The 13th NSRA Hot Rod Drags

Shakespeare County Raceway September 8th/9th 2001

Words and pictures by Chris Dossett

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It had been a long time since I attended one of these events. For many years the Hot Rod Drags had been held on the same weekend as Santa Pods European Finals and since I became more actively involved with racing, and due to my complete and frustrating inability to be in two places at once, I have long been unable to make it to Long Marston for this festival of Hot Roddery .

Imagine my delight then when I read the date for this years meeting. A whole week before the finals! (Ironically we were not running at the finals this year for the first time ever, but now I had the best of both worlds)

The Hot Rod Drags has been held at Long Marston/Avon Park/Shakespeare County Raceway since 1988 and has grown into the best event of its kind in the UK. With a Pre-1969 (Unless radical!) Run-What-Ya-Brung, The Wild Bunch nostalgia racers, The Outlaw Anglias, The Supercharged Outlaws, a car park full of unusual and beautifully turned out machinery and the final round of the Custom Car Magazine sponsored Flathead Meltdown there is never a dull moment.

The weather on Sunday could have been better however. It was overcast and cool but there was plenty going on to take your mind off it. The highlights for me were as follows. Jimmy Hibberds Willys Gasser leaping from the line and raising the front wheels so high he bent the front axle when it finally came down. Side-by-side fuel altered racing from Mickey Moore and Jim Seward which resulted in Jims Harry The Spider running its best ever numbers with a 6.878/193.97. Neil Townsend running a new personal best of 7.64/190 in his Northern Spirit Altered. The superb looking (and my personal favorite) A/FX replica of Daz Selwyn, the ever popular Backdraft slingshot of Crazy Chris Hartnell lifting the front on every launch, Al O'Connor giving the famed Gasser its all with the Outlaw Anglias and a non-stop parade of superb Hot Rods both on and off the track. If this sounds like your idea of a good day/weekend out make sure you get down there this year.

For more information on the National Street Rod Association and events like this one visit their website at

Many thanks to Jeremy Cookson and all the staff at Shakespeare County Raceway.