Drag Illustrated Issue 175, March / April 2022 - Page 105

SICK WEEK 2022

hell week , leaving Prospero and Gustafsson squaring up right up until the final day . Prospero and Gustafsson began to chase numbers with multiple swings down the track for a better ET , ultimately resulting in a . 21 margin of victory at the end of the week .
Best thing about winning Sick Week ? It ’ s reignited the thirst for completing , and maybe even winning , Drag Week later this year . They ’ ve canceled plans to ship the C4 back to Sweden , and it ’ s being primed over at Customs by Bigun , a Mooresville , North Carolina-based shop belonging to Eric Yost , a fellow Drag Weeker that joined Gustafsson as his co-driver at Sick Week after Yost had opened his doors to the Swede over the years . – PHILLIP THOMAS DI

SICK WEEK A SUCCESS FOR TOM BAILEY DESPITE BOWING OUT EARLY

From a competition standpoint , Tom Bailey ’ s Sick Week experience was less than ideal . He broke a valve in his twin-turbo , SMX-powered “ Sick Seconds 2.0 ” ’ 69 Camaro on the Day 1 drive from Bradenton to Orlando . The damage forced him to withdraw from competition after recording the quickest pass of the event , 6.269 at 236.38 .
But as the founder and promoter of Sick Week , Bailey was thrilled with the inaugural running of the Florida drag-and-drive event . Competition entries sold out in just minutes well in advance of the event , and a slew of manufacturers and vendors signed on as event sponsors . But what about fans ?
“ Obviously , the racers got behind everything and all that was incredible ,” Bailey says . “ As [ event planning ] moved on , it was like , ‘ Will the fans actually come on Monday or Tuesday morning ? At 8 o ’ clock in the morning , are they going to come watch racing ?’”
The answer was a resounding yes . A steady crowd filled the stands during the first day of racing at Bradenton on Monday . While Tuesday ’ s action at Orlando was rained out , respectable crowds turned out to watch the Sick Week competitors and check out the cars at Gainesville , Valdosta , and back at Bradenton to close out the week .
The fans that came out – and thousands that tuned in to the free official livestream each day – were treated to plenty of stout passes from a group that included established drag-and-drive stars and YouTubers to emerging heroes and weekend warriors . Thanks to consistent track prep , drivers were able to really get after it , resulting in career-best numbers for numerous racers .
“ Nobody ’ s ever brought dedicated prep to make sure the track can be as fast as possible ,” Bailey says . “ They just said , ‘ Let ’ s do this drive event and we ’ ll also go down the track .’ I wanted to be , ‘ Let ’ s do this race event and also go down the street .”
Another unique aspect of Sick Week was the Sick Ward , a VIP experience limited to 200 participants who wanted to follow along with the Sick Week group without racing . The Sick Ward group , which included anything from legit hot rods to bone-stock , late-model muscle cars , had their own space in the pits at each stop , where they got complimentary meals from food trucks and snacks from the Sick Week ice cream truck .
“ One of the coolest parts is the Sick Ward , which is something nobody else has really done ,” Bailey says . “ We brought a VIP experience to all of the people want to be the fan and hang out and they want to drive along but they don ’ t want to race . Now that the food trucks are out and they ’ re getting the VIP experience , everyone is like , ‘ How do I get into the Sick Ward ?’”
Fortunately , Bailey will have a chance at redemption in 2023 , as it was announced at the end of the week that Sick Week will return next year .
– NATE VAN WAGNEN DI
March / April 2022 DragIllustrated . com | Drag Illustrated | 105