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Will the ‘Sunshine Swing’ Be the New Hot Thing in Drag Racing, Leading With Sick Week 2024?

Sick Week 2024 presented by Gear Vendors Overdrive is set to lead off the “Sunshine Swing” as the first in a series of huge events throughout Florida.

The event, billed as the “Super Bowl of Drag-and-Drive,” once again sold out its 350 race entries within minutes of opening. All cars are required to be street-legal and will spend a week driving and competing throughout Florida and Georgia. They will be joined by over 200 cruisers in the Summit Racing Equipment Sick Ward presented by PEAK Performance.

Sick Week 2024 begins at Orlando Speed World on January 29 before heading to Bradenton Motorsports Park on January 30, Gainesville Raceway on January 31, South Georgia Motorsports Park on February 1 and back to Orlando Speed World on February 2.

Florida (and southern Georgia) drag racing fans will certainly have no shortage of event choices for the coming months. After Sick Week, it is time for nitro drag racing at the Scag Power Equipment PRO Superstar Shootout presented by Johnson’s Horsepowered Garage on February 8-10 at Bradenton Motorsports Park, then the biggest event in radial tire drag racing — Lights Out 15 — takes place at South Georgia Motorsports Park on February 22-25. Then, Pro Mods take center stage at Bradenton Motorsports Park at the Drag Illustrated World Series of Pro Mod on March 1-3, and from there, the NHRA Mission Drag Racing Series season launches with the Gatornationals on March 7-10.

Sick Week is run by the team that produces Sick The Magazine, a publication dedicated to the sport of drag-and-drive. Magazine publisher and six-times Hot Rod Drag Week winner Tom Bailey said the “Sunshine Swing” has the potential to be a growing phenomenon in American drag racing.

“Sick Week, the PRO Superstar Shootout, Lights Out, World Series of Pro Mod, the Gatornationals, all of these are must-see events,” he said. “What we’re observing now is that many snowbirds are drag racing fans who are choosing to winter in Florida not just for the weather but for the huge number of top-class drag racing events they can see. Each of these events is lifted by the other, it’s the classic ‘rising tide’ situation.

“You have the best street car drag racing, the best nitro racing, the best radial tire racing, the best Pro Mods, not to mention other events like the Latin American Import World Challenge or the many bracket events sprinkled around. Florida is spoiled for choice.”

First run in 2022, Sick Week has become a must-attend for fans of street-legal drag racing. The inaugural event was won by Sweden’s Stefan Gustafsson with an average of 6.677 and a quickest time of 6.538 seconds from his single turbo BBC-powered C4 Corvette. Gustafsson is back for 2024, hoping to earn his second title.

The 2023 version was also claimed by Sweden, as Michael Westberg’s LS-powered Chevy S10 truck rocked to a 6.464 average, with a quickest pass of 6.400. Westberg won’t be in attendance this year after building a new Camaro, but he has flagged a possible return in 2025.

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While there is always much attention on the front runners, the sheer variety of street cars taking part is part of the attraction of Sick Week. Almost every American muscle car is typically represented, joined by a unique collection of road warriors that has included a 1925 Franklin Series 11A coupe turning 23-second quarter miles, nine-second Teslas and everything in between.

Sick Week 2024 presented by Gear Vendors Overdrive will be streamed on FRDM+ (formerly Cleeter Vision), enabling the event to reach a whole new audience.

“Drag-and-drive is proving to be the missing link between the mid-week street legal events tracks run all around the world and competitive racing,” Bailey said. “That step is so crucial in building the next generation of drag racers. We’re seeing a lot of young racers racing on budgets less than your average grocery bill for the month, and they’re having a blast. As just about every drag racer knows, all we have to do is get them to one race to get them hooked. Drag-and-drive is proving to be the perfect gateway. While Sick Week sells out in just minutes, there are well over 30 drag-and-drive events across America and the world right now, so there is just tremendous growth there.”

For more information about Sick Week 2024 presented by Gear Vendors Overdrive, head to www.sickthemagazine.com/sick-week.

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Since 2005, DI has informed, inspired and educated drag racers from every walk of the racing life - weekend warrior and street/strip enthusiasts to pro-level doorslammer and Top Fuel racers. From award-winning writing and photography to binge-worthy videos to electric live events, DI meets hundreds of thousands of racers where they live, creating the moments that create conversations.