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Drag & Drive Exhibition Featuring Alex Taylor, Tom Bailey Set for NHRA’s Return to Chicagoland

NHRA officials announced today a special “Drag and Drive” eight-car exhibition as part of the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series’ return to Chicago at Route 66 Raceway for the 23rd annual Route 66 NHRA Nationals presented by PEAK Performance on May 19-21.

Featuring standout names like Alex Taylor, Tom Bailey, Steve Morris and Bryant Goldstone, plus more to be announced in the coming weeks, the Drag and Drive exhibition offers something unique for the first race at Route 66 Raceway since 2019. The street cars set to be featured in Chicago run in the 6-second range and quicker at speeds of more than 200 mph, offering a thrilling spectacle for all race fans.

Along with the stars of the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series in Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle, this exhibition will showcase some of the quickest street cars in the world. They are set to entertain fans with runs throughout the weekend, crowing a winner during eliminations on Sunday.

“We’re excited to have this group of back-to-basics drag racers as part of an already fantastic event at Route 66 Raceway,” states Brian Bohlander, Director of Sports Marketing for Old World Industries (parent company of the PEAK and BlueDEF brands). “With Alex coming off her class win at Sick Week, Tom Bailey who’s the biggest star of this movement, and the rest of the Drag and Drive group, this is just another way to give back to the next generation of fans with street car Match Racing as it used to be in Chicago.” 

Taylor is quickly establishing herself as one of the sport’s biggest stars on and off the track, boasting a strong social media following and also as the co-host of the Motor Trend Network show, “Hot Rod Garage.” On the track, she became the youngest competitor at Hot Rod Drag Week when she raced at 16 in 2013, later building a full-chassis ’55 Chevy 210. Taylor has since made consistent 6-second runs at more than 200 mph and will be making her NHRA debut in Chicago as part of the can’t-miss weekend.

“The Drag and Drive movement gets back to Wally Park’s initial mission for the NHRA, to help racers get off the streets and giving them a place to race,” states Alex Taylor. “I had a chance last fall to be guest at Pomona, and now I can’t believe that my family and I have an opportunity to make our first NHRA National event appearance at Route 66 Raceway, something I only dreamed of as I helped my dad build cars growing up.”

Bailey is the owner of Sick Seconds 2.0, a ’69 Camaro that has established itself as the quickest street car in the world. Bailey has gone as quick as 5.77, making the only five-second pass in drag and drive competition. As one of the top names in the street car scene, Bailey is eager to make a huge impression in front of the NHRA audience at Route 66 Raceway.

“I am honored to have the opportunity to showcase my car in front of the national event audience,” states Tom Bailey. “Our group of cars is a representation of everyday people continuing to push the envelopes of street driven cars on the drag strip. It’s also a great way to show the younger generation that there are options to race your street car in a controlled environment.” 

Morris owns a unique Buick Roadmaster known as the “Boostmaster,” with the fan-favorite vehicle already boasting a number of 6-second runs. Goldstone has made several 6-second passes as well in his AMC Javelin. The rest of the eight-car field will be released in the coming weeks.

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“We’re extremely excited to add this Drag and Drive racing exhibition to a huge weekend in Chicago,” said Evan Jonat, NHRA Vice President of Live Events. “It’s a totally different racing element, and drivers like Alex and Tom bring a great fan following as well. It will be a thrill to introduce them to new fans as well and I think our race fans will be incredibly impressed with the show all of them provide on the track.”

This story was originally published on March 16, 2023. Drag Illustrated

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