there in June and kicked things off the right way with a Friday night cruise at the local Hooters restaurant.
The show cars arrived in droves from all across the Midwest, with a multitude of Tri-Fives, first-gen Camaros, and out-of-this-world customs and restored muscle cars.
One such gem was Clyde Martin's 1-of-5,481 L-79 327/350 '66 Super Sport Chevy IIs, restored to original black-on-black perfection. Frontman Roger Gustin showed off his orange '55 Chevy that has been through more plastic surgery than Michael Jackson, from stock in the '70s, to daily street warrior, to supercharged drag car, and back again as a cruise night special.
At first glance, Tremec True Street looked to be a battle for second place, as Phil Cooper's "Purple 1" Nova laid down a dominating 8.72 pass on its first hit, but failed to show up for his second and third passes. This unexpected event made way for a number of hot rods to vie for top honors. Slamming the once-open door shut was Chris Esson in his '69 Nova, firing off an 11.005, 10.852, and 10.736 at over 120 mph, and seizing victory in a field of 19.
In the Aeromotive Nitro Coupe class, Ken "The Kid" Walsh once again proved to have the baddest split-window on the planet, stringing together a set of low four-second eighth-mile passes, winning on a hole shot in an all-Corvette final round Sunday afternoon.
Doug Thompson showed off his foot-braking abilities in his 2000 Trans Am, winding his way through the competition in both the Jegs Bracket Battle and Nitroplate DOT Final for a double-win with deadly precise reaction times ( .005, .015, .012, .012, and .031).