Hot Rod Drag Week 2021: Day Four

Top-of-the-table racers struggled in the heat before tomorrow’s finale

Photographers: Povi Pullinen

The penultimate day of Hot Rod Drag Week 2021 has seen leaderboards tighten at a hot Byron Dragway.

For the first time all week, David Schroeder didn’t turn over the day’s fastest timeslip. His effort at Byron Dragway, Illinois yielded a 7.41@192mph, almost a second off his day one best.

Quickest on the day went to second place’s Bryant Goldstone, who ran a 7.13@187mph. That brings his average ET to 6.959 — just 15 hundreths behind Schroeder’s.

With such a tight battle between first and second overall, tomorrow’s finale back at US 131 will be the decider.

Mikael Borggren struggled to hook up in his Volvo 240 wagon. He launched to a promising 1.16-second 60ft on his first run for the day, but came loose well before the halfway mark. He faced the same issues on his second run, clocking an anticlimactic 8.10@167mph.

It’s a major blow to the Borggren’s combined ET, which until now rested in the bottom 7s. His new average of 7.341 gives him a narrow hold on third overall.

Despite the slower times recorded by most heavy hitters, not everybody came away from Illinois frustrated.

Jason Sack’s Unlimited Nova is now a microscopic eight-thousandths of a second behind Borggren in average ET. He was one of the few top-class racers to improve upon their day three time, laying down a 7.29@185mph.

Alex Taylor squeezed in another PB, sending her DW debutant Chev to a 7.63@185mph and slotting into fourth place in Unlimited.

Ultimate Iron has seen yet another shake-up, following the retirement of Bob Bartram’s Boss-powered Cougar.

Bryan Anders’s tube-chassis Chevette therefore moves into first position. It also ran its quickest DW time so far, recording a 9.16@143mph. It’s living proof that on DW, survival trumps speed.

Just three thousandths of a second separate Dustin Trance and Rick Steinke in Street Race Small Block Power Adder. Trance ran marginally below the 8.50 class limit in his first run today, but looped back in the wheelstand-happy Mustang to submit an 8.508@157mph.

Jeff Oppenheim’s 1986 El Camino still wears the scars of Drag Week 2016, where it was caught fire on a road leg. Friends and strangers alike banded together to get the torched car back up and moving. It’s been running consistent bottom 9s this year in Small Block Power Adder, enough for 10th position in the class.

Anthony Pecoraro’s prison bus is the slowest machine entered in this year’s DW, but it’s undeniably one of the most distinctive. Powered by a stock 4.8-litre LS, it recorded a best of 20.03@69mph today.

There’s also no missing the Porky’s Diesel F100 in its sooty, whistling glory.

The 1957 pickup runs a 12v Cummins diesel that’s force-fed by compounding 75 and 85mm turbos, resting within a Crown Vic subframe. It’s teched to 8.50, but its best so far this week is a 10.43@115mph.

There’s now just one day of racing left, as surviving cars trek 291 miles (468km) back to US 131 Motorsports Park in Martin, Michigan.