In many ways, Hot Rod Magazine Drag Week is the natural evolution of a bunch of different forces coming together. The increasing want and need to have cars that were both brutally fast and streetable, the growth of the ego of fast street car guys around the country, and the need for said guys to have a forum to show the world who is boss have all played into this madness over the years. The root of the mania that Hot Rod Magazine Drag Week now champions sprouted on a boiling hot weekend in Memphis, Tennessee in 1992 when the NMCA and Hot Rod got together to host the first “Fastest Street Car Shootout”. Cars from all over the country came to the strip and put on the show that left the world slack jawed…and then the arguing started. Were these street cars? How fast could someone really go with a plate? When were these guys going to do it again?
That first event required the competitors to drive laps around the facility to rack up “street” miles. Over the years, the idea transformed itself into the Hot Rod Magazine Pump Gas Drags where competitors were invited by the magazine to compete and part of the competition was a cruise from the headquarters of COMP Cams in Tennessee to (the then named) Memphis Motorsports Park. Following that qualifying and eliminations commenced. I called a couple of those and it was a riot. But there was a monster looming on the horizon that would swallow that event whole. That monster was Drag Week and starting in 2005 it was pretty clear that the whole idea of a quaint ride across town was nothing as compared to 1,000 miles and four tracks (five tracks the first year). Here we are, right?
This video provides the foundation for everything you will see on Hot Rod Magazine Drag Week. These cars were awesome in 1992 and they are awesome today. Rick Dyer’s yellow Camaro, the iconic car that people fell in love with back in the 1990s is a drag week regular now. Enjoy the video, it is full of stuff that you’ll love.