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).
Stokes Pitman Jr. has the wheels in the sky in his Pitman Racing G-body 'Bu, running 10.80s in Bracket 1.
LS-power crammed in a '67 Camaro: a perfect meld of vintage muscle and modern technology.
Mike Stephens will travel anywhere on this side of the Mississippi looking for bracket races. He drove his 2001 Corvette from the NMCA race in Atco, New Jersey, to a semi-final finish in Columbus in the Nitroplate DOT bracket.
Mike Dunlap of Nashport, Ohio, took home an Editor's Choice Top 10 Drag Race award with his '71 Nova, and also went a few rounds in Bracket 1.
Chris Esson won Tremec True Street class with a three-pass average of 10.86 seconds down the quarter mile in this beautiful '69 Nova.
Cadillac Coupe De Ville defined originality and ran low 8s throughout the weekend.
Clyde Martin's '66 Chevy II is one of 5,481 with the L-79 327/350 engine combination. These cars reportedly ran a then-blistering 15.1 at 93 mph in 1966.
ColumbusVincent Byers drove his '67 Camaro in True Street, only to have transmission issues in the second round. Respect must be shown for racing this show-quality first-gen.
It's never fun when your Z-bar breaks en route to the Hooters cruise.
Bruce Stedry took the five spot in Nitro Coupes with a 4.402 ET at 145.50 mph.
Dan Carter's shoebox carried the wheels and gave the photographer (yours truly) a scare on one pass, heading towards the guardrail in a hurry.
Scott Samsal grabbed due attention with his '04 Cavalier, supporting a custom chassis and steel big-block. Even with 25 gallons of water as ballast in the trunk, he still had trouble planting the rear 22-inch rear wheels.
Tim Boggs won the 12-second Tremec True Street class in his TrimParts-sponsored '67 Chevy II with an average run of 12.380 seconds.
Johnny 5. No disassemble!!
Brad Schmitt's '98 Camaro screamed down the quarter-mile in the high 11s. The performance was good enough for the 11-second trophy in Tremec True Street.
Eric Beckett was the runner up in Tremec True Street with an 11.083, 11.034, and 11.987 in his '67 Camaro.
Mike Rehl's Vega flirted with disaster in the 13-second class, running oh so close to breaking out in the 12s. He ran a 13.005, 12.998, and 13.069. Congrats, Mike.
From Salem, Ohio, Chuck Johns' beautiful 1938 Roadster demanded an Editor's Choice Drag Race Top 10 award.