NHRA - National Hot Rod Association

World’s quickest street cars shine in Peak Street Car Shootout

Eight of the world's quickest street-legal drag and drive cars gathered in Chicago for the Peak Street Car Shootout, where Dave Schroeder earned a final-round victory over Alex Taylor.
24 May 2024
Kevin McKenna, NHRA National Dragster Senior Editor
Street Car

Six-second race cars are a common sight at NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series events, but six-second race cars that can also be legally street driven is another matter entirely.

Perhaps that’s what made the Peak Street Car Shootout presented by Sick the Mag at last weekend’s Gerber Collision & Glass Route 66 NHRA Nationals presented by Peak Performance so special as it brought together eight of the nation’s quickest and fastest street cars to race for bragging rights and a special acrylic NHRA Wally.

The weekend began with a street cruise, where the eight participants, Alex Taylor, Tom Bailey, Nick Taylor, Randy Groebner, Earl Schnexnayder, Dave Schroeder, Bryant Goldstone, and Tom McGilton, logged approximately 30 miles on their cars, visiting historic Chicago landmarks, including the prison made famous in the 1980 Blues Brothers film.

During two days of qualifying, Bailey set the early pace with his Sick 2.0 Camaro, which is officially the world’s quickest street car with a 5.77 best at more than 260 mph. The eight drivers settled in for final eliminations on Sunday afternoon, where Canadian Schroeder and his partner and crew chief, John Ens, landed in the Route 66 Nationals winner’s circle after Schroeder drove the team’s nitrous-equipped Corvette to a final-round win over the ’55 Chevy of Hot Rod Garage star Alex Taylor. Schroeder, who suffered a setback early in the 2023 season when he crashed his car at the Sick Week event in Orlando, Fla., finished off the comeback with a 6.57 that held off Taylor’s 6.76.

“After struggling with the new car for a few days, we got it to go A-B when it counted and while running our friends Alex and Dennis Taylor and family,” said Schroeder in an interview with Sick the Mag. “We could not street drive this soon-to-be beast of a car without the great products from Gear Vendors Overdrive, Delta PAG, Isky Cams, QA1, and Strange Engineering.”

Afterwards, Schroeder explained his attraction to drag and drive events, which couple a drive of 1,000 or more street miles with five days of competition at different dragstrips.

“We’ve been doing this [drag and drive] since 2010, but there wasn’t really a class for this type of car,” Schroeder said. “It’s really a slow Pro Mod, but it’s competitive in drag and drive events. We won Hot Rod Drag Week in 2017, and we won it again in 2021.

“[Drag and drive races] are serious and require a high level of effort, but it’s fun, and the people doing it are a hoot. On the street, everyone is willing to give you parts or share their knowledge to help you get to the next track. This car has gone 6.42, but our goal is to get it into the fives. We’re a long way from that, but I think we can get there.”

Taylor may have lost the final, but she certainly didn’t leave Route 66 Raceway empty-handed as she shared her experience with her huge social media following. Taylor not only documented numerous six-second runs in her turbocharged ’55 Chevy but also got a chance to bond with fellow Peak-backed racers John and Brittany Force. Taylor even got an extremely rare opportunity to warm up John Force’s 11,000 horsepower Peak/BluDEF Camaro on Saturday.

“That was incredible,” Taylor said. “I've never had the chance to sit in a fuel car that was actually running. It's one thing to hop in for a picture, but when you actually start the car, wow, there's a lot going on there.”

“Any time I get in any kind of a race car or anything new is always a very intimidating factor,” Taylor said. “John's got an incredible crew of guys that walked me through every step. A huge thank-you to them for letting me do that because I know that comes in and changes their operation for the day. It was just incredible to sit behind an engine like that.”

The Peak Street Car Shootout presented by Sick the Mag also presented an opportunity for fans to learn more about the rapidly growing NHRA Street Legal program, which encourages high-performance enthusiasts to race on the track, not on the streets. Among other things, NHRA Street Legal offers a user-friendly licensing program and opportunities for racers of all skill levels.