Having had the distinct opportunity to view this industry from my chair as editor of Engine Builder has certainly opened my eyes to a lot of great things this industry has going for it. However, my favorite thing about it – hands down – is the passion.
Whether it’s passion for covering the industry (as we do), or passion for manufacturing components (as so many of our partners do), or passion for creating horsepower and engines (as all of our readers do) – there’s certainly no lack of passion here. That all said, where I’ve seen the most passion for what our industry is all about is on the track. That’s where the proverbial rubber meets the road, and where the manufacturing, the engines, the cars, and the people all come together to earn a longed-for result.
In early February, I got a week of travel approved to join the drag-and-drive community attending Sick Week in Florida, where I got to see this passion on full display. Passion for the cars. Passion for the engines. Passion for the tracks. Passion for the performance. Most of all – passion for each other.
Personally, I’m green to the drag-and-drive scene. That’s why I was so excited to see Sick Week firsthand. I tip my hat to Tom Bailey, Luke Nieuwhof and everyone at Sick The Mag for the job they did pulling off the first Seek Week drag-and-drive competition. From Bradenton to Orlando to Gainesville to South Georgia and back to Bradenton, no one in attendance was shorted anything.
What you quickly realize as you watch these high-horsepower street cars tackle both the dragstrip and the highways and byways of Florida is, it’s not easy. Something can go wrong at any time for these competitors, and everyone knows it. Just getting to day 1 of an event like this is a thrash, and then you actually have to do the damn thing! Many people don’t realize how much of a toll a day of racing, plus driving 200 miles, really entails – let alone doing that on repeat for five days in a row! Whether something happens on the track or out on a drive, no competitor is excluded from potential carnage.
However, when it does happen, you’re never alone in getting it fixed and back on your way. Of course, everyone has their limits, and calling it quits comes with zero shame, but the drag-and-drive community doesn’t give up easily! At the track, on the side of a road, at a gas station, in the hotel parking lot – anywhere and anytime – drag-and-drivers will lend a hand to those who need it. From that helping hand to imparting knowledge to lending tools or donating parts these competitors might need themselves later on, they’ll do these good deeds for the brotherhood of drag-and-drive.
Countless people will tell you that a drag-and-drive event will forever change you. It’ll ruin you in the best way possible. It’s some of the toughest racing you can attempt, but it’s also some of the most fun. That fun factor is because of the instant friends you make due to the shared experience a drag-and-drive event creates, and we’re thankful to have had our eyes opened to it during Sick Week. Passion is so addictive, and we can’t wait to take in the next drag-and-drive event of 2022.
Check out our recap of Sick Week on page 22, and make sure to flip through all of our great content in this issue, including our Buyer’s Guide pages beginning on page 38. EB