Drag Illustrated Issue 175, March / April 2022 - Page 108

TAYLOR these drag-and-drive events .

“ The challenge and the struggle and the accomplishment of doing an event like that is something that many people are missing these days ,” Guido says . “ Even in my day job I have 100 or so people who report to me and that is still tough to feel the same . A drag-and-drive event can kick your ass and if you accomplish it , that ’ s one thing special .
“ You ’ re also really set up to help and meet all these fantastic like-minded people . There ’ s nothing like being on the side of the road pulling a trailer out of the woods making friends with guys like Larry Dixon . A Camaro in his group had lost its trailer hitch . All the cars by the side of the road were empty , no one was there to give a thumbs up ,” Rich says , referring to the tradition of giving passing racers a thumbs up or down when stuck on the side of the road to indicate if more help is needed .
“ So we go down there and form a human chain to empty the trailer out and then push the trailer up ,” he continues . “ And I wasn ’ t running a trailer that year so I hauled their trailer to the next town where they could get it welded up . That kind of cool shit is every day at Drag Week and Rocky Mountain Race Week . So that persistence in breaking shit and keep going , that ’ s what brings me back .” – PHILLIP THOMAS DI



While many of the cars on Sick Week were road-tested , proven pieces , the same could not be said for Nick Taylor ’ s “ Uncle Sam ” ’ 91 Camaro . He bought it in November 2021 , raced it as a big-block nitrous car in December , and after completely redoing the car over the course of just a few weeks in January , the Fort Wayne , Indiana-based driver rolled into Florida for Sick Week with a practically new car .
Among other sweeping changes , Taylor swapped in a twin-turbo 427ci LS between the frame rails and an additional pump gas fuel system for street driving . It all happened so fast , and Taylor and his Mid-America Kustoms team had no idea what the car would do on Sick Week , but 6-second quarter-mile passes were the goal .
“ We literally got the car running , put it on our dyno , and drove down here to test ,” Taylor said on Thursday at SGMP . “ We didn ’ t get to test Saturday , so our only hits on the car were going to be Sunday testing . It went 7.19 its first full pass [ at Bradenton ].”
Just a handful of passes later , Taylor recorded a career-best 6.98 at 197.97 during the fourth day of Sick Week at SGMP . It was an incredibly validating moment for Taylor and his best friend and business partner , Adam Hodson . In fact , it was an accomplishment just to make it to that point in Sick Week .
Just moments after pulling out of Bradenton Motorsports Park on Monday afternoon , Taylor ’ s pump gas fuel system locked up . To make matters worse , he had to drive on slicks because the street wheels had the wrong bolt pattern .
“ We ended up putting it on M5 [ methanol ], driving back to the track , staying at the track , and luckily the next day got rained out ,” Taylor says . “ It was just like meant to be . Our buddy drove us a fuel pump . I drilled out my other wheels as big as they would possibly go until they fit this bolt pattern . It ’ s like we ’ re hitting the road or we ’ re not going . This is it . And it ’ s raining . We have no windshield wipers , no defroster . We hit the road and had to do a twoday drive , so we drive 16 hours in the rain in a setup that ’ s never been on the road before . Spindle mount wheels . We ’ re just winging it .”
Taylor and Dobson left Bradenton Tuesday morning and headed north , stopping at the two checkpoints from Monday ’ s drive , and checked in at Orlando Speed World Dragway before continuing over to the coast for Tuesday ’ s two checkpoints on the way to Gainesville , where they finally caught up with the rest of the Sick Week contingent around 3:30 a . m . Wednesday morning . Taylor then fired off a 7.10 at 195.05 on Wednesday before continuing on to SGMP .
Taylor finished out the week with a 7.154 at 194.97 on Friday at Bradenton , for a week-long average of 7.097 at 195.48 . He finished No . 2 in the Unlimited category , but Sick Week was about more than just the on-paper accomplishments .
“ For me , it ’ s all about the experience ,” Taylor says . “ We were going to make it no matter what . There ’ s nothing that was going to stop us from making it to the end of the week . We ’ ve proven that time and time again on all the cars . For me , it ’ s more about learning and enjoying this with my friends . I ’ m a small-tire no-prep guy , but the car is set up to do big-tire racing . Let ’ s learn something and go racing . So we spent every dime I had and got from selling my other car on this car , but we ’ ve learned a lot this week and we went really fast . It all pays off because we know that much more .” – NATE VAN WAGNEN DI
108 | Drag Illustrated | DragIllustrated . com Issue 175