MotorTrend's 19th Annual Hot Rod Drag Week - Engine Builder Magazine

MotorTrend’s 19th Annual Hot Rod Drag Week

The race to determine the title of “Fastest Street Car in America” is back as Hot Rod Drag Week 2023 Presented by Gear Vendors Overdrive returns to premier tracks in four Southeast cities Sunday, Sept. 17 through Friday, Sept. 22, and made extra special this year as HOT ROD Magazine celebrates 75 years in 2023. Registration for this highly-anticipated annual event opens in late March.

The world’s toughest competition to find the ultimate street-legal drag car, Hot Rod Drag Week puts competitors through a grueling test over five days of action-packed drag racing, requiring racers to drive their vehicles on a specified route from city to city, upward of 1,000 miles, while securing the quickest possible elapsed time across the five days. During the competition, drivers provide photographic evidence to prove they have adhered to the prescribed route. Some of the nation’s top racers participate in Drag Week each year, and it’s not uncommon for competitors to band together to help each other get through the week. 

“Hot Rod Drag Week is an unforgettable event that everyone at Hot Rod always looks forward to, but this year will be special, being our 75th anniversary,” said Hot Rod’s Editor-in-Chief John McGann. “Join us for a Drag Week experience that will go down in history, one you definitely don’t want to miss!”

(Daily end times as stated or until complete)

  • Tech Inspection, Registration, Test ‘N’ Tune – Sunday, Sept. 17 
    Darlington Dragway (Hartsville, S.C.) – 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. local time for registration, tech inspection, and test ’n’ tune (tech open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., test ‘n’ tune begins at 2 p.m.)
  • Day 1 Racing – Monday, Sept. 18
    Darlington Dragway (Hartsville, S.C.) – Gates open 7:30 a.m. local time, racing hours 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. local time.
  • Day 2 Racing – Tuesday, Sept. 19
    Rockingham Dragway (Rockingham, N.C.) – Gates open 7:30 a.m. local time, racing hours 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. local time.
  • Day 3 Racing – Wednesday, Sept. 20
    Bristol Dragway (Bristol, Tenn.) – Gates open 7:30 a.m. local time, racing hours 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. local time.
  • Day 4 Racing – Thursday, Sept. 21
    Carolina Dragway (Aiken, S.C.) – Gates open 7:30 a.m. local time, racing hours 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. local time.
  • Day 5 Racing (Finals) – Friday, Sept. 22
    Darlington Dragway (Hartsville, S.C.) – Gates open 7:30 a.m. local time, racing hours from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. local time, followed by awards.


Returning in 2023, Drag Week super fans can purchase a Drag Pack ticket that includes entry for one car, one driver, and one passenger for all Hot Rod Drag Week venues (Sunday, Sept. 17 through Friday, Sept. 22). Drag Pack ticket holders will get to park in the pits or in premier areas, suite access and lunch at one venue (TBD) during the week and one gift item per vehicle. *Children 12 and under can enter with their family for free.

Spectator tickets will be available at each individual track ($20). Children 12 and under are free with a paid adult. 

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