Shakespeare County Raceway 13th - 15th September 2013
25th Anniversary Hot Rod Drags
by Steve Weston
The eagerly anticipated 25th staging of the National Street Rod Associations Hot Rod Drags at Shakespeare County finally arrived on the weekend of 13th - 15th September.
Considerable interest and publicity had built up in the lead in to the event, which also coincided, almost to the day, with the 40th anniversary of the opening of the drag strip in 1973.
On the back of a hugely successful Dragstalgia event at Santa Pod Raceway earlier in the year it was hoped that a number of the 'star' cars at the event would put in an appearance
at the Hot Rod Drags.
Simple rules apply for entry into the event, must be pre 1973, no rear engined dragsters and no bikes (unless invited, as was the case with the handful of period perfect nostalgia drag bikes in attendance), so it really is a case of not knowing beforehand, what will be running and who. Maybe this is part of the charm of the event, a good entry is more or less guaranteed, but, expect the unexpected!
Needless to say, in our part of the world, the build up to the event and the subsequent planning, is always in the lap of the dreaded weather forecast. For several days beforehand a dire weekend had been predicted and at various points the whole weekend looked to be in doubt and, sure enough those racers/spectators arriving on the Friday were greeted with rain, rain and more rain.
Rain continued overnight which left a damp start to the Saturday proceedings, but, thanks to a massive effort by the 'Shakey' track crew racing did get underway around 2 pm in the afternoon and continued into the evening for the night show.
The event itself also incorporates a round Gasser Circus, Outlaw Anglia and Supercharged Outlaw championship series and whilst not part of the Wild Bunch championship, a number were present, more than in keeping with the philosophy of the event and would play a major part in the Saturday night events.
With the pairing lanes rapidly filling on the Saturday afternoon, it was a varied collection of Hot Rods, Street Cars, Muscle Cars, Flatheads, Rails and Altered's that assembled for the 'Run What You Brung' type action.
Incorporated into the event are several 'best of' type awards, not least the 'best burnout of the weekend' competition, which always generates huge interest. Several contenders this year but not sure who the eventual winner was!
As is normally part of the event, it was good to see the appearance of several 'new' cars, notably an addition to Dorset Horn team with an Austin 7 big block altered 'Little Big Horn, whilst the car did not put in a run during the weekend, it did take part in the Saturday night show ( image taken from the Halloween event, several passes being undertaken) a debut from Outlaw Anglia runner and long distance traveller Barnaby Levy in the excellent 'Barn Stormer' car and a beautiful purple blown methanol Ford 100E Escort van. Sadly, the car was to feature heavily over the weekend, for all of the wrong reasons.
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